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Book recalls Bishop of Baghdad’s abduction in 2006

Saad Sirop Hanna, the Apostolic Visitor for Chaldeans Residing in Europe, the auxiliary bishop of the Chaldean Patriarchate of Baghdad, Iraq, and visiting researcher in the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame, has published a new book titled Abducted in Iraq: A Priest in Baghdad This firsthand account of Hanna’s abduction by a militant group associated with al-Qaeda starts on August 15, 2006, after he celebrated Mass in Dora, Baghdad. The book charts Hanna’s twenty-eight days in captivity as he struggles through threats and torture, escapes into the Tigris River and is recaptured, and deals with the unknown to piece together what little information he has in a bid for survival. Hanna’s plight attracted international attention after Pope Benedict XVI requested prayers for the safe return of the young priest.

“Writing with journalist Aris, Catholic priest Hanna opens up about the . . . days he was held captive. . . . His first-person account begins with being waylaid while driving down a Baghdad street. He was quickly blindfolded, handcuffed, and taken captive while his abductors negotiated a ransom and tried, sometimes with violent beatings, to convert him to Islam. . . . The book is poignant in describing and lamenting the destruction of Iraqi culture.” —Publishers Weekly

David Alton says, “This beautiful book is the captivating story of a faithful Iraqi priest who was abducted and tortured and who resolutely refused to betray his beliefs or to hate his captors.”

“Bishop Hanna’s story is one of self-discovery, deepening faith, and an eye-opening reality to the plight of numerous Christians in the Middle East.” —Word on Fire Blog

“The world is a more dangerous place for Christians and for those who want to live out their faith peacefully. Despite facing death, Bishop Hanna will continue to preach love and serve the country that he loves. You can call his journey one of tenacity or perseverance and yet, it also mirrors the power of Christ in a way that is everlasting to the rest of the world.” —beliefnet.com

Bishop Hanna is available for interviews.

Abducted in Iraq: A Priest in Baghdad is available in print and digital editions from the University of Notre Dame Press. For a review copy, or to schedule an interview with Bishop Hanna, contact: Kathryn Pitts, marketing manager, e: pitts.5@nd.edu, p: 574.631.3267.

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