- Title: IRAQ: IRAQI CHRISTIANS SHOP FOR CHRISTMAS
- Date: 24th December 2004
- Summary: (U4) BAGHDAD, IRAQ (DECEMBER 24, 2004)(REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. TOP VIEW OF MAIN THOROUGHFARE IN BAGHDAD / PAN TO CHURCH 0.14 2. CLOSE VIEW OF CHURCH 0.20 3. CLOSE VIEW OF CROSS ON TOP OF CHURCH 0.26 4. TOPSHOT OF TRAFFIC IN STREET 0.32 5. WIDE OF SHOP DISPLAYING GOODS AT SHORJA MARKET IN BAGHDAD 0.38 6. CLOSE OF CANDLES DANGLING FROM CEILING OF SHOP / PAN DOWN TO DISPLAYED ALMONDS AND NUTS 0.47 7. WIDE OF SHOP 0.53 8. SLV MAN LOOKING AT CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS 0.59 8. CLOSE OF PEOPLE BUYING ORNAMENTS OF CHRISTMAS TREES / PAN TO ORNAMENTS 1.18 9. CLOSE OF ORNAMENTS ON DISPLAY 1.24 10. SLV OF MARKET WITH MAN ADJUSTING CHRISTMAS TREE 1.29 11. CLOSE VIEW OF MAN ADJUSTING TREE 1.34 12. VARIOUS OF MAN DECORATING TREE 1.45 13. WIDE OF MAN SELECTING BALLOONS 1.52 14. SCU SOUNDBITE (Arabic), MUWAFAQ BADEE, SAYING: "We will celebrate at home because the security situation is not good. Previously we were celebrating at homes and clubs where people usually meet but now, and because of a lack of security, we will celebrate at home." 2.10 15. WIDE OF WOMAN BUYING TREE DECORATION TINSELS 2.15 16. SCU SOUNDBITE (Arabic) UMM ZAYD, SAYING: "We will not be able to go to church and so we will not celebrate because celebration means going to churches. We will not go to church and will not celebrate because of a lack of security. We will stay at home." 2.35 17. WIDE VIEW OF MARKET 2.41 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 8th January 2005 12:00
- Location: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVAA6ZIPCBYX38MLJUPEN3C8J204
- Story Text: Iraqi Christians are shopping for Christmas though
they say fear of attacks will dampen celebrations
Iraqi Christians were shopping for Christmas treats
on Friday (December 24) but many said it did not feel like
Christmas because they would be skipping Mass and staying
Iraqi Christians, most from the early Assyrian and
Chaldean churches, say they will celebrate quietly at home
as security risks remain a real threat across the country.
But even at home, trees decorated with coloured lights
and dancing Santa Claus dolls sit well away from windows.
No one wants to invite trouble.
"We will celebrate at home because the security
situation is not good. Previously we were celebrating at
homes and clubs where people usually meet but now, and
because of a lack of security, we will celebrate at home,"
said Muwafaq Badee as he shopped for tree ornaments.
After suffering numerous attacks around the country,
Iraq's community of 650,000 Christians has called off
celebrations this year.
Churches have announced that the traditional Midnight
mass, the centrepiece of Christmas festivities in Iraq will
be cancelled and replaced by brief early morning prayers.
Churches have also called off receptions for parishioners.
Only the most devout are expected to show up on
Christmas morning, scared that insurgents who have bombed
churches, mosques and Muslim religious festivals, will
"We will not be able to go to church and so we will not
celebrate because celebration means going to churches. We
will not go to church and will not celebrate because of a
lack of security. We will stay at home," said Umm Zayd.
The holiday comes just five weeks before next month's
key elections that rebels have been trying to disrupt with
numerous attacks across Iraq. Hundreds have died in recent weeks
attacks and armed
combat between U.S.-led forces and the guerrillas.
Hotels and shops in predominantly Christian
neighbourhoods, such as Baghdad's southeastern Karada
district, are not hanging decorations like previous years.
While Iraq's Christian minority, some three percent of
the population, had little power under Saddam Hussein, they
were free to worship and did not feel threatened by
With Iraq's government struggling to quell suicide
bombings, murders and kidnappings that leave nowhere
sacred, Christians say their small numbers make them feel
Five Baghdad churches were bombed on October 16, the
start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Eight people
were killed in two church bombings on November 8 and a car
bomb attacked police guarding the hospital where the
wounded had been taken.
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