AINA News
Photos of Christmas in Iraq

(AINA) -- 2014 was a bad year for the Assyrians of Iraq, who comprise 95% of the country's Christian population. ISIS drove nearly 200,000 Assyrians from their homes and villages in the Nineveh Plain, forcing them to flee further north. They have been living as refugees since August 7.

But the spirit of Christmas has not been dampened, and members of the four major Assyrian denominations celebrated Christmas. The four denominations are

  • The Assyrian Church of the East ("Nestorian"), established in 33 A.D. by Theodos, Thomas, and Bartholomew
  • The Syriac Orthodox Church ("Jacobite"), established in 450 A.D.
  • The Chaldean Church of Babylon ("Chaldean", Roman Catholic), established in 1552 A.D.
  • The Syriac Catholic Church

See Timeline of ISIS in North Iraq.

The following are photos of Christmas in Iraq.

ERBIL, IRAQ - DECEMBER 14: Young Christians sit gather to sell Christmas merchandise made by displaced Iraqi Christian children inside a tent erected in the grounds of Mazar Mar Eillia (Mar Elia) Catholic Church, that has now become home to hundreds of Iraqi Christians who were forced to flee their homes as the Islamic State advanced earlier this year, on December 14, 2014 in Erbil, Iraq (Matt Cardy via Getty Images).

(Matt Cardy via Getty Images).

ERBIL, IRAQ - DECEMBER 12: Iraqi Christian children make Christmas decorations in a school tent erected in the grounds of Mazar Mar Eillia Catholic Church, in Ankawa, that has now become home to hundreds of Iraqi Christians who were forced to flee their homes as the Islamic State advanced earlier this year, on December 12, 2014 in Erbil, Iraq (Matt Cardy via Getty Images).

(Matt Cardy via Getty Images).

(Matt Cardy via Getty Images).

(Matt Cardy via Getty Images).


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