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Iraqi Catholics Return to Church Ransacked by ISIS
The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 11/14/16 | AP

Posted on 11/14/2016 5:25:00 PM PST by marshmallow

A tomb had been desecrated and statue of the Virgin Mary was decapitated at the St Addai Chaldean Catholic church

There were gasps, followed by tears at a small church in northern Iraq as a group of Christians returned to their parish Sunday to find that everything had been destroyed, including the statue of the Virgin Mary, which ISIS militants had decapitated before they left.

A confessional had been turned into a closet, a tomb had been desecrated, red prayer benches were burned. As Fr Thabet Habib recited prayers at the St Addai Chaldean Catholic Church, the sound of broken glass crunched beneath worshippers’ feet.

Keramlis, a Christian town on the Nineveh plains in northern Iraq, fell to ISIS in August 2014, two months after the extremist group took Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul and surrounding areas, sending most of its inhabitants fleeing. The town was retaken by Iraq forces three weeks ago as part of the push for Mosul, but most of its homes were destroyed in the process.

Many residents of the ancient Assyrian town some 18 miles south-east of Mosul now live in camps in Iraq’s Kurdish region. Hundreds of others fled to neighbouring countries, Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

Some who returned Sunday came to attend a prayer service in their hometown, and check on their homes.

Emotions ran high when the church bell tolled for the first time in more than two years, but standing amid the ruins of their church, few could summon hope for the future.

“It was amazing, I got goose bumps. The bell for us means a great deal,” said Sahir Shamoun, an athletics teacher who drove four hours with his wife from Zakho, near the Turkish border, to check on their home Sunday.

(Excerpt) Read more at catholicherald.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Islam
KEYWORDS: assyrians; chadeancatholic; chaldeans; daesh; iraq; iraqichristians; isil; isis; mosul

1 posted on 11/14/2016 5:25:00 PM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

Prayers for our brothers and sisters in their suffering and martyrdom!


2 posted on 11/14/2016 5:58:43 PM PST by pke
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To: marshmallow

Good news for sure.


3 posted on 11/14/2016 6:15:11 PM PST by Shark24 (.)
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