Islamic State announce seized Mosul cathedral to be named the “mosque of the mujahedeen”

June 19, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Syriac Orthodox Cathedral Church of St EphremMosul, June 16, 2015: One year after the fall of Mosul to Islamic State (IS), militants posted notices around the captured city announcing that the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral Church of St Ephrem, seized a year ago, is to be turned into the “mosque of the mujahedeen” (jihad fighters).

Archbishop Nicodemus Daoud of Mosul broke down and wept last year as he told Barnabas about the fate of his cathedral. The jihadist flag stating, “There is no God but Allah” and “Prophet Muhammad” was draped over the building and last July the militants took down the cross from the church’s dome.

Since July, the headquarters of the IS “state council” has met in buildings on the church’s premises. And last November, IS removed all of the furniture from inside the building and sold it off. The new name was announced on the anniversary of the date the church was seized.

“If they changed a church to a mosque it is further proof of their cleansing …,” said human rights activist Nuri Kino, president of A Demand for Action, a group advocating the protection of ethno-religious minorities such as Assyrians and Yazidis in the Middle East. “They destroy our artefacts, our churches and try to erase us in any way they can.”

Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city and was traditionally the heartland of the country’s Christian presence. After Mosul fell to IS on 10 June 2014, Mosul’s Christians were issued an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay the humiliating jizya head tax, or be killed. The city is now empty of its Christians who have little hope of being able to return. Archbishop Nicodemus was last to leave, fleeing only when IS were five minutes away from his residence.

– barnabas

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