Iraq: Easter brings joy to Mosul’s Christian community

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Mosul’s Christian community were once again celebrating Easter, as the city regains a sense of normality after two years of occupation by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The congregation attended an evening mass on Holy Saturday to mark the resurrection. Father Dr Qais Al-Khoury led the service, which promoted the message of tolerance to a once-divided city.

The Church of Mar Qaradagh (Black Mountain Church) has itself risen from the ashes, after being destroyed by the militant group in 2014.

Once home to at least 70,000 Assyrian Christians, Mosul had a rich Christian heritage.

When Islamic State took Mosul, the city’s remaining Christian population was persecuted, with many being forced to leave.

Since Iraqi forces recaptured the northern city in July 2017, its former Christian population has slowly begun to return.

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