Iraq Declares Christmas Day a Public Holiday

The Iraqi government has officially declared December 25 a public holiday to mark “the birth of Jesus Christ”.  All citizens of the majority Muslim nation will now mark the date as a national holiday, as opposed to just Christians.  The government said on Twitter:  “We extend our warmest wishes to Christians in Iraq and around the world for a very happy and peaceful Christmas,” it added.  The country’s Christian population has been decimated in recent years following the chaos surrounding the rise of the Islamic State terror group. The numbers of Christians have fallen from 1.4 million in 2003 to as low as 300,000. The country is now 95 per cent Muslim.  Read more: