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In Iraq, displaced Christians gather for a somber Christmas
In Iraq, displaced Christians gather for a somber Christmas

The children awoke the day before Christmas behind blast walls and armed guards, in a dingy Syrian Catholic schoolhouse strung with clotheslines. Their families have been cooking on hot plates and sleeping on pallets there in recent months, forced from their homes in northern Iraq by Islamic State militants. They took turns showering in the communal bathroom, dressed in donated clothes and prepared to meet Santa. This year, there would be no big holiday parties at Our Lady of Salvation, a local landmark topped by a towering cross that's visible for miles. Christians are leaving Iraq, the population down from more than 1 million a decade ago to about 350,000, many of them displaced....

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