- Title: Iraqi Christians tone down Christmas celebrations amid mass protests
- Date: 25th December 2019
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (DECEMBER 25, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PRIEST BLESSING COMMUNION WINE AND BREAD PRIEST BLESSING CONGREGATION VARIOUS OF WORSHIPPERS SINGING HYMNS AND PRAYING PRIEST READING FROM HOLY BOOK WORSHIPPERS PRAYING
- Embargoed: 8th January 2020 11:56
- Keywords: Baghdad Christmas church mass religion
- Location: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001BBH3M87
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds of Iraqi Christians attended Christmas mass on Wednesday (December 25) at the Mar Gerges Chaldean Church in Baghdad, praying for peace and stability across the country.
Mass protests have gripped Iraq since October 1, and protesters, most of them young, are demanding an overhaul of a political system they see as profoundly corrupt and keeping most Iraqis in poverty. More than 450 people have been killed.
On Tuesday, Iraq's parliament approved a new electoral law, a key demand of protesters to make elections fairer, but political deadlock is still holding up the selection of an interim prime minister, threatening renewed unrest.
Christians areas were ravaged by Islamic State militants after they seized vast swaths of territory in 2014. The areas were recaptured by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces in 2017.
Iraq's Christian population has shrunk from 1.5 million to about 400,000 since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
(Production: Haider Kadhim, Maher Nazeh, Mohammed Katfan)
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