Iraqi Christians have not only suffered genocide at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS), the jihadist group has vandalized and destroyed many ancient churches in an attempt to erase all traces of their existence in the cradle of Christianity.
ISIS defaced many churches, some of them hundreds of years old, and targeted other key cultural and religious landmarks, replacing crosses with their jihadi flags. Northern Iraq’s Nineveh Plains, a region in Nineveh province outside Mosul, is the historical homeland of the region’s Christian community, one of the oldest in the world.
The Clarion Project has published pictures showing “a snapshot of ISIS crimes against Iraq’s Christian community.”
“As the Iraqi army liberates territory from Islamic State jihadists they are uncovering the damage done to Iraq’s ancient Christian heritage,” notes the organization.
The pictures show the devastation inside many of the Christian Churches in Iraq.
Christian militias in Iraq have recently joined forces to fight as one force in an effort to recapture and protect their historical homeland.
A U.S.-backed force of tens of thousands of Iraqi Security Forces, Kurdish Peshmerga troops, Sunni Arab tribesman, Iran-allied Shiite militias, and Christian fighters are participating in the ongoing offensive to retake Mosul, which is also located in Nineveh province.
Iraq’s Nineveh province had once been considered home by the largest concentration of Christians and other ethnoreligious minorities in Iraq. Mosul had been the heartland of the Iraqi Christian community.
The United States and the United Nations has acknowledged that Christians and other ethnoreligious minorities in Iraq and Syria have been victims of genocide at the hands of ISIS.
For more photos please visit the Clarion Project.