Tags: Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Religion | christians | church | Palm Sunday

Exiled Iraqi Christians Return for Palm Sunday at Torched Church

Image: Exiled Iraqi Christians Return for Palm Sunday at Torched Church
A church in Qaraqosh (AP Photo/Maciej Moskwa)

By    |   Monday, 10 Apr 2017 05:55 PM

Hundreds of Iraqi Christians exiled by ISIS celebrated Palm Sunday at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in the war-torn nation's second-largest city for the first time in three years.

After Mass, congregants were escorted by soldiers carrying rifles for a walk through Qaraqosh to commemorate the start of Holy Week; they held up a banner saying "In times of war we bring peace," Reuters reported.

In the trashed church, ISIS slogans were scrawled on wall and torn-up prayer books were strewn on the floor; the alter is ruined, Reuters reported.

Qaraqosh was home to Iraq's biggest Christian settlement until jihadists arrived in June 2014, demanding Christians pay a tax, convert to Islam or die by the sword. It has been a ghost town as the battle for Mosul rages about 12 miles away, Reuters reported.

Though ISIS left town in October 2016, Christian exiles have yet to move back, Reuters reported.

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Hundreds of Iraqi Christians exiled by ISIS celebrated Palm Sunday at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in the war-torn nation's second-largest city for the first time in three years.
christians, church, Palm Sunday, Holy Week
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2017-55-10
Monday, 10 Apr 2017 05:55 PM
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