Just north of Erbil, Iraq, in the Kurdistan region, Christians are constructing the “largest church in the Kurdistan Region, and one of the greatest in Iraq….” The Ainkawa township of Kurdistan region is primarily Christian. Overall, Kurdistan has accepted approximately 200,000 Christian refugees, although accurate data is difficult to come by. It is encouraging to see the construction of churches in the midst of the destruction of so many churches by ISIS.
2017-05-17 Iraq (Rudaw) – Situated in the Christian township of Ainkawa, north of Erbil, the Church of St. Petrous and Pols is said to be the largest church in Kurdistan Region, and one of the greatest in Iraq when the construction is completed later this year.
The church houses rooms for the sick, bride and groom dressing, cafeteria, offices, conferences, training, baptism pool and is reportedly built on a budget of 500 million Iraqi dinars ($430,000).
“The church will be among the most magnificent and largest churches in Iraq. The project itself has been developed over several years and will even house a school for Christian studies and languages. It will have a modern architecture which will also reflect the history of Erbil and its surrounding areas,” said Ashour Jarjis who is in charge of the construction.
There are currently 127 churches and 34 shrines in the Kurdistan Region and plans are underway to increase the number in the coming years after the mass migration of Christian families from Baghdad and Nineveh Plains to Kurdistan intensified over the past decade.
Accurate data is still difficult to come by about the number of Christian refugees in Kurdistan Region but authorities say it could be as high as 200,000 people with the majority of them living in Ainkawa and Shaqlawa north of Erbil