The Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad Luis Sako led church services at the Church of St. Paul in Mosul. This was the first time Christians had gathered in the city to celebrate Christmas since the Islamic State seized Mosul in 2014. Back in July 2014, the militants distributed flyers telling Christians they had to convert, pay a tax or be killed. The next day insurgents marked Christians houses in the city. The day after that, a second leaflet was issued telling them they had to obey the first order or leave. That led to the majority of the population fleeing. Since the Mosul campaign was completed the future of the community has been up in the air. Some are afraid to return to their homes, many want to stay in their new locations or leave Iraq overall. Still others are attempting to rebuild, which was seen in the service held in Mosul.
Agence France Presse, “In ruins of Iraq Christian town, fires a sign of rebirth,” 5/6/17
Baghdad Today, “Pictures of the first mass in Mosul after Daesh,” 12/24/17
Bassem, Wassim, “As Mosul battle nears end, Iraqi Christians wary of return,” Al Monitor, 6/30/17
- “Iraq’s Christians demand reconstruction of religious sites,” Al Monitor, 5/21/17
Coles, Isabel, “Insight – Purge of minorities re-draws Iraq map,” Reuters, 7/24/14
Harding, Luke and Hawramy, Fazel, “Isis accused of ethnic cleansing as story of Shia prison massacre emerges,” Guardian, 8/25/14
Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Human Rights Office, “ Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Iraq: 6 July – 10 September 2014,” 10/2/14