MIdnight Mass cancelled in Baghdad

Midnight Mass has been cancelled in Baghdad as a result of a high security risk, Church charity Aid to the Church in Need has confirmed.

One of the country’s leading bishops has said that the Iraq’s Christians will spend Christmas in “great fear”.

Archbishop Louis Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, said Christians were scared of fresh attacks.

He said that it will not be possible to hold Midnight Mass because of the high security risk – all services over the festive period will be held in daylight – and Christians will not display Christmas decorations outside their homes.

Speaking to the Catholic news agency Asianews he said: “Midnight Christmas Mass has been cancelled in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk as a consequence of the never-ending assassinations of Christians and the attack against Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral on October 31, which killed 57 people.”

According to the archbishop, the security situation in the country has become more unstable following the withdrawal of US troops earlier this month.

But Archbishop Sako said that the situation has been dramatically affected by the struggle for political power between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.