Members of the Iraqi Cabinet of Ministers voted to include the Christmas Day in the list of public holidays. This is stated in the message of the government posted on Twitter.
"The Iraqi government declares Christmas an official holiday throughout Iraq. Merry Christmas to our Christian citizens, to all Iraqis and to those who are celebrating Christmas all over the world now," it says.
According to some data, about 1.4 million Christians lived in Iraq in 2003, but since then their number has greatly decreased and now there are about 300 thousand Christians.
According to the 2014 study of the Open Doors international charitable Christian organization, Iraq is ranked 4th in the list of countries where the rights of Christians are most often oppressed.
Earlier, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko congratulated Ukrainians who mark Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar. The President’s congratulation letter was published on the website of the Presidential Administration.
‘We have witnessed the birth of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, as Catholics and Protestants have gathered here today. I want to thank you for your support in obtaining the Ukrainian church, which is independent from Moscow and recognized by the world's Orthodoxy. We don’t have and won’t have a state church. But there is real religious freedom, which we all cherish. With all the diversity, we are united by Ukraine and faith in the birth and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ,’ Poroshenko claimed.