Iraq: A Christian Party to Celebrate Religious Diversity

December 20, 2008

Author: Kimi Yoshino

Source: The Los Angeles Times

Trying to prove just how much safer Baghdad is these days, Iraqi officials threw a party for Christians on Saturday, complete with huge event posters featuring pictures of Jesus Christ.

A skinny Santa Claus draped in an Iraqi flag also made an appearance, waving and posing for photos.

The crowd of both Christians and Muslims –- despite being slightly outnumbered by the huge security detail protecting the event -– called it a positive sign for the country.

"Such activities make me feel happy and joyful," said Saba Tariq, 40, a Shiite Muslim who attended the "Master of the Spirit" celebration. "It reminds me that we are rejecting the ideas of sectarianism. Before, it was getting to the point where we didn't trust our neighbors."