One thousand four hundred years of Christian history were gone with the wind as the barbaric ISIS obliterated a Christian monastery in Iraq, the 27,000-square-foot St Elijah’s Monastery. The Christian community grieved as the oldest Christian monastery in the country was turned to rubble.
Generations after generations of monks lit candles in the monastery’s niches, said their prayers and worshiped at the altar. Greek letters chi and rho were carved near the entrance. These letters represented the first two letters of Christ’s name.
Powerful satellite images obtained exclusively by The Associated Press confirmed that the 1,400-year-old monastery was blitz into sand. Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told AP that the news struck him as “very sad and dramatic.” The tragedy only goes to show that the ISIS is systematically destroying the precious sites, “not only cultural, but also religious and spiritual,” Lombardi said.
Catholic Priest Rev. Paul Thabit Habib was heartbroken as he compared the before and after images from AP. “Our Christian history in Mosul is being barbarically leveled. We see it as an attempt to expel us from Iraqi, eliminating and finishing our existence in this land,” he told AP.
US Col. Steve Warren was equally grief-stricken. Speaking with FOX News, he described ISIS destruction of the place of worship as “a battle of savagery against decency.” Suzanne Bott, US State Department cultural adviser in Iraq, shed tears. “What we lose is a very tangible reminder of the roots of religion,’ she said.
Army reserved Col. Mary Prophit told FOX News that specific day when she had the opportunity to serve communion in the monastery. “I let that moment sink in, the candlelight, the first rays of sunshine. We were worshiping in a place where people had been worshiping God for 1, 400 years,” she said. Military Jeffrey Whorton remembered how sacred the place was. “We literally bent down physically to enter, an acquiescence to the reality that there was something greater going on inside,” he reminisced.