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Mosul's Christians hold Christmass Mass in caution
25/12/2008 18:36:00

Mosul (NINA) - In tensed caution, Christians of Mosul held at dawn Thursday Christmas rituals.

This was quite obvious and touchable when Christian families enter into church as clergymen are getting out checking if these families are being followed by extremists.

Most of mass attendees are elderly people and children, while young men and women were absent, according to Father Afram of Holy Merry Church in downtown Mosul.

Father Afram said, "We pray to God to save Iraq and Iraqis from all harms as well as from the terror of militias who have displaced Christian families."

"Few displaced Christian families have returned to their homes, they are still cautious and afraid over future, despite the security measures taken by police and army," Father Afram continued.

He pointed out that all security measures "have failed in getting fear out of Christians' hearts." The city has not witness the usual Christmas manifestations it used to have in times like this.

Houses are either closed or abandoned, market places are empty of Christian shoppers unlike past years when they could be seen wearing shiny-colored clothes when leaving the churches.

For his part, Spokesman for Niniveh's Operations Command, Brig. Khalid Abdul al-Satar, said "A plan has been drawn to secure and protect churches during the Christmas and New Year Eve celebrations."

He pointed out, "Units of Iraqi army are in charge of the churches' security as well as monasteries located outside Mosul, while local police patrols have took positions in front of the city's churches." /End/

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