As a show of support for Iraq’s beleaguered Christians, a Muslim Iraqi businessman erected a giant, 85-foot-tall Christmas tree in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad.
Businessman Yassi Saad said his goal was to join “our Christian brothers in their holiday celebrations and helping Iraqis forget their anguish, especially the war in Mosul,” Fox News reports.
Saad noted that the 33-foot-diameter, 85-foot-tall tree cost him around $24,000 to build.
Upon its completion, teacher Saba Ismael reportedly informed her students, “This tree represents love and peace. I wish all Iraqi Christians could return to Iraq and live normal and peaceful lives.”
The teacher’s sentiment is trenchant because since ISIS became such a threat to the region thousands of Iraqi Christian families fled the area for fear of their lives, putting Christian communities in Iraq at risk of extinction.
Despite the recent expulsion of ISIS from various parts of the country, many Iraqi Christians are wary of returning to their homes. Thousands are unsure of just how long ISIS will be gone and many fear the terror army is in no way defeated well enough to prevent a return.
It is hoped that with the warm feelings of comradeship from such local Iraqi community leaders as Mr. Saad, Iraqi Christians will feel more secure about returning home and rebuilding their lives.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.
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