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ICC Note: Christmas mass was celebrated by more than 1,000 Iraqis in Erbil this week. Mixed feelings penetrated the room as Christians are under  genocidal threat and have no future in their own country.

12/26/2016 Iraq (BBC): “When you treat a cancer, you have to use unfortunate measures,” said Bashar Warda, Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Irbil, when I asked him if it was right to kill members of the so-called Islamic State (IS).

“They consider us blasphemers and infidels,” he went on, “when they refuse to negotiate, refuse dialogue, refuse your right to exist – when they don’t consider you as a human being, and try to terminate you. What other option do you have to eliminate their violence?”

There was applause and ululating in the cathedral church of St Joseph in Irbil when Archbishop Bashar made the same argument at a mass of consecration at the cathedral after extensive renovation and modernisation.

More than 1,000 Iraqi Christians attended the mass, which was a superbly rehearsed and performed piece of Catholic theatre.

There was sublime chanting from a choir of men and women in smart cream uniforms.

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