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Iraqi Christians Gradually Return to War-Damaged Qaraqosh (32 pictures).

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In August of 2014, ISIS militants swept with communities near Mosul, Iraq, taking control as well as requiring thousands to get away. Among the towns was Qaraqosh, which was Iraq’s biggest Christian city with a population of 50,000. For even more compared to two years, occupying ISIS jihadists tried to get rid of any type of evidence of Christianity from Qaraqosh– melting churches, ruining symbols as well as statues, falling bell towers, as well as extra. Qaraqosh was retaken by Iraqi pressures in October of 2016, but the city continues to be practically totally deserted. Little by little, some residents who were forced to take off have been going back to recuperate just what belongings stay, to assess the damage to their home, as well as to go to church services and vacations. Only a handful of family members have returned to the city so far, still being afraid for their security, as Iraqi forces continue to battle ISIS in nearby Mosul.

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A Syriac Christian militiaman stands guard in addition to the Saint John’s church (Mar Yohanna) during an Easter procession in the nearly-deserted mainly Christian Iraqi community of Qaraqosh (additionally called Hamdaniya), some 30 kilometers from Mosul, on April 16, 2017. (Christophe Simon/ AFP/ Getty)

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