The decapitated body of a Christian man has been discovered in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, a few days after he was kidnapped. Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was abducted late Friday night or early Saturday morning (13 or 14 May) and his mutilated body was discovered last Monday morning (16 May).
His family had been asked for a ransom but was not able to pay the sum of more than £61,500 the kidnappers demanded.
Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need, the charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians, Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk condemned the killing, and went on to pay tribute to the strength and faith of his community despite the continuing threat of violence.
Archbishop Sako said: “In all these years, I have never heard of a single Christian converting to Islam, despite the many threats.”