Iraq has finally made Christmas Day an official nationwide holiday, to mark the ‘occasion of the birth of Jesus Christ’.
The announcement was made today, after the Iraqi Cabinet approved an amendment to its national holiday’s law which creates a new official one ‘on the occasion of the birth of Jesus Christ‘. A tweet on Iraq’s official government handle reads;
‘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,’ the Iraqi government wrote on Twitter.
‘We extend our warmest wishes to Christians in Iraq and around the world for a very happy and peaceful Christmas,’ it added.
Iraq is a 95 per cent Muslim country – 66 per cent are Shia and 29 per cent Sunni. There are thought to be only around 300,000 Christians remaining in the country, the vast majority of whom are Aramaic-speaking ethnic Assyrians. There are also a smaller communities of Armenians, Kurds, Arabs and Iraqi Turkmens.