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Priest of the ruined Immaculate Church in Al Hamdaniyah

Iraqi Christians Who Fled ISIS Invasion Return Home

After two years of occupation by terror group ISIS, the largest Christian city in Iraq, Qaraqosh, was recently freed by government forces.

QARAQOSH — Last year, Monsignor Gollnisch celebrated Easter mass in one of the refugee camps of Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. He blessed a Catholic Syrian soldier who was on his way to the front line the next day. Then, in front of Assyrians and Chaldeans, Gollnisch said, "Next year, we will celebrate mass in Qaraqosh."

Qaraqosh is the largest Christian city in Iraq. At that time last year, terror group ISIS claimed 130,000 square kilometers of territory having driven out Christians from their villages. Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi promised "rivers of blood" and summoned Muslims from around the world to join him.

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