IRAQ: Cross rises again on ISIS-destroyed church just before Christmas (VIDEO)

Chaldean Church of St. Kyriakos Batnaya Mosul Nineveh Plains Iraq

The cross of the Chaldean Church of St. Kyriakos in northern Iraq rose again, just before Christmas, for the first time since its destruction by ISIS in 2014.

Rody Sher, TV presenter at Al-Sharqiya TV, wrote on Twitter: "The cross of the Chaldean Church of St. Quriyakos rises again just before Christmas, after the destruction inflicted by ISIS in 2014", revealing this was in Batnaya, a Syriac town to the north of Mosul in the Nineveh Plains.

Despite the town's ancient origins, Batnaya was abandoned on 6 August 2014 as the people fled ISIS. The Kurdish Peshmerga captured the town from the Islamic extremists on 20 October 2016 after a battle which led to most of the village being destroyed.

ISIS significantly damaged the church of Mart Maryam, which had been used as a weapons dump. The church of Mar Quriaqos was ransacked.

According to Aid to the Church in Need, "Gunmen used the sacred images above the altar for target practice and the extremists wrote anti-Christian graffiti on the walls of the nearby Chapel of the Immaculate Conception."

"The slogans, some in German, read: 'O, you [expletive] slaves of the Cross, we will kill you all… You dirty people, you do not belong here.'

"Even the gravestones of the nearby cemetery were broken into pieces."

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