As Iraqi forces’ battle for Mosul lingers on, survivors from nearby Christian areas that have been liberated are returning to find their places of worship desecrated, just as a historic church building in the town of Keramlis on the Nineveh Plains had been converted into a military-style base with tunnels constructed under it.
Santa Barbara church in Keramlis, an ancient Assyrian town about 18 miles southeast of Mosul, now has tons of rubble and earth piled on it and a network of tunnels dug under it, according to BBC, which visited Christian areas in Iraq.
Militants from Islamic State, a Sunni terror group also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, had been using the church building as a military-style base, survivors found.
The majority of the residents of Keramlis fled after IS invaded it after seizing Mosul and surrounding areas two years ago. The Christian residents were told to convert to Sunni Islam or leave the town. Thousands of them fled to Iraq’s Kurdish region and hundreds of others to neighboring countries, Europe, the United States and elsewhere.
“They (IS) are the grandsons of Satan,” Basma al-Saoor, a Christian survivor, was quoted as saying.
The St. Addai church in the same town is also a scene of destruction. Its confessional had been turned into a closet, a tomb had been desecrated and red prayer benches were burned. Parish priest, Father Paul Thabet, was quoted as saying that those responsible must be brought to justice.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Christian Post