IRAQ: Chaldean Diocese of Alqosh celebrates commemoration of Mar Odisho in Nusayri village in Nineveh Plains after 22-year hiatus

ALQOSH, Iraq — On Sunday, the Chaldean Diocese of Alqosh celebrated the commemoration of Mar Odisho in the village of Nusayri in Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq. Chaldean Bishop Paul Thabet presided over the Divine Liturgy, where he emphasized the significance of the event.

This was the first time in 22 years that the commemoration has taken place in Nusayria. Once predominantly Christian, the village is now inhabited by Yezidis. Despite this change, the village still boasts a dedicated church bearing the name of the hermit monk Mar Odisho.

During the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Thabet explained that the memorial is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter and holds great importance. It represents a return to the Christian identity that the monks enjoyed and a return to the land where the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people still practice their faith and culture. The bishop emphasized the climate of love and brotherhood that brings together the coexistent population in the region, with both Christians and Yezidis celebrating in the same house of worship.

The Mar Odisho Church was originally built in 1850 in honor of the monk Odisho. In the year 2000, it was attached to the Diocese of Alqosh and subsequently restored. Visitors can also explore a simple museum located next to the church.