02/07/2015, 00.00
Send to a friend

Archbishop of Mosul: reports of destruction of Church of the Immaculate Virgin untrue

by Joseph Mahmoud
On the sidelines of the Synod, underway today in Baghdad, Msgr. Nona states that reports that the church was burned to the ground "are not true." Alleged killing of priest also unfounded. No Christians left in the area after the Islamists seizure of power.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - "The news of the destruction of the church of the Immaculate Virgin is not true", clarifies Msgr. Shimoun Emil Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, in the north, the second most important city of the country and the first city to fall into the hands of the militia of the Islamic State. Yesterday some Arab Christian and international media published a Nineveh police report, that the jihadists razed the historic building, one of the oldest and largest places of worship, of the Chaldean community in Iraq.

Speaking to AsiaNews on the sidelines of the Chaldean Church Synod underway in Baghdad, Msgr. Nona informs that "the news of the church is not true", as was the recent rumor - also unfounded - of the killing of a priest. Last June, the church had come under the scrutiny of the jihadists, who knocked down and decapitated the statue surmounting the clock-tower.

The Church of the Immaculate Virgin stood on the old foundations of the oldest Christian place of worship in the city.  It was destroyed in the past centuries, and had already been the subject of attacks and bombings. On 17 January 2008 a car bomb exploded in front of the church, injuring two people; not far from the church is the old Chaldean bishop's residence, attacked in 2004.

Msgr. Nona was the first to raise the alarm of the danger posed by the advance of the Islamists after the conquest of Mosul, where about 500 thousand people - Muslims and Christians - fled in early June to avoid being forced to convert to Islam.  It was also where the militants founded their caliphate and imposed sharia. For months the city has been inaccessible to international press; the Christian community itself has entirely fled, and there are no more members of the minority in the area.


Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life
24/10/2019 17:56
Card. Paul Shan Kuo-hsi (Profile)
Cardinal Delly: the situation in Iraq is disastrous, tragic, and worse by the day
The Pope and restored ruins of Mosul speak to the whole world of hope
08/03/2021 12:29
Mosul offensive aggravates the plight of Christian refugees, forgotten by the government and UN
24/11/2016 11:50


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”