Erbil (Agenzia Fides) – To receive priestly ordination from the hands of the same bishop who had ordained his father many years before, killed in 2006 and celebrated as a martyr by Iraqi Christians, is what happened to Fadi Iskander, who became a priest of the Syriac Orthodox Church on Sunday in Ankawa, a suburb of Erbil, inhabited mostly by Christians. Fadi is the son of Boulos Iskander Behnam, a Syriac Orthodox priest killed in 2006 in Mosul. Father Fadi's episcopal ordination was celebrated in the Syriac Orthodox Church dedicated to Our Lady of Light by Mar Gregorios Shaliba Chamoun, the same bishop who in April 1989 had ordained his father Boulos a priest in the Syriac Orthodox cathedral of Saint Ephrem in Mosul. Many Syriac Orthodox bishops took part in the liturgy of Father Fadi’s ordination - local sources told Agenzia Fides - together with priests, men and women religious belonging to different Christian confessions, as well as hundreds of thousands of faithful. Father Fadi Iskander will carry out his priestly ministry in the Syriac Orthodox eparchy of Byblos, in Lebanon.
The martyrdom of Boulos Iskander is dear to the shared memory of all Iraqi Christians. His figure as a professor and a passionate proponent of Christian unity was well known by the Christian communities of Mosul, which in the years following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime were hit by violence and targeted attacks attributed to terrorist groups linked to the al Qaeda network (although there are no hypotheses that call into question other criminal forces linked to local ethnic groups). Father Boulos was kidnapped in October 2006 in Mosul, in the industrial area of Karama. Attempts to contact the kidnappers to obtain their release through the payment of a ransom failed. His body was found in pieces on October 11, 2006.
12 years later, the glory of the martyrdom of Father Boulos also flourishes in the gratuitous fruit of the priestly vocation of his son Fadi. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 18/7/2018)