Iraq officially announces Christmas Day as national holiday

Cabinet voted on an adjustment to the national holidays law in the country that Christmas Day is a holiday for all Iraqis; and not only for the Christian community, as it had been for decades throughout the country

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Iraq officially announces Christmas Day as national holiday. The Iraqi Cabinet sanctioned a law to mark The Christmas Day, December 25 as an official holiday across the country “on the occasion of the birth of Jesus Christ,” according to a statement released by the Iraqi government, it was reported by CNN.

The Cabinet voted on an adjustment to the national holidays law in the country that Christmas Day is a holiday for all Iraqis; and not only for the Christian community, as it had been for decades throughout the country.

“Happy Christmas to our Christian citizens, all Iraqis and to all who are celebrating around the world,” the Iraqi government said on Twitter also.

Before, the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, there were about 1.4 million Christians in the country. Though, their numbers have decreased to roughly 300,000 after hundreds of thousands fled the country following violence and attacks by various armed groups over the years.

Most recently, the rise of ISIS in Iraq enforced many of the remaining Christians to flee from the country or be killed, as CNN has documented.

The ancient Iraqi Christian town of Bartella celebrated Christmas for the first time in 2016, in two years after being liberated from ISIS.

 

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