First Divine Liturgy in 20 years held at St. Michael Monastery in Mosul, Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq — In Mosul, Iraq, Christians held the first Divine Liturgy inside St. Michael Monastery on Sunday after suspending services there for over 20 years due to violence and insecurity. The Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul and Aqrah Najib Mikhael Moussa presided over the Divine Liturgy and expressed happiness about the event, hoping that Christians can continue to pray in all the churches and monasteries destroyed and abandoned due to displacement.

Hamid Touzi, one of the participants, mentioned that Christians had deliberately stayed at home since 2003 and avoided churches and monasteries due to security threats.

“Christians were repeatedly targeted, and many were threatened,” he added. “They were forced to emigrate, and a number of Christian clergymen were killed.”

Mosul residents have lived in insecurity, particularly since the Islamic State (ISIS) attacked in June 2014. Although Mosul was liberated in July 2017, sporadic attacks still occur.