Profile image
By CNA Daily News - Europe (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Christianity returns to the towns of Iraq’s Nineveh Plain

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 0:30
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Mosul, Iraq, Nov 22, 2016 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Two years after the sound of church bells was replaced by the sound of explosives in Bashiqa, Iraq, just north of Mosul, Christians are again celebrating Mass after forcing the Islamic State out of their homeland.

Christian liturgies have been celebrated yet again in the Church of Mar Korkeis, after Bashiqa was taken back by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters Nov. 7, according to Reuters. The event marked the first time that Christian liturgies were permitted in the town since it was seized by the Islamic State in August 2014.

Once the area was taken by the Islamic State, minorities such as Christians were forced to choose between persecution, conversion, or fleeing to autonomous Kurdish-controlled regions nearby. After taking Mosul, one of the largest cities in Iraq, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate within Iraq and Syria.

Christianity has been present in the Nineveh plain in Iraq – where Mosul and Bashiqa are located – since the first century. However, since the ousting of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Christians have been fleeing the region. The Islamic State takeover of Mosul drove Christians from the area for the first time in almost two millennia.

To celebrate the occasion and the reclaiming of the city, a new crucifix was installed in the parish in order to replace one broken by Islamic State forces, Reuters reported.

While Islamic State fighters have been pushed back, explosives and mines still riddle the town, and Bashiqa remains unsafe for civilians, said Kurdish Peshmerga Brigadier General Mahram Yasin.
“We want people to be patient and not to return here until we completely clear the area, as we want to ensure their safety,” he told Reuters.

Fr. Afram, pastor of the parish, told Reuters that after the city returns to normal, he would like it to remain under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), rather than the Iraqi government. He mentioned that the KRG is closer in proximity and has been much more involved in the protection of the region since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.



We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global

Top Alternative



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.