Madeeha Bakhsh –
Iraqi Christians hosted a grand Iftar dinner for their fellow Muslims. In a demonstration of social harmony and promoting coexistence, a church in Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region hosted this dinner on June 12, Tuesday.
Christians in Middle East
This dinner was hosted by the Christian community in the Soran district in Erbil. Dinner was hosted at the Saint George Church where invited Muslims broke their fasts. In this regard, a local reporter interviewed the Reverend Amin stated of Saint George Church who congratulated Muslims celebrating Ramadan.
“Muslims and Christians have lived in this region for hundreds of years. We share all the occasions and joys. We also consider the month of Ramadan to be a holy month”, Reverend Amin told the reporter. This event was appreciated by locals as Director of the Office for Religious Affairs in Soran, Waisy Said Waisy was quoted saying: “coexistence in the district of Soran and the whole of Kurdistan is a model to be followed.”
“Today, we will join our Muslim brothers to break their fast at the Church,” he said. “We are proud of the culture of coexistence between the components of Kurdistan, and we will work to preserve it in all forms”, Waisy Said Waisy said.
From 2003 to 2010, the US-led invasion resulted in at least 810,000 people pouring in Erbil from other parts of Iraq. The statistics revealed that 202,500 Christian IDPs arrived in Kurdistan. After 2010, “Following the re-establishment of relative security, the majority returned to their places of origin,” a KRG official stated. He stated that about 22,000 Christians remained in the Kurdistan Region.
In 2014, terror group ISIS started capturing large swathes of Iraq, and kidnapped, raped and murdered the Yezidis and Christians. Christians from the Nineveh Plains started fleeing, and arrived in Kurdistan. According to the KRG, 150,500 Christian refugees got themselves registered with the regional government.