SHINGAL, Iraq — Iraqi Imam Saad Ahmed Araji extended his congratulations to the Christians of the world and Christians of Shingal (Sinjar) district on the occasion of Christmas as part of an initiative to strengthen religious tolerance in the region.
In a press interview, Imam Araji extended his congratulations to the Christians of the world and Christians of the district of Shingal in particular and explained that he and a group of Shiite Muslims visited the Church of the Heart of Jesus in the district, which, like other churches of the district, was vandalized and damaged by the Islamic State (ISIS) during its occupation of the area.
“Due to the current absence of Christians in the district, we celebrated Christmas on their behalf,” Imam Araji said.
The ceremony included lighting candles and laying flowers in the church.
“This initiative is a proof of the cohesion and harmony of the community in Sinjar, whatever the circumstances,” Imam Araji said.
Imam Araji expressed his hope that the district community will be reunited and that the regions inhabitants from all ethnic and religious backgrounds will return to celebrate Christmas collectively and rebuild the city.