Mosul, April 7th, 2015
I managed to sneak into the Church of the Immaculate at Al Shifaa to check the extent of damage the church suffered, and what I saw was devastating. It is known that the church has endured such damage in different stages of history over the course of time since its establishment. It was once bombarded back in 1744 when the city was under the siege of Nader Shah. Also, Al Qaeda occupied the church and exploded parts of it, and it was closed since then and all its windows were closed with rubble, until recently when ISIS took over Mosul, where a new vandalism was awaiting the church. ISIS had crushed all the crosses and statues of the Virgin Mary seated at the top of the church, it was looking very empty of any furniture and/or icons. Its southern and eastern gates are demolished but kept its trees. The building standing still, but the name of the church was a little destroyed.
I wanted to take a tour around to check how vast the damage is, but my main reason to be there is to pray for peace in this Easter for all Christians of Mosul and the world and wished all my Christians a safe return. We also wanted to light up a candle at the altar but just the idea of demolishing the church and starting a new hunt around the city backed us off from lighting a candle.
My only wish was for the Christian families to return to Mosul, now we are celebrating Easter in 2018 and many families has returned.
Happy Easter to all our Christian families in Mosul and the rest of the world, with our prayers for peace and safe return to the city.