BAGHDAD— The walls were still splattered with blood and pieces of flesh as Iraqi Christians celebrated Mass on Sunday in the church that just a week before was the scene of a horrific bloodbath in which dozens died.
Parishioners holding candles and wearing black gathered in Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation church which had been stripped bare of pews and still bore bullet holes along its walls, while overhead, the chandeliers and ceilings were stained with blood.
Islamic militants took about 120 parishioners hostage last Sunday in the worst attack against the country's Christian minority since the 2003 US-led invasion unleashed a torrent of violence across the country. By the end of the evening, 58 people were dead.
At Mass, the congregants read verses from the Bible and laid out candles in the shape of a cross on the church floor, along with the names of those who died. At the front of the church were photos of the two priests killed in the attack.