Hamdaniya has been reclaimed from the extremists who made it a hotbed of violence

The church ceiling was still scorched and some cherished relics missing, but after five years of war and exile, their tormentors were finally gone.

When the men and women of Iraq’s oldest Christian town gathered for Easter mass this weekend, they did so knowing that the Islamic State extremists who had chased them away were not coming back. Their battlefield defeat two months ago meant the people of Hamdaniya (also called Qaraqosh) could once again celebrate without fear.

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