An Iraqi church in the city of Qaraqosh held its first service in two years after it was finally liberated from ISIS’ control.
As Iraqi forces continue the initiative to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants, more Iraqis are returning home and beginning to rebuild their communities and lives.
Stream.org reports that the Syriac Catholic Church in Qaraqosh, which is just outside of Mosul, although damaged and vandalized by ISIS, held its first service days after being liberated from ISIS’ control.
“Today Qaraqosh is free of Daesh (ISIS),” Archbishop Butrus Moshe told church goers.
Those who attended the church service included the remnants of Qaraqosh’s Christian population, along with some of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) who helped liberate the city.
Tens of thousands of Iraq’s Christians were forced to flee the country when ISIS took over. Many others were forced to pay the jizyah tax, and some were even kidnapped, tortured, and killed.
Despie all this, many Iraqis are rejoicing that they can finally return home.
“Our role today is to remove all the remnants of Daesh,” said Moshe, a native of Qaraqosh. “This includes erasing sedition, separation and conflicts, which victimized us.”
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: November 3, 2016