Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas for all in Iraq

(Catholic Herald) - The Iraqi government has officially declared December 25 a public holiday to mark “the birth of Jesus Christ”.

All citizens of the majority Muslim nation will now mark the date as a national holiday, as opposed to just Christians.

“Happy Christmas to our Christian citizens, all Iraqis and to all who are celebrating around the world,” the government said on Twitter.

“We extend our warmest wishes to Christians in Iraq and around the world for a very happy and peaceful Christmas,” it added.

The country’s Christian population has been decimated in recent years following the chaos surrounding the withdrawal of Western troops and the rise of the Islamic State terror group. In 2003, there were around 1.4 million Christians in Iraq, however numbers have now fallen as low as 300,000. The country is now 95 per cent Muslim.

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