Jihadist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have destroyed the mausoleum of St. George, the city’s patron saint, in Mosul, according to L’Osservatore Romano. The same group took over Mosul in June, forcing Christians to leave the city.
As the Associated Press (AP) reported from Baghdad on Sunday, the militants blew up the shrine, which dated back to the 14th century, during a week when a half dozen of Mosul’s most sacred holy places have been destroyed.
As Catholic World News reports, in Islam, St. George is honored as a prophet. Residents of Mosul, speaking anonymously for fear of retaliation, said the shrine was bombed and destroyed by the militant jihadists.
As Breitbart News’ Robert Wilde reported earlier this month, over one million Christians have been killed or have had to flee because of jihadi persecution in Iraq. Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Breitbart’s National Security Editor, said recently that ISIL, “which is now called the Islamic State in Mosul…has basically given an ultimatum to all the Christians left: You can either flee or convert to Islam, or we will kill you.”
The al-Qaida breakaway Islamic State group has also captured large tracts of land in western and northern Iraq, including Mosul. The radical group has imposed a “self-styled caliphate in territory they control in Iraq and Syria, imposing their harsh interpretation of Islamic law…,” says AP.
Many of those who have fled their homes in Iraq have escaped to the somewhat stable Kurdish region in the north of the country. On Saturday, Kurdish Regional Government President Massoud Barzani said the bombing of the churches and mosques in Mosul “is against all the principles of the heavenly religions, humanity, and it is targeting the culture and demographic of the area.”