Qaraqosh, Iraq, Apr 11, 2022 / 15:08 pm
After almost a decade of death and destruction, and one year after the historic visit of Pope Francis to Iraq, more than 25,000 Assyrian Christians in Qaraqosh chanted "Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna."
Qaraqosh, a majority-Christian Assyrian town located at the heart of the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq, is less than 20 miles southeast of Mosul, the city that in 2014 was the de facto capital of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the region.
Two decades ago, Mosul, Qaraqosh, and other towns in the Nineveh Plains were the home of approximately 1.5 million Christians in northern Iraq. After the second U.S. invasion in 2004 and the ISIS uprising in 2014, only about 300,000 Christians remained.
But on Palm Sunday, April 10, the town became the Christian epicenter of Iraq during a procession and a Mass presided by His Beatitude Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Yonan and Patriarch of Antioch and all the East for the Syriac Catholic Church.