The eight Baghdad churches were closed in May of 2017, after nearly seven years of low to no attendance. After the regional Catholic Church authority visited the churches, the Vatican decided that it was best to close the doors for good. While this makes logistical sense, it represents a symbolic defeat for the Church in the capital of Iraq.
Christianity was once an integral part of the multifaceted religious fabric of Iraq. At the beginning of the 21st century, Christians made up 10% of the total population. The recent history of Iraq, however, reflects a steady stream of repression, conflict, displacement, and persecution.