Iraq patriarch of the Chaldean and Catholic Churches, Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako, welcomed Iraqi First Lady Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed at the Mar Yousef church in Baghdad.
In celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Iraqi First Lady wishes Iraq and all Christians a happy holiday and a prosperous new year.
"I visited the Church of St. Joseph in Baghdad today and congratulated Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean and Catholic Churches in the world and Iraq, and the Christian brothers and sisters in Baghdad on the occasion of Christman," the first lady said in a statement.
"Christians have always had a special place in our hearts. "Coexistence between different nationalities, religions, beliefs, and communities is one of the beautiful characteristics of our country." The first lady also gifted the children at the church and wished them all the best.
Cardinal Louis Sako expressed his gratitude to the Iraqi First Lady for her continued support for Christians, saying, "the Iraqi First Lady's visit to their cathedral had made them extremely happy."
Christians make up the many minority groups living in Iraq; however, in recent years, their number has decreased to war and instability, and many are migrating to Europe.