Sectarian clashes in Iraq have been getting worse and worse throughout the year, and Christmas provided no real respite, though it did appear to shift the focus of attacks onto the nation’s Christian minority.
Major bombings targeted St. John’s church in Baghdad and a marketplace in another Christian neighborhood. All told nationwide the bombings killed at least 75 people, with large numbers of them Christians.
Christmas was once a lively holiday for Iraq’s Christians, but over the past decade of wars the celebrations have gotten smaller and more muted. That doesn’t appear to prevent them being a target on the holiday, the same as other religions find themselves under fire on their own holidays.
During the US occupation Iraq’s Christians were often targeted as a proxy for the Americans, and their community suffered greatly. Since the departure of the US, the recent resurgence of violence has centered almost exclusively on Sunni vs. Shi’ite conflicts.