In Liberated Mosul, Iraqi Christians Celebrates their First Christmas Mass

Source: FSSPX News

Christmas lights and Christmas trees have reappeared in the stores and streets of Mosul, Vatican news agency Fides announced on December 19, 2017. 

For the first time in three years, the bells of St. Paul’s Church rang for Midnight Mass on Christmas in a Mosul freed from Daesh (ISIS) terrorists since July 2017. However, only a few Christian families have returned since the city was liberated. Most of the faithful came from Ankawa, the Christian suburb of Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, where they took refuge when the jihadists arrived on the plains of Nineveh.

Inside the church, more or less spared by Daesh, where hangings attempt to conceal the damage done by looters and the stain-glass windows broken by explosions, Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of the Chaldean Catholic Church asked the faithful to pray for “peace and stability in Mosul, in Iraq and in the world.” The churches of Mosul, for the most part, remain in ruins.

Once again this year the government of the province of Kirkuk (Iraqi Kurdistan) declared December 25 a holiday, to express in a public manner the solidarity of institutions and society with Christians on the feast of Christmas. Patriarch Sako thanked the governor, praising the initiative that has now become a tradition. “What we wish,” the patriarch added, “is that the central government would do the same! Christians deserve this gesture.”