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.