Iraqi Christians gathered in Saint Paul’s Cathedral in eastern Mosul yesterday to celebrate Christmas Eve there for the first time since ISIS took control of the city more than three years ago.

A bell rang as people entered the cathedral, according to video of the event posted by Iraqi TV station al-Mawsleya. The congregants later sang Iraq’s national anthem and said prayers.

A speaker could be heard telling those gathered that they were not only celebrating the birth of Jesus, but also the birth of their country.

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