Iraqi Christians cancel Christmas celebrations in solidarity with victims of Baghdede wedding fire tragedy and Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza

ANKAWA, Iraq — Amidst solemn considerations, Christians in Iraq have taken the poignant decision to forgo all public Christmas and New Years celebrations this year, choosing instead to focus on Mass and religious ceremonies. The decision, born out of respect for the victims of the tragic Baghdede (Qaraqosh / Hamdaniya) wedding hall fire and the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, was made during a gathering of Church leaders in Ankawa, convened at the invitation of Chaldean Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael Sako.

Open Door reported the consensus reached during the meeting, emphasizing the leaders’ shared concern that the Iraqi government has not adequately prioritized the safety and rights of Christians in the country. The absence of substantial measures to address these concerns has left the community feeling vulnerable.

Athir Bulus, a member of the Soraya organization, voiced the challenges facing Iraqi Christians, particularly with recent decisions impacting Patriarch Sako. Considering the cancellation of celebrations as a moral gesture to the families affected by the Baghdede tragedy, Bulus highlighted the difficult stage faced by the Christian community and the need for recognition and support from the Iraqi government.