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10/03/2023 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – A devastating fire broke out at a wedding hall in the northern Iraq town of Qaraqosh in the Nineveh Plains region on the night of September 23. More than 100 people were killed, with hundreds more burned and injured, according to reports. Malfunctioning celebratory fireworks are believed to have caused the fire, which then engulfed the wedding hall in flames. The community of around 20,000 people is in total grief as they mourn the loss of entire families. 

The town of Qaraqosh is predominately Christian and was central to the ISIS genocide and persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria from 2014 to 2017. The community has struggled to rebuild and recover since those days of intense persecution, with high rates of Christian emigration from Iraq continuing every month. Tragedies such as this further discourage the community in their future in Iraq, as the Christian community seeks to come around to comfort the town of Qaraqosh in this time of grief and suffering.   

ICC has supported many families in the town of Qaraqosh for several years. Currently, field staff and partners are providing relief and encouragement to those we serve who have suffered this great loss of life. Please pray for those with family members in hospitals getting emergency treatment and those who have lost loved ones.

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