Mosul Christmas Mass hailed a ‘victory over IS’ as Sunni youth install giant Christmas tree

Christmas 2017 in Iraq
The celebration of a first mass in Mossul (Mosul) since 2014. His Beatitude Raphael Sako and Bishop Shlemon Warduni (from the Chaldean Church) are presiding the Mass.  Archbishops Mouche (Syriac Catholic) and Abp Nicodemus Dauod Matti Sharaf  (Syriac-Orthodox)  were participating. Muslim representatives were present at the celebration.
The celebration of a Christmas Eve Mass in Mosul after the city’s devastating three-year occupation by Islamic State (IS) marked “a kind of victory” over the extremists, a church leader there said. And the installation of a number of large Christmas trees around the city was unprecedented, said the leader, . . . 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

Universal Children’s Day: Kidnapped Christina receives letter from German namesake

Five-year-old Christina, shortly after she was reunited with her family, including mother Ayda in the back. (Twitter @thestevennabil)
When German teenager Christina learned that a three-year-old girl with the same name from Qaraqosh, Iraq, had been abducted by Islamic State militants in August 2014, she started praying. A few months ago she heard the news of Christina’s release and decided to write a letter to the little girl, . . . Read More