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Author Topic: Isis has destroyed Iraq's oldest Christian monastery, satellite images confirm  (Read 236 times)
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January 20, 2016, 07:18:44 PM

New satellite photos confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to rubble, yet another victim of Islamic State’s relentless destruction of heritage sites it considers heretical.

St Elijah’s monastery stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years, including most recently for US troops. In earlier millennia, generations of monks tucked candles in the niches, prayed in the chapel and worshipped at the altar. The Greek letters chi and rho, representing the first two letters of Christ’s name, were carved near the entrance.

This month, a high resolution camera was used to capture images of the site, which were compared with earlier photographs of the same spot.

Before it was razed, a partially restored, 27,000-sqft stone and mortar building stood fortress-like on a hill above Mosul. Although the roof was largely missing, it had 26 distinctive rooms including a sanctuary and chapel. A month later photos show “the stone walls have been literally pulverised”, said imagery analyst Stephen Wood, chief executive of Allsource Analysis, who pinpointed the destruction between August and September 2014.

“Bulldozers, heavy equipment, sledgehammers, possibly explosives turned those stone walls into this field of grey-white dust. They destroyed it completely,” he said.

In Irbil, Iraq, Catholic priest Father Paul Thabit Habib, 39, was shocked by the images. “Our Christian history in Mosul is being barbarically levelled,” he said. “We see it as an attempt to expel us from Iraq, eliminating and finishing our existence in this land.”

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January 30, 2016, 03:59:01 PM

They are destroying all ancient culture, look what happens in Palmira...So much civilization there,old summerian, christian...ok they can destroy the building for itself but can't destroy spirit. It's easy to destroy something you didn't made, people didn't do it it was haterd.

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January 30, 2016, 05:58:39 PM

I guess, if we would do the same with one of their mosques in Europe they would be very upset, probably they would barking about blasphemy. Sometimes I feel regret because of we've grown out our barbarism. With those old ways we could restore law and order over there pretty soon. 

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January 30, 2016, 06:46:08 PM

Yes, if mosque somewhere is destroyed they would say its revenge contra muslim people and declares jihad to that country. It's sad what is happening with christian and ancient artefacts. And similar happened in Afganistan with Budah statue from stone. Talibans destroyed them with bombs 15 years ago as I remember

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