April 8, 2012, was Easter Sunday, which was celebrated by Iraq’s Christians. It is the largest religious minority group in the country. Various Islamist groups have carried out a relentless campaign of violence and intimidation against them. That has led to a massive migration of thousands of people within the country, and out of it. In 2003, there were an estimated 1-1.4 million Christians in Iraq. By 2008, there was only around 600,000-800,000 left. There are still large Christian communities left in places like Baghdad, Ninewa, Tamim, Dohuk, Sulaymaniya, and Irbil. Many are still leaving the country to this day. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported at the end of 2011 that 50% of Iraqis moving to Turkey were Christians. At the same time, the International Organization for Migration noted that in the ending months of last year, 150 Christian families moved from Kurdistan back to Baghdad. There are still occasional attacks upon Christians, but with greater stability, hopefully they can return to something resembling a normal life again. Below are pictures of Christians celebrating Easter at an Armenian and a Mandean church in Baghdad.

continued