Ahead Of Pope Visit, Survivor Recalls Iraq Church Massacre

File - In this Tuesday Nov. 2, 2010 file photo, mourners carry the coffins of slain Christians during their funeral in Baghdad, Iraq, who were killed Sunday when gunmen stormed a church during mass and took the entire congregation hostage. The attack, claimed by an al-Qaida-linked organization, was the deadliest recorded against Iraq's Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion unleashed a wave of violence against them. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)

(AP) — Louis Climis was a church youth leader, attending Mass at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad in October 2010 when six extremists stormed in and attacked worshippers. Dozens were killed in the massacre that changed Climis’ life forever. Still suffering from hearing loss 11 years later, he says the harrowing day planted the seeds of Christian mistrust of Muslims and prompted many Christians to flee the country. At the time it was deemed the bloodiest attack against Iraq’s Christians in seven years of sectarian warfare that followed the 2003 U.S. invasion. Some now hope that Pope Francis’ planned visit will help encourage Christians to return, over a decade since the massacre.



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