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“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” (Luke 11:11-12)

This last week Pope Francis visited Lesbos and decided to show the world the meaning of charity taking it upon himself to “rescue” twelve Muslim economic migrants from the camps they had got themselves to from the perfectly safe haven of Turkey and take them “home” to Rome.  He could have taken a couple of Christians who asked, like the child in the quote above for assistance, but it seems their papers were um – er “not in order”.  So they are still there.

Taking and being nice to stranded Muslims might be fine if there were not some rather more deserving victims of all this mess in the Middle East.  Some that might be closer to home for a Pope.  Oh I don’t know – say Christians perhaps.

The picture above is of Empress Eugenie’s Clock Tower in Mosel which was gifted to the Dominicans there for their unstinting work during a local outbreak of Typhoid.  As an architectural embellishment of a middle eastern city it was a bit eccentric, but it seems it was rather a favourite of local people.  Until Monday when ISIS turned up and blew it to bits on no better reason than it was Christian.

This is not an isolated incident of barbaric vandalism and spite.  The list below shows the systematic destruction of every single Christian church in Mosul.  The extinction of a people and a way of life two thousand years old.

Destruction of Christian Churches in Mosul Iraq by ISIS.

Syriac Catholic Church:

1.Syrian Catholic Diocese – Maidan Neighborhood, Mosul
2.The Old Church of the Immaculate – Maidan Neighborhood, Mosul (The church goes back to the eighth century AD)
3.The New Church of the Immaculate – Maidan Neighborhood
4.Church of Mar (Saint) Toma – Khazraj Neighborhood
5.Museum of Mar (Saint) Toma – Khazraj Neighborhood
6.Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation – Muhandiseen Neighborhood
7.Church of the Virgin of Fatima – Faisaliah Neighborhood
8.Our Lady of Deliverance Chapel – Shifaa Neighborhood
9.The House of the Young Sisters of Jesus – Ras Al-Kour Neighborhood
10.Archbishop’s Palace Chapel – Dawasa Neighborhood

Syriac Orthodox Church:

1.Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese – Shurta Neighborhood
2.The Antiquarian Church of Saint Ahodeeni – Bab AlJadeed Neighborhood
3.Mar (Saint) Toma Church and cemetery, (the old Bishopric) – Khazraj Neighborhood
4.Church of The Immaculate (Castle) – Maidan Neighborhood
5.Church of The Immaculate – Shifaa Neighborhood
6.Mar (Saint) Aprim Church – Shurta Neighborhood
7.St. Joseph Church – The New Mosul Neighborhood

Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East:

1.Diocese of the Assyrian Church of the East – Noor Neighborhood
2.Assyrian Church of the East, Dawasa Neighborhood
3.Church of the Virgin Mary (old rite) – Wihda Neighborhood

Chaldean Church of Babylon:

1.Chaldean Diocese – Shurta Neighborhood
2.Miskinta Church – Mayassa Neighborhood
3.The Antiquarian Church of Shimon alSafa – Mayassa Neighborhood
4.Church of Mar (Saint) Buthyoon – Shahar AlSouq Neighborhood
5.Church of St. Ephrem, Wady AlAin Neighborhood
6.Church of St. Paul – Majmooaa AlThaqafiya District
7.The Old Church of the Immaculate (with the bombed archdiocese)- Shifaa Neighborhood
8.Church of the Holy Spirit – Bakir Neighborhood
9.Church of the Virgin Mary – Drakziliya Neighborhood
10.Ancient Church of Saint Isaiah and Cemetery – Ras AlKour Neighborhood
11.Mother of Aid Church – Dawasa Neighborhood
12.The Antiquarian Church of St. George- Khazraj Neighborhood
13.St. George Monastery with Cemetery – Arab Neighborhood
14.Monastery of AlNasir (Victory) – Arab Neighborhood
15.Convent of the Chaldean Nuns – Mayassa Neighborhood
16.Monastery of St. Michael – Hawi Church Neighborhood
17.The Antiquarian Monastery of St. Elijah – Ghazlany Neighborhood

Armenian Orthodox Church:

1.Armenian Church – Maidan Neighborhood
2.The New Armenian Church – Wihda Neighborhood

Evangelical Presbyterian Church:

1.Evangelical Presbyterian Church – Mayassa Neighborhood

Latin Church:

1.Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers and Convent of Katrina Siena Nuns – Sa’a Neighborhood
2.Convent of the Dominican Sisters, – Mosul AlJadeed Neighborhood
3.Convent of the Dominican Sisters (AlKilma Monastery) – Majmooaa AlThaqafiya District
4.House of Qasada AlRasouliya (Apostolic Aim) (Institute of St. John the Beloved)


1.Christian Cemetery in the Ekab Valley which contains a small chapel.


And it’s not just Mosul.  Throughout Iraq some 400 Christian churches have been destroyed in what Patriach Kirill of Moscow and All Russia calls “ethnic cleansing”.  The Catholic Reader states “not a church remained”.

Oddly it is very difficult to gather a solid list of all the churches, monasteries, graveyards, memorials that are being desecrated and destroyed in the middle east.  Is this because there is real difficulty in gathering such information or is there a deceitful queasiness in the reporting agencies at exposing what is happening?

My guess is it is the latter.

The Pope would have done himself, and the Catholic Church a real service had been seen to be as swift to assist the plight of his co-religionists as those of other faiths.


Copyright David Macadam 2016