Defiant Iraqi Christians open museum in Basra

Although persecution and instability has reduced Basra’s Christian population to just 10% of the 3,000 Christian families who were there before the 2003 invasion, the city’s Chaldean Catholic archdiocese has opened southern Iraq’s first Christian museum.

The museum contains over 200 religious artefacts, documents, photographs, tools, clothing and furniture dating back to the 17th Century, and is intended to preserve items of significance to educate the public about Iraq’s ancient Christian heritage.

“During 2014, many rare artefacts were gathered, such as books, paintings and some instruments that were used in Mass. 

“These artefacts have a spiritual value and they show the care that our ancestors paid when they exercised their faith,” according to Archbishop Alnaufali Habib Jajou of Basra and south Iraq.