BREAKING NEWS

Now Reading:

Iraq: Christmas service held in Bartella, recently liberated from ISIL


Iraq

Iraq: Christmas service held in Bartella, recently liberated from ISIL

Bartella: Christmas after ISIL

Hundreds of Iraqi Christians gathered in Bartella, near Mosul, for a Christmas Eve service – the first since this area was retaken from the Islamic State group (ISIL) in October.

ISIL targeted all non-Sunni Muslims living under its rule. Christians had to pay a tax, convert to Islam or die by the sword. Thus, many Christians had to flee.

Bartella, once home to thousands of Assyrian Christians, emptied in August 2014 when it fell to ISIL.

Iraqi retook the town in the first few days of the US-backed offensive that started in October.

Baghdad: deadly attack on shop in Christian neighbourhood

Late on Friday, unidentified gunmen launched an assault liquor store in the mostly Christian neighbourhood of al-Ghadier in eastern Baghdad, killing three people and wounding three more.

All the victims were Christian, police said.

The number of Christians in Iraq fell sharply during the violence that followed the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein, while the ISIL takeover of Mosul forced many to flee their homes more recently.

The exact number is not known, but there are thought to be several hundred thousand Christians living in the country.

Italy

Fake prosecco: put a cork in it!