ISIS seizes Iraqi monastery and expels monks

The ISIS flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( After forcing Christians in the city of Mosul to convert, die or leave, jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) terror group have seized the ancient Christian Mar Behnam Monastery outside of Mosul and expelled its monks.

The Mar Behnam Monastery was established as an act of penance in the 4th century CE by the Assyrian King Senchareb II after he killed his two children Behnam and Sarah for converting to Christianity. The monastery is run by the Syriac Catholic Church and has been visited by thousands of Christian and even Muslim pilgrims each year as a place of healing and fertility. 

“You have no place here anymore; you have to leave immediately,” the monks were told by ISIS jihadists, who forced them to flee and abandon all their possessions, AFP reported. 

According to local Christians, about nine monks worked in the monastery and after being expelled, the monks were forced to walk for several miles until being rescued by Kurdish fighters.

Posted on July 23, 2014 .