Iraqi Christians Slowly Return to War-Damaged Qaraqosh

In August of 2014, ISIS militants swept through towns near Mosul, Iraq, taking control and forcing thousands to flee. Among the towns was Qaraqosh, which was Iraq's largest Christian city with a population of 50,000. For more than two years, occupying ISIS jihadists tried to erase any evidence of Christianity from Qaraqosh—burning churches, destroying icons and statues, toppling bell towers, and more. Qaraqosh was retaken by Iraqi forces in October of 2016, but the city remains almost completely deserted. Little by little, some residents who were forced to flee have been returning to recover what belongings remain, to assess the damage to their property, and to attend church services and holidays. Only a handful of families have moved back to the city so far, still fearing for their security, as Iraqi forces continue to battle ISIS in nearby Mosul.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Jack Taylor / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Santa School, Snowy Soccer, Dinosaur Lantern

    A stranded whale in Chile, a graffiti competition in Spain, an empty Christmas market in Prague, a lighthouse above Lake Superior, a presidential campaign in Gambia, and much more

  • © Marco Gaiotti / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    People’s Choice: Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021

    The Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest is inviting the public to vote for their favorite image, selected from a group of shortlisted entries.

  • NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team

    2021 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar

    Every day until Saturday, December 25, we’ll present one new image of our universe from NASA’s orbiting telescope.

  • Bruno Kelly / Reuters

    A Crackdown on Illegal Gold Dredging in Brazil

    Rumors of a gold discovery recently brought hundreds of illegal mining dredges to a river in the Amazon. Officials have set fire to more than 60 of them.