Foundation stone of Chaldean Virgin Mary Church laid in Armouta village near Koya, Iraq

ARMOUTA, Iraq — The foundation stone of the Chaldean Virgin Mary Church in the village of Armouta in the Koya District of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) on Monday in a ceremony presided over by Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil Bashar Matti Warda.

The event was attended by clergy serving Koya and Armouta parish, Armouta residents, and a governmental delegation from Koya.

In his speech, Archbishop Warda stressed that the suffering Armouta residents have persevered through throughout history has only strengthened their faith. He blessed the foundation of the church and expressed his happiness for being with the villagers on this occasion. The construction of the church is an initial step that paves the way for the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian residents to return to Armouta.

Local officials emphasized the importance of the Christian presence in the region, including Armouta village. They announced they expect construction of the church to be completed by September.

In recent years, Koya has been subjected to successive Iranian bombardment under the pretext of targeting Iranian opposition parties. The attacks have led to the displacement of a large number of Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people from the district.

The origin of the village’s name is derived from Syriac and translates to “land of the dead”.