∟ “I just thought that.. you guys are amazing. Now that I think about it, Fairy Tail was full of guys who understood each other just through fists.” //
Fairy Tail Gaiden: Flash of Great Lightning, chapter 1
If our God breathed the heavens into being, and holds the universe together with His hands, how incomprehensible is it that He came and died for the worst of sinners, you and me. And yet He did. #howgreatisourgod #therearenowords
Members of Iraq’s Christian minority celebrated Palm Sunday in the country’s main Christian town of Qaraqosh for the first time since it was retaken from the Islamic State group.
Hundreds of faithful gathered inside the town’s burnt out Immaculate Conception church for mass before starting the traditional Palm Sunday march, a procession during which palms are carried to commemorate Jesus’s entry to Jerusalem.
“Thank God, we are returning to our towns and churches after two years,” Abu Naimat Anay, an Iraqi priest, said inside the church, which is Iraq’s biggest and where jihadist inscriptions were still visible on the walls.
Qaraqosh, with an overwhelmingly Christian population of around 50,000 before the jihadists took over the area in August 2014, was the largest Christian town in Iraq.
It was retaken by Iraqi forces late last year as part of a massive offensive to wrest back the nearby city of Mosul from IS but it remains almost completely deserted.
The archbishop of Mosul, Yohanna Petros Mouche, moved back to the town last week but it needs to be extensively rebuilt and basic services restored before displaced Christians can return en masse.
…Many of the more than 120,000 Christians believed to have fled their homes when IS swept across the region less than three years ago moved in with relatives or into camps in the nearby autonomous region of Kurdistan.
The celebration in Qaraqosh already had a sombre mood when news broke among the faithful that IS had attacked two churches in Egypt, killing at least 38 people.
“The Christians are persecuted, but no matter how much they target us, our belief in God is great and we will stay here because we are not outsiders, we are the owners of the land,” the archbishop told AFP.