In the half-burned church of St Mary al-Tahira in Qaraqosh, several dozen Syriac Catholics are holding a mass in Aramaic amid the wreckage left by Isis. The upper part of the stone columns and the nave are scorched black by fire and the only artificial light comes from three or four candles flickering on an improvised altar. Isis fighters used the courtyard outside as a firing range and metal targets set at one end of it are riddled with bullets.
In his sermon, the Syriac Catholic Bishop of Baghdad Yusuf Abba calls for the congregation to show cooperation and goodwill to all. But the people of Qaraqosh, an overwhelmingly Christian town 20 miles south east of Mosul, wonder just how much goodwill and cooperation they can expect in return. .