the Oldest Church of Saint Thomas in Old Mosul needs immediate action

The oldest church of Saint Thomas in Old Mosul needs an immediate action from UNESCO to preserve and protect it. the inscriptions and structure of the church are still abandoned.

The church is dedicated to Saint Thomas the Apostle and is believed to have been constructed on the site of the house that the saint resided in during his stay in Mosul. The church is first mentioned in 770 as part of a grievance to Caliph Al-Mahdi. The current structure suggests it was built in the 13th century. During restoration work in 1964, the finger bones of Saint Thomas were discovered in the church. On 23 December 2009, a bomb damaged the church, killed two men and injured five people.

After the Fall of Mosul, the relics of Saint Thomas were taken from the church by Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Mosul and transferred to the Monastery of Saint Matthew on 17 June 2014.The church was used as a prison by Islamic State insurgents until the city’s liberation in 2017.

The church believed to be the only church in Mosul to have a verse from Quran (15:99) “And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).”

We had a tour in the church and found it is very bad sitatuon of the church and many historical sites around it. Rebuilding churches, Mosques and synagogues can help in the efforts to stabilize the city and to bring back its coexistence.

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  1. Could the Church of Saint Thomas be a tourist site for Christians? When I worked in Damascus, we assembled a tour for Christians to the old sites. I prepared the poster for the internet, did the book cover for the promotional book — and then came the war. There is money in religious tourism.

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