Christmas celebrations cancelled for Iraqi Christians

  • Written by:

By Tola Mbakwe 
Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church, which represents a large portions of Christians in the country, has announced it will not hold public Christmas celebrations this year.
The head of the Church, Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, said the decision was made out of respect for those killed and wounded in recent anti-government protests, which have now been going on for three months.

“There will be no decorated Christmas trees in the churches or streets, no celebrations and no reception at the patriarchate,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.


Almost 430 people have died and 20,000 wounded in mass rallies that have been met with retaliation by security forces.

The protests have mostly being taking place in Shia Muslim-majority areas, but the Church said it would take part in an act of solidarity “out of respect for the dead and wounded among protesters and security forces, and in solidarity with the pains of their families”.

Iraq’s parliament formally accepted the prime minister’s resignation on Sunday,

Protesters are calling for a complete overhaul of the sectarian political system.

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.
A monthly gift of £5 makes a world of difference
In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.


Unlike many websites we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.


For a monthly gift of £5 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.