While most predominately Christian nations, such as the U.S., Great Britain and others, are careful to be respectful of the religious holidays and traditions the world's followers of Islam, during the Christmas holiday in several predominately Muslim areas of Iraq Christians endured terrorist attacks including bombings.
For example, Islamists in Iraq killed Christians in two separate bomb attacks in Baghdad on Wednesday, according to Middle East news organizations. At least 40 celebrants of the birth of Jesus Christ were murdered.
According to terrorism analyst and law enforcement veteran Sid Franes, in one of the terrorist attacks, an automobile loaded with explosives was set off near a Catholic church during a Christmas Day Mass in southern Baghdad. That blast killed at least 26 people and wounding about 40 churchgoers.
Earlier on Christmas, also in Baghdad, an improvised explosive device was detonated at an outdoor market in the Christian section of the city. That terrorist bombing killed 12 people and wounded another 20, said Franes, a decorated police officer.
These two Christmas Day terrorist bombings brought the total number of Iraqis killed in December alone to 441. According to the United Nations, well over 8,000 Iraqis have been killed since the start of the 2013.
Although no group is claiming responsibility for the bombings, police investigators believe the perpetrators are members of al-Qaeda in Irag, a group that is now calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan on Christmas morning, hundreds of United States diplomats, staff and aid workers in Kabul were awoken to the sounds of multiple explosions. The blasts forced embassy staff, who work and live at the compound, to follow emergency procedures for evacuation to specially-built, bomb-proof shelters, according to the U.S. State Department.
The U.S. embassy sustained two hits from indirect fire, according to an embassy statement. The embassy is closed on Christmas day, and no Americans were injured. Embassy officials are now investigating the incident, according to international counterterrorism specialist Joe Sampsen.
Taliban terrorists almost immediately claimed responsibility, but they made no mention of the Christmas holiday or Americans observing the birth of Jesus Christ.