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Assyrians in Iraq Welcome 2020 With Confidence and Desire for Change
By Saad Salloum
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BAGHDAD -- In 2021, Iraqis will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Iraq. In light of the current major changes in Iraq, Iraqi Christians feel 2020 will be different. They welcomed the new year with a different spirit and unprecedented optimism.

Bartella is a town with a Syriac majority in the Ninevah Plain, east of Mosul, which has played a prominent role in the history of the Syriac Church. In front of the Mar Korkis Church, Christians have set up a Christmas tree, hung with photos of people killed in the recent protests. At the base of the tree are photos of the security forces members killed during operations to liberate Ninevah from the Islamic State (IS).

‚ÄčIn the eyes of Iraq's Christians, the war against IS and the recent protests are two critical steps for regaining national identity. The war against IS united Iraqis of different religious affiliations, just as the protests have brought them closer.

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