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A stone cross at the 7th century Rabban Hermizd monastery carved into the mountainside overlooking the Nineveh Plain in Northern Iraq. Christianity came to the area in the first century AD and the Iraqi Christian community is thought to be one of the longest coninuous Christian communities in the world. Violence, persecution and sectarian strife have forced two thirds of Iraqi Christians to flee the country in recent years and many more to be displaced to the relative security of Iraqi Kurdistan. Al Qosh, Iraq. 19/04/2014.