I guess prayers are as effective as bullets and rockets and bombs. Let’s wait and see the results of those imaginary missiles against the real ones …. shall we?
In the meantime, the Christians in the affected areas of Iraq better make u…
thanks to the United States of America and her allies around the world. Job well done!
ISIS militants ransack Catholic monastery in Iraq.
Islamic militants have seized a monastery in northern Iraq, kicking out its Christian monks as well as Christian residents of Mosul.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) insurgents stormed the ancient Mar Benham monastery in the Christian town of Qaraqosh Sunday, near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which was overrun by ISIS on 10 June.
Mar Benham is a 4th century monastery run by the Syriac Catholic church.
A member of the Syriac clergy said the monks pleaded to be allowed to save some of the monastery’s relics but the ISIS fighters refused and ordered them to leave on foot with only the clothes on their back.
“You have no place here anymore, you have to leave immediately,” one of the militants told the monks, according to the clergyman.
The monks then walked several kilometers along a road and were eventually picked up by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters who drove them to Qaraqosh, AFP reported Monday.
Christian families in the area said that as well as the monks there may have been another nine people living in the monastery.
This is the latest move by ISIS, which is trying to create a caliphate in north eastern Syria and northern Iraq, a Salafist-orientated Islamist state, which follows an extreme anti-western interpretation of Islam, promotes religious violence and regards anyone with a different interpretation of religion as infidels and apostates.
Over the weekend hundreds of families from minority religions fled Mosul, a once multi-cultural, cosmopolitan city, which is the second largest in Iraq.
Leaders of Iraq’s Chaldean church said that Mosul is now virtually emptied of Christians for the first time in almost two millennia.
The ISIS insurgents issued an ultimatum to all Christians that they had until 19 July to either convert to Islam, leave or pay a special tax. If they don’t comply “then there is nothing to give them but the sword,” read the ominous ISIS threat.
Other groups, who have been persecuted in the Mosul area, include Yazidis, Shabak and Shiite Turkmen populations.
Mosul Christians are mostly Assyrians, or Chaldean’s, known as the Church of the East and are an eastern rite of the Catholic Church……
Christians in the Iraqi city of Mosul were wrong-footed by its new jihadist masters, who initially left them in relative peace but later forced them to flee for their lives.
The turnaround in the attitude of Islamic State insurgents who overran Mosul last month could indicate the group is now confident enough of its hold on Iraq’s second city to impose its extreme rules.
Analysts say the relative leniency the group had shown Christians may have been a sop to allied Sunni militant groups with a less severe interpretation of Islam.
“They tricked us, because in the beginning they did not threaten us, but after they established themselves they began imposing their terrorist laws on us,” said Father Emmanuel Kelou, who once headed a Mosul church but now ministers to displaced Christians in the town of Qaraqosh, around 30 kilometers (20 miles) away.
Some Christians even returned to their homes after IS insurgents first took control of the city in a blistering offensive on June 9, lulled into a false sense of security by the near absence of attacks on co-religionists who stayed behind.
Last Monday, two nuns and three orphans were released in Mosul after being held for 17 days, a development the city’s Chaldean Christian Patriarch Louis Sako described as “a glimmer of hope, and a breakthrough” in relations with the city’s Islamist leaders.
Yet, days later and just over a month after arriving, insurgents would circulate a statement demanding Mosul’s thousands of remaining Christians convert to Islam, pay a special tax or leave, triggering an exodus of people who had barely enough time to gather a few belongings…..