The Iraqi government has declared Christmas Day a national holiday across the country "on the occasion of the birth of Jesus Christ."
December 25 will now be a holiday for residents of the predominantly Muslim country, not just the Christians as it had been for decades.
The government said in a tweet Tuesday:
We extend our warmest wishes to Christians in Iraq and around the world for a very happy and peaceful Christmas. pic.twitter.com/eqOR2JJ0LS— Government of Iraq - الحكومة العراقية (@IraqiGovt) December 25, 2018
Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, there were an estimated 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. The number has fallen to about 300,000, with many being killed or forced to flee after coming under attack by various armed groups, including Islamic State, over the years.