Posted by: Fr Chris | January 20, 2016

One of the oldest monasteries in the world – pulverized by ISIL/ Daesh

From Crux:

http://www.cruxnow.com/faith/2016/01/20/isis-obliterates-the-oldest-christian-monastery-in-iraq/

The Church in Mesopotamia was founded by SS. Jude, Bartholomew, and Thomas.  Aramaic-speaking Christians lived here, despite the Persian persecutions, followed by centuries of erratic Muslim rule, until the rise of this so-called caliphate. Only monasteries and churches in Egypt and Palestine date from these eras of the first four centuries of the establishment of  Christianity. Daesh is destroying everything un-Islamic – even though Islam came later – using Mohammed’s own destruction of Arabic idols as their guide. They don’t pull these barbarisms out of thin air.  They’ll pore over hadiths and obscure texts to find support for their vehement destruction of the past, of Christianity, other Muslims both Sunni or Shia, and next of the Jews.  By all accounts, their state is wobbling, due to limited currency and erratic power supply. But their reign of terror flourishes.  And ordinary folks pay the price.

Image result for iraq st elijah monastery

What stood since the 5th century in a garden setting is now gone, and there is no life around it.  Chaldean Assyrian monks have prayed here continually – the library contents are gone, along with the buildings, and so 1700 years of Christian writing once kept there have been obliterated as well. This monastery covered 27,000 square feet! 

Candlelight Easter Mass at St. Elijah for US forces, 2010. The Army dedicated itself to strengthening the walls so that the monastery would stand another 1400 years.  

This 1920s photo shows survivors of the Assyrian genocide at St. Elijah. Not only is this center gone, but the descendants of those survivors are scattered far from their  homeland of over 3,000 years.  

The world watched as Christians died in the Ottoman Empire 1915-17, and after the war ended, 1919-1923. And when the Assyrians were butchered in northern Iraq, abandoned by their British sponsors, in the 1920s. And when Daesh erupted out of the desert and sent tens of thousands fleeing with only their clothes. And when Muslims murdered Christian refugees in the UN camps, and threw Christians overboard in the Mediterranean Sea last year. And as the Christian army begs for weapons in order to retrieve the farms and homes of their own people, and they get nothing. And when over 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Nigeria,  and Pakistan last year. And the world continues to watch.

You’re better off being a Muslim: because if anyone says a harsh word to a Muslim in the West, the full force of the media will descend upon the wicked perpetrator. But if your 3000 year old home has been burned behind you as  you leave it because you will not renounce your faith in Jesus as the Son of God, practically nobody will care.

Help Iraqi and Syrian Christians by donating to these two pontifical charities (recognized by Pope Francis in a special way)

Catholic Near East Welfare Assocication:    www.cnewa.org

Aid to the Church in Need USA office http://www.churchinneed.org/


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