Easter Mass at St. George's Episcopal Anglican Church in Baghdad

On Sunday 31st March, Iraqi Catholics and Protestants celebrated Easter Sunday, commemorating the resurrection (rising from the dead) of Jesus Christ. This was led up to by what Catholics/Protestants refer to as the ‘Holy Week’. It represents Jesus’ last days as well as his crucifixion, and these days are honoured in different ways depending on the Christian denomination. 

Beginning of the Easter service at St. George’s Episcopal Anglican Church.

Catholics/Protestants attend Easter week services during this time, but some have special church services, processions or re-enactments of Jesus’ life and crucifixion. However, Orthodox Christians in Europe, Africa and the Middle East celebrate Easter later as they use a different calendar to work out which day Easter should fall on. 

Prayer led by the parish priest and church assistants.

Situated in Baghdad’s ‘Red Zone’, St George’s Episcopal Anglican Church held an Easter service for those celebrating. The church was founded in 1864 and it is the only Anglican Church in Iraq. The present building was built in 1936 as a memorial to the soldiers of the British Empire who lost their lives in Mesopotamia during the First World War. 

One of the churchgoers participating in the Easter service.

After the closing down of St George’s under Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1991, it was reopened by Canon Andrew White in 1998. It was restored with funding from the British Embassy in Baghdad and the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. Today, it is pastored by Iraq’s only ordained Anglican clergyman, Canon Faiz Jerjees.

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