Iraqi Christians carry parts of a new cross, which will be erected over the Mar Korkeis church, after the original cross was destroyed by Daesh. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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The bells have rung out after two years of silence in the Mar Korkeis church in the town of Bashiqa, some 15 kilometers north of Mosul, Daesh's (ISIS) last major city stronghold in Iraq. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters retook the town on Nov. 7, ending two years of rule by the hard-line group which persecuted Christians and other minorities in the Ninevah plains, one of the world's oldest centers of Christianity.The number of Christians has fallen sharply during the violence which followed the 2003 toppling of Hussein, and Daesh's takeover of Mosul two years ago saw the city purged of Christians for the first time in two millennia.
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