Fears for the future remain within Iraq's devastated Christian community, but there were glimmers of hope this Easter.
In the small church of St. Addaie the Messenger, the crucifixion and resurrection, retold in the village for the past 2,000 years, was re-enacted in elaborate Easter celebrations by a community holding fast to its ancient traditions but uneasy about its future.
Hundreds of its 1,500 residents were driven from Mosul by the killings and kidnappings of Christians that have recently begun to wane. Rising political tensions
between the Kurdish government and Baghdad over oil and land have raised fears about the fate of towns and villages claimed by both governments.
“Our problem now is that this area neither belongs to the Iraqi government nor to the government of Kurdistan – it is somewhere in between,” says Monsignor Yousif Shamon Qahwachi, who has served the village’s Chaldean Catholic community for four decades. “We don’t know where we will end up.”