Quraqosh, to the south of the Isis stronghold of Mosul, was recaptured from the jihadis last week as Iraqi coalition forces continue their two-week-old assault to drive Isis from the city.
Church bells rang out from the damaged bell tower for the first time in years as townspeople and troops erected makeshift wooden crosses on the roof of the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
Inside the church, the walls were blackened and charred from fires lit by Isis fighters as they retreated from the town last week, and statues lay on the floor in pieces.
But despite the chaos, dozens of civilans and members of the security forces approached the ruined altar to receive holy communion from the Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Butrus Moshe on Sunday.
“Today Qaraqosh is free of Daesh [Isis],” Archbishop Moshe told worshippers.