Iraq: Returning Christians hold procession on anniversary of their exodus

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Hundreds of Iraqi Christians in Karamles took part in a procession last night, to commemorate the night four years ago earlier, when IS/Daesh drove many tens of thousands of Christians from the towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain.
Before the procession, there were prayers and a reflection on the pain and suffering caused by that dramatic mass exodus.

The Gospel passage in which Jesus promises that he will pray to the Father to ask him to send the Holy Spirit, the “Comforter” to his disciples was also read.

Then the procession with the candles began, and along the way the participants recited Psalm 150, celebrating in this way also the “new beginning” represented in their lives by the return to their village and their homes, after the years of jihadist domination.

Karamles, with the other villages and towns of the Nineveh Plain, are home to the first Christian communities of ancient Mesopotamia.

On the night of 6 to 7 August 2014, tens of thousands of Christians fled from Qaraqosh, Karamles, Talkief, Bartalla and other areas, after the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga Kurdish troops in the region withdrew before the jihadists. They found refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In recent years, there has been no initiative or declaration “in defense of Iraqi Christians” that did not refer to the need to guarantee and defend the return of baptized Chaldeans, Syrians and Assyrians in the towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain.

It is not know exactly how many fled – or how many will be able to return. In Karamles, 300 Christian families came back last December and have already Christmas and Easter together.