Iraq: Easter Mass in the only reconstructed church in Mosul

15,000 Iraqi Christians lived in Mosul before the Islamic State group made the city its stronghold in 2014. Liberated last April, the second city of Iraq remains bruised by these years of influence. Only a few faithful came to communion ...


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Christians celebrating Easter Mass in the only rebuilt church in Mosul, Iraq, April 21, 2019. RFI / Noé Pignède

15,000 Iraqi Christians lived in Mosul before the Islamic State group made the city its stronghold in 2014. Released last April, the second largest city in Iraq remains bruised by these years of control. Only a few faithful came to commune in the only church rebuilt, on Easter Sunday. Reportage.

" It is very important today to celebrate the Easter Mass, the resolution in Mosul, in this torn city " it is with these words that began the celebration this Sunday, April 21st. In the assembly, about forty people. The church is half empty. The fear of returning to this former stronghold of the Islamic State is still very present in the Christian community, as Sister Elichoua, a religious in the Mosul region, explains: " Daech chased us away, we left. It takes a little time for Christians to have the shock disintegrate. I have great hope that Christians will come back and that everyone will live together, Christians and Muslims . "

Youssef also came to Mass, he relocated to Mosul a few months ago and called his community to do the same: " On this Easter day, I ask my Christian brothers to come back, because for moment, it is true we are very few, so we must encourage others. It is important to return to this city where we were born. Even if it takes years, we must relearn how to live in peace together . "

For the majority of the Christian community of Mosul, the return remains difficult, but not impossible, as explains Loÿs de Pampelonne, in charge of the Work of East in Iraq: " what is important is the will and There are many Christians who have this will. Many are willing to make sacrifices to return, but today, security is the major problem for the return of Christians to Mosul .

Of the 15,000 Christians in the city in 2014, only about thirty families have returned.

Reportage, the Easter Mass in the only reconstructed church of Mosul 21/04/2019 Play

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ref: rfi