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A Christian Iraqi woman cries after she seeing the destruction at the St Addai church (AP)

A tomb had been desecrated and statue of the Virgin Mary was decapitated at the St Addai Chaldean Catholic church

People who fled ISIS strongholds of Hawija and Mosul receive aid at a camp for displaced people (CNS)

Aid workers say the assault on the city is ‘just the first of several phases’ paving the way for Christians to return to their homeland

Smoke rises from ISIS positions after an airstrike by coalition forces in Mosul, Iraq (AP)

Iraq’s prime minister announced the start of the operations, backed by US-led coalition air and ground support, on state television

Members of the Nineveh Plain Protection Units, who have won their first battle against ISIS (Photo: CNS)

Fighting fire with fire

ISIS has brought terror to Iraq’s Christian community. Now there’s a military fightback – but could it make things even worse?

Armenians are escorted to prison by Ottoman soldiers in April 1915  (AP Photo, File)

Christian militias are merely defending villages from an enemy that will show no mercy. But in doing so they must make dangerous choices

Christian women gather at an Assyrian church in Irbil, Iraq (AP)

Despite military defeats suffered by ISIS, Iraqi Christians say minority groups in the country face further uncertainty

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the Vatican (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

The Pope and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi talked about the importance of reconciliation

The European Parliament in Strasbourg  (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)

‘Historic’ vote by MEPs comes as the House of Commons prepares to debate the issue

A relative of Samuel Walham, one of 21 Copts beheaded by ISIS last year, weeps (Photo: AP)

We cannot ignore this genocide

Until the murderous persecution of Christians by ISIS is recognised for what it is, its perpetrators cannot be brought to international justice

An altar server prays alongside others during Mass in early April at a church in Baghdad, Iraq (Photo: CNS)

Patriarch Sako says law shows a ‘total disregard’ for the values of Iraqi civilisation