Nineveh Plains Christians ‘slowly returning to normal’

Nineveh Plains Christians ‘slowly returning to normal’
Four years since IS seized the town of Karamles in northern Iraq’s Nineveh Plains, the local Christian community are “returning, albeit slowly, to normal”, AsiaNews reports. Hundreds of Christians joined in a procession following a Mass at the weekend, holding candles and chanting psalms, to celebrate their return and the new life . . . Read More

Iraq’s young people must lead its rebuilding, says archbishop

Army truck with Iraqi flag on its way in the direction of Mosul. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The rebuilding of Iraq should be guided by its young people, says an archbishop who took in 700 students from Mosul University after the occupation of the city by Islamic State in June 2014. Bishop Yousif Thoma Mirkis of Kirkuk, 170km southeast of Mosul, recently visited the university and reunited . . . Read More

Iraq: Christian family stabbed to death in Baghdad

Iraq: Christian family stabbed to death in Baghdad
An Assyrian Christian family of three were murdered in their home in a predominantly Shia neighbourhood in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, last Thursday (8 March). Dr. Hisham Shafiq al-Maskuni, 61, a radiologist at a nuns’ hospital, his wife Dr. Shaza Malik Dinno, gynaecologist at the same hospital, and her elderly mother, . . . Read More

Sweden opens church for 5,000 Christians who fled Middle East

Evening mass at Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in the Iraqi city of Erbil, attended by many refugees from Mosul and Nineveh Plains who fled IS. (Photo: World Watch Monitor, 2014)
A new church opened last week in the Swedish town of Södertalje, 30km south of Stockholm, for the estimated 5,000-6,000 Chaldean Catholics who have resettled there after fleeing their homes in the Middle East. Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne, Germany, who participated in the inaugural service, explained to German . . . Read More

Iraqi Christians fear Kurdish agenda behind removal of mayor

Assyrians protest in Alqosh against the removal of the Assyrian mayor by the Kurdish Regional Government. (Photo: AINA)
Iraqi Christians are increasingly fearful that the recent ousting of a Christian mayor by a pro-Kurdish council is evidence of a Kurdish agenda to usurp control of northern Christian-majority towns. Fayez Abed Jawahreh, the mayor of Alqosh, a Chaldean-majority town, was dismissed from office on 16 July by Bashar Al . . . Read More

Iraqi senior cleric shown calling for Christians to ‘convert, pay tax or be killed’

Iraqi senior cleric shown calling for Christians to ‘convert, pay tax or be killed’
A video showing a call for jihad from a senior Iraqi Shi’ite cleric has caused anger among Iraqi Christians. The undated footage shows Sheikh Alaa Al-Mousawi, head of the Shia Endowment, a government body that looks after Iraq’s Shia holy sites, describing Christians as “infidels”, saying “either they should convert . . . Read More

Iraqi Christians ask: Where were our Kurdish protectors when IS came?

Iraqi Christians ask: Where were our Kurdish protectors when IS came?
A young girl in a camp in Levo, northern Iraq, holds up a picture of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. One question that still angers many of the Christians who fled northern Iraq as jihadists from Islamic State (IS) advanced on their towns and villages is, “Where were the Kurdish . . . Read More