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A Christmas tree in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AsiaNews): The local government in Baghdad is showing solidarity with its beleaguered Christian population by erecting a giant Christmas tree on the banks of the Tigris River.

The gesture was described as an attempt to stem the exodus of the minority religious group from the country.

The news was announced by Salah Abdel Razzaq, the head of the Cultural Committee of the provincial council in Baghdad.

The five-metre tall tree was erected in the neighbourhood of Karrada, on the eastern side of the Tigris River, where Christians and Muslims, Shiites and Sunnis, have been living side by side peacefully.

After the invasion by troops from the United States of America in 2003, Islamic extremists have targeted the Christian minority, killing hundreds of people, including priests, businesspeople, doctors and politicians.


This situation has prompted thousands of Christians to flee Iraq. The Christian population has dropped over the past 10 years from over two million to less than 300,000.

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