First Christian museum opened to the public in southern Iraq

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By: Robert Ewan
The Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Basra has opened the first Christian museum in south of Iraq. The museum contains collections of over 200 religious artefacts, documents, photographs, tools, clothing and furniture dating back to the 17th century.

The museum, which is based at the Archdiocese, was established by Archbishop of Basra and south Iraq Habib Jajou. It aims to collect, preserve, and display items of cultural and religious significance for the education of the public. Archbishop Jajou said: ““During 2014, many rare artefacts were gathered, such as books, paintings and some instruments that were used in mass. These artefacts have a spiritual value and they show the care that our ancestors paid when they exercised their faith. He added: “When I took over the Archdiocese I noticed it contained many valuable items and I began to reference them, then with the help of some volunteers and priests we gathered all the material and decided to exhibit them”.

Christians made up an important part of the Basra’s once-thriving merchant class. The increase of instability and insecurity in Iraq has resulted in a migration of almost 90% of the Christian population of this once-cosmopolitan city .