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Christians and Muslims celebrate Easter together in Duhok

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Christians and Muslims celebrate Easter together in Duhok

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:15 am

Christians and Muslims celebrate
Easter together in Duhok village

In Nahawa, a small community at the foothills of the Zagros mountains, eight kilometres east of Akre, Duhok province, Muslim and Christian neighbours celebrated Easter together this weekend. “This is brotherhood,” say villagers

The village of 250 families is about half Muslim and half Christians. For 100 years, they have shared in each other’s joys and sorrows.

“Muslims live here with Christians. We don’t have big differences. They have their own religion and we have our own. Otherwise, we’re brothers and live together,” said Ayub Sheikho, the village mullah, visiting Christian neighbours on Easter Sunday.

“We respect Ramadan and them. They respect us and our celebrations. Because they are good to us, we must be better to them. God willing, we’ll do our best. They visited us and we’re honored. This is brotherhood,” said Isho Micho, chieftain of the Christian villagers.

The Kurdistan Region is predominantly Muslim, but prides itself that all religions are free to practice their faith within its borders. Christian churches can be found in many villages across the Kurdistan Region and thousands of Iraqi Christians fled their homes, seeking shelter in the Kurdistan Region when Islamic State (ISIS) militants swept northern Iraq.

Iraq is in “danger of losing its ancient Christian community,” the United States Department of State warned in its 2018 report on religious freedom.

There is “increasing space for religious freedom” in the Kurdistan Region, the report stated, noting many members of religious minorities prefer to live in areas controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) than the Iraqi state.

But there are concerns, detailed in a May 2017 report, “Wilting in the Kurdish sun: the hopes and fears of religious minorities in northern Iraq.” “Troubling issues related to discrimination and even violence targeting ethnic and religious minorities exist, exacerbated by the KRI’s strained resources and security situation,” the report stated.

The archbishop of Erbil’s Chaldean Catholic Church, Bashar Warda, wants to see an expansion of infrastructure like schools and businesses catering to Christians to encourage the community to stay “and thrive.”
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Christians and Muslims celebrate Easter together in Duhok



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