ASIA/IRAQ - The Monastery of Mar Behnam profaned by the militiamen of the Islamic State

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Qaraqosh (Agenzia Fides) - The militiamen of the self-proclaimed "Islamic Caliphate" have removed the crosses and burned ancient manuscripts in the ancient Monastery of Mar Behnam, ten minutes from the city of Qaraqosh, that they had occupied since last July. Confirmation of the desecration came from the former village chief adjacent to the monastery, which he communicated to the Syriac Catholic priest Charbel Issa, who until three years ago, was in charge of the Monastery. "Anything can happen with the terrorists of the Islamic State. They will destroy everything, if not stopped", says the Syriac Catholic priest Nizar Semaan in a conversation with Fides. As reported by the website, the walls of the monastery had the writing: "property of the Islamic State".
The jihadist militants of the self-proclaimed "Islamic Caliphate" had thrown out three Syrian Catholic monks last July 20. Even some families living at the Monastery had been expelled. Since then, people have expressed their concern about the fate of the assets kept in the ancient Monastery, dating from the fourth century and dedicated to Assyrian Martyr Prince Behnam and his sister Sarah, which is one of the oldest and most venerated places of worship of the Syriac Christianity. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 15/10/2014)