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Saturday, December 17, 2016
Muslim Businessman Erects 85-foot Christmas Tree in Solidarity With
Muslim Businessman Erects 85-foot Christmas Tree in Solidarity With Christians
The Stream - Saturday December 17, 2016
by Liberty McArtor
While some in America are pushing for Christmas decorations to be taken down, a businessman in war-torn Iraq is erecting the tallest Christmas tree in Baghdad. A Muslim businessman.
Yassir Saad paid $24,000 to build the 85-foot-tall Christmas tree in an expression of solidarity with Christians, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Iraqi Christians have come under increased attack by Islamic extremists since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
According to a report by Christianity Today, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq in 2003, whereas today there are as few as 200,000. Many have been massacred, while others fled the country as extremist groups gained more power, threatening Christians to convert to Islam, pay taxes or face the sword.
Saad hopes the Christmas tree will help residents in “joining our Christian brothers in their holiday celebrations and helping Iraqis forget their Anguish, especially the war in Mosul.” As the AP reported, “Some Christians have managed to return to villages outside of Mosul that have been retaken by Iraqi forces, only to find that their homes and churches have been ransacked.”
Teacher Saba Ismael told the AP that Saad’s Christmas tree “represents love and peace,” adding, “I wish all Iraqi Christians could return to Iraq and live normal and peaceful lives.”