God Wars
Mosul Sees First Sunday Without a Mass in 1,600 Years

Every Sunday for the past 1,600 years, Mass was celebrated in Mosul, home to an ancient Christian population. Last Sunday, however, the bells were silent by the order of ISIS. The Daily Beast has more:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized Iraq’s second largest city on June 10, causing most Christians in the region to flee in terror, in new kinship with the torment of Christ crucified on the cross. The remnant of Mosul’s ancient Christian community, long inhabitants of the place where many believe Jonah to be buried, now faces annihilation behind ISIS lines. Those who risk worship must do so in silence, praying under new Sharia regulations that have stilled every church bell in the city.

Christians in the Middle East are facing an existential threat. There are welcome signs here and there, however, that the systematic campaign to kill, exile, or intimidate native Christians won’t last forever. And Christianity has a long history of defying its would-be exterminators. But even if a respite does come,¬†immense harm will have already been done to these ancient communities.


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  • gabrielsyme

    Christians in the Middle East are facing an existential threat.

    Which begs the question as to why Obama is continuing to support the rebellion against Assad, one of the few rulers in the Middle East to vigorously protect the freedoms and status of religious minorities. Of course, given Obama’s antipathy to the conscience rights of Americans, it may be he simply doesn’t care if the some of the ancient peoples of the Middle East (Alawite, Druze, Yezidi and Ismaili as well as Christians) are slaughtered and driven from their homelands.

  • ShadrachSmith

    Good thing the Christians have Obama to protect them.

  • El Gringo

    This is not the beginning nor will it be the end, unfortunately. Nationalism (in its myriad forms, including religious) is still alive and well. The great sundering of the Middle East has only begun and, like other regions before, previously syncratic (or at least tolerant) societies will come to an end to be replaced by ethnic and religious homogeneity. The end of Christianity in the Middle East is inevitable. It cannot be stopped but may be contained, in the sense that religious minorities may be given the chance to emigrate instead of being massacred.

    It happened in Greece and Turkey in 1923, in India in 1947, in the Balkans in the 90s. It is happening in the Middle East now. Africa is next. Old borders are being shattered and redrawn along even more ancient lines.

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