Just a few short years after ISIS swept across Iraq and committed genocide against Christians and other minority religious groups in the region, the country's government officially declared Christmas a national holiday this year.
A declaration was made Christmas Eve to designate December 25 a national holiday for all Iraqi citizens. Previously, it was reserved for Christians only.
The @IraqiGovt announces Christmas Day to be an official holiday across Iraq. Happy Christmas to our Christian citizens, all Iraqis and to all who are celebrating around the world.— Government of Iraq - ??????? ???????? (@IraqiGovt) December 24, 2018
On Christmas Eve, PM @AdilAbdAlMahdi met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, and his delegation and reaffirmed that Iraqi Christians are an integral part of Iraq’s national community. pic.twitter.com/MZSKUcMbip— Government of Iraq - ??????? ???????? (@IraqiGovt) December 25, 2018
We extend our warmest wishes to Christians in Iraq and around the world for a very happy and peaceful Christmas. pic.twitter.com/eqOR2JJ0LS— Government of Iraq - ??????? ???????? (@IraqiGovt) December 25, 2018
Recently, President Trump signed a declaration holding ISIS accountable for war crimes and genocide in the region.
President Trump signed the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2018 yesterday in the Oval Office. It was passed by the House an Senate unanimously.
According to the White House, the legislation "directs humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery assistance toward ethnic and minority individuals in Iraq and Syria, including individuals at risk of persecution or war crimes," and "directs the State Department to encourage foreign governments to identify and prosecute individuals suspected of committing crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, or war crimes, including members of foreign terrorist organizations operating in Iraq or Syria."