Women holding candles at an open-air mass to mark the beginning of the Easter weekend in the largely Christian town of Ainkawa on the outskirts of Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraq's Christian community is made up of numerous churches, including the Assyrian Church of the East, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, however the majority of Iraq's Christians belong to the Chaldean Catholic church. Iraq's Christians are considered one of the longest continuous Christian communities in the world. In 2003 there were an estimated 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. By 2014 Iraqi Christians are thought to number approximately 400,000. Violence, persecution and sectarian strife have forced more than two thirds of the Christian population to flee the country.