Baghdad, December 26: In a healing touch for dwellers of the town who were terrorised during the ISIS reign, handwritten Christmas cards were sent to them on the eve of Christmas Day from all parts of Iraq. The heartwarming story was reported from Qaraqosh, one of the handful Christian-majority towns of the country.
In the wee hours of Friday, shortly after dawn, volunteers of Tahawer reached Qaraqosh with over 1,400 Christmas cards. They entailed wishes from Christmas, handwritten by Muslims based in all parts of the country. Over 100,000 New Yorkers Suffer From Power Loss Due to Storm on Christmas Morning.
From the shiite shrine town of Najaf to the Sunni-majority province of Salahaddin, and capital Baghdad to Kurdish city of Dohuk, the signatories of the card were spread across all parts of Iraq and belonged to all major Muslim sects.
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"A special greeting to our Christian brothers," read one of the cards that was sent from the Muslim-majority port city of Basra. A spree of other cards described Christians and Muslims as equal citizens, and reiterated the resolve to maintain brotherhood and harmony at all cost.
Iraq, once home to nearly 1.5 million Christians, saw the community members face the ire of non-state actors following the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. Their numbers have now reduced to 40 million, with several thousands among them migrating to other countries after facing threat from extremists.
The Qaraqosh town was taken over by the ISIS in 2014, and was liberated only in 2016 by the Iraqi forces. Tahawer, the group which spearheaded the Christmas card-giving programme to connect Muslims with Christians, has called for more such initiatives to increase the bond between the two communities.