FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2017
DENVER — Six-year-old Christina Khodor Abada, taken in Iraq by ISIS from her mother’s arms at the age of 3, has been extracted from captivity and returned to her parents in Erbil, Iraq as of this morning, Friday, June 9.
Fr. Andre Mahanna founder of Denver-based Apostolate of Our Lady of Hope / St Rafka’s Mission of Hope and Mercy, an international non-profit that gives direct aid to victims of the ISIS genocide of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, has been Christina’s advocate in the United States and recently spoke to President Donald J. Trump about her case.
Details of the rescue have yet to be released, but pictures and video from her home show family members and the community tearfully celebrating her return.
St Rafka’s partner in Lebanon and the case manager for Christiana, Mrs. Catherine Mousa, issued the following statement in Arabic:
"The child Christina Khodor Abada that was kidnapped by Daech ISIS comes back to her mother's breast after three years. She was taken by force on August 22- 2014 and just returned today, June 9- 2017. Great thanksgiving to the Lord! My joy is indescribable! Thanks to all those who helped to return this little child to the breast of her mother."
St Rafka’s Mission of Hope and Mercy, named for a Lebanese nun who saved a young boy from his murderous pursuers by hiding him in her skirts, maintains case files on thousands of Middle East Christians who have been the victims of ISIS in hopes of bringing the abusers to justice and in providing them safe havens, education for their children and aid for their daily needs.
“I want to thank all those who helped us in bringing her back! This is the gift of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!” says Mahanna.
Mahanna, whose Mission has been following Christina’s story and has video interviews with her parents during the long ordeal, now seeks to bring the girl and her family to the United States to receive medical and psychological treatment for the trauma she has endured.
“I beg help,” continues Mahanna, “in assuring her family and Christina that they will come to the USA for healing and peace!”
CONTACT: Dede Laugesen, email@example.com
Facebook Live video of family and community celebrating her return (Emad Sabeeh)
Christina with her brother in Erbil, Iraq
Christina in the van with her family shortly after being liberated from ISIS. Christian's mother is visible in the back seat.
Christina with Emad Sabeeh, he is the journalist who helped the Apostolate of Our Lady of Hope/ St Rafka Mission of Hope and Mercy to form the first two videos where the parents of Christine tell the horrific story of her kidnapping and requesting our help.
Ever since, Christian’s mother, Aeda Hanna, daily went behind enemies lines to try to sell herself in order to bring her daughter back. Emad Sabeeh, Catherine Mousa and other angels were working in meanwhile with great faith, hope and move to bring her back. Background interviews with Christina’s family can be found here: http://savechristianmiddleeast.org/our-videos/
Christina Khodor Abada, taken in Iraq by ISIS from her mother’s arms at the age of 3, extracted from captivity and returned to her parents in Erbil, Iraq as of Friday, June 9, has been found to be healthy and unharmed reports medical personnel who have provided her with care. While it had been previously reported by credible sources close to her situation that she had been sold and abused as a sex slave, that information is incorrect. We are relieved to report that she in fact had been protected from such abuse. This article has been updated and corrected to reflect that information.