In 2016, the ancient Iraqi Christian town of Bartella celebrated Christmas for the first time in two years after being liberated from ISIS. "Let us pray for our country, and let us all work for its progress and security".
The tree is usually decked with different ornaments including baubles, small bells painted gold or silver, stars of different shapes and sizes, pine cones, apples, candies, tinsel and balloons made from glass, metal, wood and ceramic. He wanted people to celebrate Christmas amidst happiness and bliss. The festivities began with special mass service in specially decorated churches in the morning across the city where priests delivered special sermons while men, women and children vocalised carols and hymns to celebrate the great occasion.
He also appreciated the role of various institutions in the fields of education, health and public welfare being managed by the Christian community across the country.
However, he said Jesus came to ensure rebirth of the people of the world, gave them life in him, new values, new mindset and new transformation for those who received Christ.
Members of the Iraqi Cabinet of Ministers voted to include the Christmas Day in the list of public holidays.
In a message, the Governor said, "Christmas is a time of joyous remembrance of Jesus Christ".
"Jesus Christ was born and preached peace in Israel".
Like other places, a number of celebrations and Christmas prayers are also being held across the country. He said that promotion of brotherhood, tolerance, harmony, love and affection is the essence of the teachings of Jesus. The Christmas messages were disseminated at these services.
Umahi described this year's Christmas as a moment for Christians to exude peace as the country was preparing for the 2019 general elections.
"Every citizen has equal rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan irrespective of colour, creed and ethnicity".