ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Erbil’s Christians celebrated Christmas Eve in the churches and streets of Ainkawa, Tuesday evening. The neighbourhood of the Kurdistan Region capital is home to many of Iraqi’s Christians.
“At homes and at more than 120 churches across the Kurdistan Region, Christians will come together today to celebrate Christmas,” Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said in a statement.
Barzani also highlighted the role of the security forces: “It is also a time to honour those serving in the Peshmerga and security services: they provide security and safety to those of all faiths and backgrounds, and help give certainty to the many displaced people who have fled persecution and come to our region in need of shelter.”
Most Christians in Iraq are having subdued celebrations this year, after a call from Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako of the Chaldean Church as a sign of respect for more than 510 Iraqis who have lost their lives during anti-government protests.
Photos by Bilind Tahir