Thanks to the generosity of ACT International, these photos are available in high resolution format to accompany articles using 2003 WCC press releases on Iraq. Please contact the WCC Media Relations office: media

© Hege Opseth NCA/ACT International

Six-year old Caroline, who lit a candle for peace just before the war on Iraq broke out, is happy that the bombing has stopped. "I was so scared that I did not dare to stay in Baghdad," the little girl says. The majority of Baghdad's residents however stayed …

and while the bombs fell on their city during the nights, several hundred families made their way to local mosques and churches, seeking refuge. Safely back in Baghdad, sitting in her mother's lap, Carolinesays, "Omi (my mother) sent me to some relatives in our village. There it was not so bad. Now it has been two days since I got home." Caroline's mother Sane remained in Baghdad, and along with several other families sought refuge in the cellar of the Chaldean Catholic Church of St. Mary during the war. Night after night she heard the sound of the bombs. "The only thing I could think of was my children. I was so scared that something would happen to them. I had to send Caroline away from Baghdad. Now I am just glad it is over. Maybe the children can go back to school soon and life can go back to normal, at least for the children," Sane says.
Please credit: Hege Opseth NCA/ACT International

© Peter Høvring (DCA)/ACT International:

Abbas Abdulla and Saif Ibrihim look at the dark, scorched spot along the side of a road near Bara where three boys died the day before while playing with live ammunition that they had picked up. Two other boys were seriously injured in the blast, losing limbs.

© Jonathan Frerichs (NCA)/ACT International:

Parishioners of St Elya Chaldean Church in Baghdad, one of about 52 local emergency shelters established by Middle East Council of Churches (MECC)-ACT. The parish also served as a dept for medical supplies.

© Edmond Adam (NCA)/ACT International:

Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) representative Edward Esho meeting with the sheikh of Shaker, El Aboudi Mosque. The mosque was one of several lthat was part of the system of relief centres established by MECC-ACT before the war.

© Hege Opseth (NCA)/ACT International:

Two young boys are walking through the ruins of what used to be their home. They are both still shocked by the war. A man says: "I am scared of the future. We are used to war... It is what lies ahead that scares us. Who will run our country? When can our children go back to school?"

© Hege Opseth (NCA)/ACT International:

Theresa, one of approximately a million Christian who call Baghdad home. Fearful of the war threatening her country, she says that she will seek refuge in her church.

Theresa, une parmi le million de chrétiens qui habitent Bagdad. Elle déclara qu'en cas de guerre, elle chercherait refuge dans son Eglise

Theresa, eine der ca. 1 Mio. Christen aus Bagdad. Aus Angst vor einem Krieg werde sie in ihrer Kirche Zuflucht suchen, sagt sie.

Teresa, una de los aproximadamente un millón de cristianos que tienen su hogar en Bagdad. Temerosa de la guerra, ha dicho que buscará refugio en su iglesia.

© Rainer Lang/ACT International:

Dr Ahmed A. Mohamed of the Saddam Hospital in Baghdad faces many challenges any given day. Here is treating a 10-year old boy, Abraham. His plea to the world : "End the sanctions and do not start another war."

Le Dr. Ahmed A. Mohamed, de l'hôpital Saddam de Bagdad, doit quotidiennement faire des prouesses. Ici, il soigne Abraham, un enfant de 10 ans. Son appel au monde: "Mettez fin aux sanctions et ne commencez pas une nouvelle guerre".

Dr. Ahmed A Mohamed im Saddam Krankenhaus in Bagdad stellt sich jeden Tag vielen Herausforderungen. Er behandelt den 10-jährigen Jungen Abraham. Sein Appel lautet: "Beendet die Sanktionen und führt keinen neuen Krieg!"

El Dr. Ahmed A. Mohamed, del Hospital Saddam en Bagdad, enfrenta muchos desafíos cada día. En la foto, atendiendo a Abraham, un niño de 10 años. Su pedido al mundo : “Terminen con las sanciones y no comiencen otra guerra”.

© Rainer Lang/ACT International:

Before the war: a kindergarten class run by the Chaldean Catholic Church in Basra.

Le jardin d'enfants administré par l'Eglise catholique chaldéenne de Bassora avant la guerre.

Vor dem Krieg: Die Kindergartenklasse der Katholischen Chaldäischen Kirche in Basra.

© Rainer Lang/ACT International: Antes de la guerra: Los niños del jardín de infantes de la Iglesia Católica Calcedónica en Basora.

© Rainer Lang/ACT International

A mother and her baby at the Saddam Hospital in Baghdad, before the war. The child was being treated for leukemia. Hospitals in Iraq have been especially hard hit by years of sanctions and a crumbling infrastructure - many are without the most basic equipment, or trying to get by with equipment that was no longer functioning. The war just made things worse.

© David P. Young(PCUSA)/ACT International

A young mother and her baby at a hospital in Amara, Iraq, before the war. Hospitals in Iraq have been especially hard hit by years of sanctions and a crumbling infrastructure - many are without the most basic equipment, or trying to get by with equipment that was no longer functioning. The war just made things worse.