Video: The oldest church in Mosul

This 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, killing two men and injuring five people.

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

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

We had a tour of the church and found it is very bad condition, as many historical sites around it. Rebuilding churches, mosques and synagogues can aid efforts to stabilize the city and bring back its diversity.

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