Sitting in the living
room of his home in Erbil, capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan region,
63-year-old Rostom Sefarian stops talking, struggling to hold back the
tears. It was July 2006 and Sefarian, an Armenian Christian living in
the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, had been kidnapped by a group of
Islamic fundamentalists — the latest victim in a series of abductions
and killings of Iraqi Christians that continues to this day.
Sefarian was released
five days later, when his family agreed to pay a $72,000 (U.S.) ransom.
It was the second time Sefarian had been kidnapped; his family paid
$12,000 to free him after one day in captivity the previous January. His
wife’s cousin, also a Christian, was not as lucky: three days after
being kidnapped, he was found dead by his family.
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