As the ongoing battle against ISIS in Iraq leaves full cities devastated, many Mosul residents have been horrified at reports showing that even a Christian church in the al-Arabi region was left in ruins. Now, Muslim locals are getting together to help rebuild the place of worship.
The Chaldean church, that was shot at by terrorists, was nearly destroyed as Kurdish and allied forces drove ISIS fighters out of the region. Thankfully for the local Christian community, volunteers have been joining forces to rebuild the church, showing their Christian neighbors and friends that Iraq welcomes members of the Christian faith.
Having one of the world's oldest Christian communities, Iraq is the home to the Mar Georges monastery and the Chaldean church, both located in al-Arabi in Mosul, an area that had been occupied by ISIS until recently. After the church was destroyed by ISIS militants, reports of Muslims harassing local Christians were met with disbelief by locals. Now, Muslims want to show that “Mosul is yours as it's ours.”
According to the This Is Christian Iraq Facebook page, Muslim neighbors have joined behind the effort, helping Christian locals to clean and rebuild rooms used for worship.
After the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003, the local Christian population went from 1.4 million to 250,000. Many of those who were left, lived in deplorable conditions, using abandoned steel containers as homes or hiding in local churches. This latest attack may have left them at a loss and uncertain of what to do next.
Thankfully, locals did not let their religious differences get in the way of solidarity, sending a strong message of unity to the world that should be embraced and mimicked everywhere.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr, Alistair Young