Hundreds of Iraqi Christians gathered on Sunday in a church damaged by Islamic State north of Mosul, celebrating Easter there for the first time since 2014. “God willing, the celebration of the resurrection of Christ will also mark the return and rising-up of the Christians in Iraq,” said Kyriacos Isho, 75, who was accompanied by his 12 children and grandchildren at Mar Gewargis (St George) Chaldean Catholic church in Tel Esqof. Tel Esqof, or Bishop’s Hill in Arabic,

did not sustain the same amount of damage as other Christian towns overrun by the militants three years ago in the plain of Nineveh. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters dislodged the hardline Sunni militants from Tel Esqof just a week after it had fallen, in August 2014. On Sunday, they stood guard around the church. The militants had smashed the church’s windows, though a new cross has now been put up in place of the one the militants took down. READ MORE