A bill for Iraq to formally recognise Christmas as a national holiday has unanimously passed parliament. Previously Christmas had been declared as “once-only” holidays, but this bill would make recognition permanent. The decision was reached just days after the Pope announced plans to travel to Iraq from March 5-8 next year.
This is an important step, as it is common worldwide for persecution incidents targeting Christians to increase during the Christmas and Easter season. Government recognition of these holidays as legitimate messages that the local Christian presence is also legitimate. However, it is important to not stop here.