Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/22/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

One of the country's best-known Christian landmarks now under control of jihadists

Saint Behnam, a fourth-century monastery run by the Syriac Catholic church near the predominantly Christian town of Qaraqosh in Iraq has been overrun by jihadists. Members of the Islamic State expelled the monks from the monastery this past weekend, sources say.

An image made available by the jihadist Twitter account Al-Baraka news on June 11, 2014 allegedly shows militants of the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waving the Islamic Jihad flag and holding up their weapons as a vehicle drives on a newly cut road through the Syrian-Iraqi border between the Iraqi Nineveh province and the Syrian town of Al-Hasakah.

An image made available by the jihadist Twitter account Al-Baraka news on June 11, 2014 allegedly shows militants of the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waving the Islamic Jihad flag and holding up their weapons as a vehicle drives on a newly cut road through the Syrian-Iraqi border between the Iraqi Nineveh province and the Syrian town of Al-Hasakah.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/22/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: ISIS, monastery, monks, jihadists, seizure


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "You have no place here anymore, you have to leave immediately," a member of the Syriac clergy quoted the Sunni militants as telling the monastery's residents.

The monks reportedly pleaded to save some of the monastery's relics. The fighters refused and ordered them to leave on foot with nothing but their clothes on their backs.

Live Catholic, Shop Catholic -- by going here --

Christian residents from the area say the monks walked several miles along a deserted road and were eventually picked up by Kurdish peshmerga fighters who drove them to Qaraqosh.

Five monks have been expelled from Mar Behnam. Christian families in the area said there may have been up to nine people living at the monastery.

It was just the latest aggressive move by the Islamic State, which in June declared a "caliphate" straddling large swathes of northern Iraq and Syria. The group has threatened the Christian presence in the region spanning close to two millennia.

Hundreds of families have since fled Mosul, a once-cosmopolitan city which is the country's second largest and lies around 10 miles northwest of Mar Behnam.

Homes and belongings have been abandoned after IS fighters running the city issued an ultimatum for Christians to convert, pay a special tax, leave or face the sword.

Families who were forced on the road and leaders of Iraq's Chaldean and other churches said Mosul was now emptied of Christians for the first time in history.

The Jihadist fighters have been forthright in their goals to create a state based on an extreme interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law and have targeted all minorities in the Mosul area.

Other groups such as Shiite Turkmen, Shabak and Yazidis have suffered even more than the Christians, who have largely escaped summary executions since IS swept the region in early June.

The tragedy is immense for the nation's Christian community. Mar Behnam is a major Christian landmark in Iraq and a site where the local community and pilgrims traditionally pray for healing and for the Lord to grant children to their marriages. It is an ancient and revered Christian site.

Now, it is occupied by virulently anti-Christian Islamists.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Middle East

Angelic, blonde child featured as child executioner in terrifying new ISIS video (WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT) Watch

Image of ISIS has a new executioner.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new propaganda video features a young blonde boy executing a prisoner in Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 15-minute video, like so many before it, has been deeply edited to give multiple angles as prisoners are beheaded, features footage of bombs ... continue reading


Is THIS the actual tomb of Christ's FAMILY? Watch

Image of The Talpiot Tomb was discovered in east Jerusalem in 1980.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A geologist claims to have new proof that a controversial discovery in Jerusalem is linked to Jesus Christ. The controversy surrounds Talpiot Tomb, which was discovered in 1980 with nine boxes alleged to belong to people closely associated with Jesus. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'That is the love of God in Christ:' Humanitarian group feeds ISIS MEMBERS outside Fallujah Watch

Image of Christians, Muslims and non-believers join together to offer food and water to ISIS militants (Preemptive Love).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In what is arguably the most righteous act any Christian can ever bestow upon another person, one organization has decided to help survivors of the Syrian Civil war and ISIS devastation - including confirmed militants. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Christian ... continue reading


Why is Tom Cruise featured in ISIS' in 'worst ever video'? (WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGES) Watch

Image of Tom Cruise shown in ISIS video.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A bizarre video released by the Islamic State features Muslim celebrations for their holy festival Eid al-Adha. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The shocking footage featured clips from Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.The camera focuses on horrific ... continue reading


'The U.S. government was pretty much blind' - How 9/11 impacted Iraqi Christians Watch

Image of Iraqi Christians need help.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

On the 15th anniversary of the World Trade Center terror attacks, we shouldn't overlook how Middle Eastern Christians have suffered from the unintended consequences of U.S. post-9/11 foreign policy, says one expert. Washington D.C. (Catholic Online) - "The U.S. ... continue reading


Genocide and persecution: What's next for Iraq's Christians? Watch

Image of What will happen to Iraq's Christians?

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

After the United States has declared that genocide is taking place against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq, what is the next step for genocide victims displaced from their homes? Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Together, we will advocate for the ... continue reading


Obama LIED, actually gave our sworn enemy Iran $1.7 BILLION in cash Watch

Image of Why is Obama paying cash to our enemy?

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Obama administration has revealed they paid Iran $1.7 billion at the same time Iran released four American hostages. Previously, the administration only admitted to paying $400 million. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Obama administration has admitted ... continue reading


Women celebrate ISIS-sanctioned burka ban Watch

Image of Burkas banned by ISIS.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new burka ban has left women burning the coverings and celebrating their liberation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - <a ... continue reading


Drugs, contraceptives and dog bowls discovered in horrific ISIS sex slave prison (WARNING: DISTURBING FOOTAGE) Watch

Image of Horrific prison cells for ISIS' female sex slaves revealed.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Syrian rebel fighters have uncovered what they believe is an abandoned prison used by ISIS to torture sex slaves. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The video revealed ten small rooms with worn pillows, cushions and blankets.The walls have writing and much of the site ... continue reading


Christian neighborhoods ATTACKED by suicide bombers Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two Christian neighborhoods in Northwestern Pakistan were attacked by armed militants. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Multiple attackers, armed with suicide vests, approached two largely Christian neighborhoods, resulting in a total of 11 innocent deaths and 46 ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ecclesiastes 11:9--12:8
9 Do not wrangle about something that does not concern you, do not ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
3 You bring human beings to the dust, by saying, 'Return, children of ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:43-45
43 and everyone was awestruck by the greatness of God. But while everyone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 24th, 2016 Image

Martyrs of Chalcedon
September 24: A group of forty-nine Christians slain in ... Read More