ISIS Destroys Oldest Orthodox Monastery in Iraq

monastery-mosulThe Monastery of Agios Ilias (St Elijah) in Mosul which operated as a place of worship for Orthodox Christians in the region for over 1400 years was completely destroyed by the Islamic State. This was confirmed by new satellite images that show the location where the building once stood, on a hill above the city of Mosul.

It was estimated that the monastery was completely destroyed some time during the summer of 2014.

The 2,500 square meter monastery, had the Greek letters “X” and “R” inscribed at the entrance which are the first two letters of Christ’s Greek name. The monastery was a religious sanctuary for Orthodox believers in the region, as well as the US troops stationed in Iraq.

The monastery was built in 590 AD and it remained operational despite the hostile environment, even in 1790 when 150 monks were massacred by the Persians because they refused to change their religion.

It was reported that the men of the Islamic state, used bulldozers, explosives and other tools to completely destroy what was left of the Orthodox Monastery.

The monastery of Agios Ilias joins the long list of cultural and religious monuments that have been destroyed by the Islamic State in recent years, as part of the annihilation campaign to destroy any monument of a different religion or culture.