Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Baghdad Christians attend mass at attacked church
by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Dec 24, 2012

Behind blast walls and with police nearby, 200 worshippers attended Christmas mass Monday at Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation Church, which officially reopened this month after a massacre in 2010.

Sat in wooden pews with a two-metre (six-feet) high inflatable Santa Claus and a Christmas tree placed at the back, many cradled young children as a sermon was delivered with other youths playing in the church's courtyard.

Atop the church stood two Iraqi security forces members with rifles, while people who wanted to go inside were frisked at the entrance to the church compound, surrounded by four-metre (12-feet) tall blast walls and concertina wire.

"This is our first Christmas at this church since the attack," said 40-year-old Nasrat, one of the worshippers. "We are feeling very happy about the reopening of the church."

"Despite the painful attack, the church now looks even more beautiful than before."

Nasrat, who only gave his first name, was referring to an attack on October 31, 2010, when militants stormed the church and killed 44 worshippers, two priests, and seven security force personnel.

Photos of the two priests killed are now posted on either wing of the church, ribbons have been tied across the columns inside, and whereas the building's windows were shattered in the attack, they have since been replaced with stained glass and wood panelling.

Though church services still took place in the aftermath of the attack, it was officially reopened on December 14.

Three men convicted in connection with the massacre have since been sentenced to death.

"When the attack happened, all Iraqis felt deep pain, not just me, because an attack on a church is an act of a non-believer," said Ghassan Idmon Shamun, another worshipper. "Today I feel great coming to this church."

"Thankfully the situation is improving for us Iraqi Christians -- people are coming in, and attending the mass, and there is security present."

The 50-year-old added: "Before, I thought about leaving Iraq, but now as the situation has improved, I am not thinking about leaving anymore."

Iraq's Christian community is one of the oldest of its kind in the world. But along with other Iraqi Christians, they suffered persecution, forced flight and killings in the aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion.

Before 2003 there were more than a million Christians living in Iraq. Now they number around 450,000.

According to the UN refugee agency, many thousands fled after the 2010 attack, and from 2003 to May 2012, some 900 Christians were killed, while 200 were kidnapped, tortured and ultimately released for exorbitant ransoms, according to the Hammurabi Human Rights Organisation in Iraq.


Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

US delivers two naval vessels to Iraq: embassy
Baghdad (AFP) Dec 23, 2012
The United States has delivered two naval support ships to Iraq, which is seeking to boost its fledgling maritime capabilities, the US embassy said on Sunday. The two 60-metre (200-foot) offshore support vessels were delivered by the US navy on December 20, the embassy said in a statement. The vessels are "large, multi-purpose, multi-functional ships capable of providing a wide range of ... read more

NATO to deploy Patriots in Turkey over next few weeks

U.S. seeks double Israel missile funding

NATO chief denounces Iran's allegations on Patriots

Russia shuts down Azerbaijan radar station: Baku

Raytheon awarded $254.6 million for Tomahawk missile

NATO says Syria regime firing 'Scud-style missiles'

Raytheon awarded contract for SM-2 production

Brazil invests in rocket technology

Northrop Grumman, US Navy Complete At-Sea Deck Handling Trials of X-47B Unmanned Demonstrator

Pakistani drone crashes in northwest: officials

Boeing Demos Unmanned Little Bird for Republic of Korea Army

Boeing's Reusable, Unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Begins Second Flight

Raytheon's US Navy satellite terminals reach Full Rate Production milestone

General Dynamics' 30,000th Combat Search and Rescue Radio Goes to Work for USAF

Europe launches major British military satellite

N. Korea satellite appears dead: scientist

Russia may soon draft new law on military service for women

Supacat opens Australian design facility

NGC Provides Attitude Heading Reference For Sikorsky's S-76D Helicopter

Lockheed Martin Wins Role on Army Software and Systems Engineering Contract

Russia to fight for the Indian market

Russian weapons popular in the world in 2012

Russia's Kalashnikov in intensive care: reports

Putin signs helicopter, jet deals with Indian PM

US troops to be deployed in dozens of African countries next year

Japan's incoming PM pledges to mend ties with China

Outside View: Ticking time bombs

China ships in disputed waters, first since Japan poll

Synthetic and biological nanoparticles combined to produce new metamaterials

Nanocrystals Not Small Enough to Avoid Defects

Nature Materials Study: Boosting Heat Transfer With Nanoglue

New optical tweezers trap specimens just a few nanometers across

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement