Baghdad’s Christians gather defiantly for Christmas Eve mass

Iraqi Christians pray during a mass on Christmas eve at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baghdad December 24, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/ THAIER AL-SUDANI

(Reuters) – Baghdad’s embattled Christian community worshipped defiantly Wednesday night at Christmas Eve mass.

The pews filled at Baghdad’s Sacred Heart church, as people remembered the darkest year in memory.

Blast walls shielded the church and seven policeman flanked the outside of the house of worship, in an indication of the government’s fear of an attack on the religious groups by jihadists who consider them non-believers.

The congregation sang in unison: “Praise Jesus, our Lord. Oh praise him” as incense burnt in the darkened church.

The worshippers paid tribute to the thousands of Christians displaced this summer in northern Iraq when Islamic State seized the city of Mosul in June and in August pushed on toward Iraqi Kurdistan, over-running Christian towns on the Nineveh plain…

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  • eMan14

    Bless those brave people. I hope they a have a Merry Christmas.

  • Linda1000

    I don’t think anyone in the West can imagjne the 24/7 threat these people live under. All they want to do is practice their religion but Islam or muslims have a mission to kill them. Ten or 15 years ago we never heard much about this in the news. Now thanks to the internet and writers like Raymond Ibrahim, the ongoing persecution of Christians in the ME is finally being exposed. I think they should all try to leave Iraq.

    • Freedom

      Or learn how to fight like the Kurds to defend themselves.

  • truthdareisay

    May G-d watch over them…and give them a safe Christmas and may the New Year grant them the peace they so badly want and need

  • dingo ate my baby

    front row next to the priest in white
    is that a unibrow?
    if so WOW!

  • favill

    Gob Bless you and Merry Christmas my brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • Barrington Minge

    It’s Christmas..suck it up mooslims!!

  • Blacksmith

    God bless them, and may the lord hold them in the palm of his hand, and protect them in this holy season.