Iraqi Christians erect large cross in area liberated from ISIS [CNA]

#1, Iraq, Feb 23, 2017 / 04:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After years of darkness, hope has returned to Telekuf-Tesqopa. Located just 17 miles from Mosul, the village is rebuilding after being liberated from ISIS.

As a visible sign of the rebuilding, a giant cross was erected on a hill, marking the victory of the Christian faith against the darkness of the jihadists.

On Feb. 18, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Baghdad, Louis Sako, visited the village, where he blessed the large cross and participated in the celebration of the first Mass after two and a half years in Saint George Church.

According to the website of the Patriarchate of Babylon, the authorities and officials of the region were present at the celebration.

In his homily, Patriarch Sako said that this event is “the first spark of light shining in all the cities of the Nineveh Plain since the darkness of ISIS, which lasted almost two and a half years.”

“This is our land and this is our home,” he told the faithful. He also said that now is the time to regain hope and for the people to return to their towns to begin a new stage of life.

The patriarch said that Christians will thus demonstrate to the world that the forces of darkness, which wreaked havoc and ravaged their land, are ephemeral and that the Church of Christ, although it suffers, is built upon rock.

When the Mass was over, everyone went out to a hill located on the outskirts of the city. There Patriarch Sako blessed the huge cross which was raised amid fireworks and with cries of “Victory! Victory! Victory! For those who chose the faith and those who return!”

The Catholic Patriarch said that this cross will announce “to the world that this is our land, we were born here and we will die here. Our ancestors were buried in this pure land and we are going to remain to preserve them with all our might and for future generations.”

“It is a sincere and great call to return and rebuild. We are joined to our land, to our future on the land of our ancestors. Here we can be proud of our history and here we can obtain the granting of all our rights,” Patriarch Sako said.

Before the celebration of the Mass, a delegation came to Telekuf-Tesqopa to assess the state of damage and to thus ask for the support of international organizations for reconstruction. Saint George Church was cleaned by volunteers from the French aid organization SOS Chrétiens d’Orient. (SOS Christians of the East).

The placement of crosses has become a recurring gesture since the Iraqi Army began the offensive to recover the city of Mosul, the ISIS stronghold in Iraq.

In every village liberated on the Plain of Nineveh, Christians have made wooden crosses and have placed them on the roofs of churches and homes.

Muslims have also participated in these events. Last week, a group of Muslims youths joined those cleaning a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary located in east Mosul, liberated by the Iraqi Army.

This action is part of a campaign that seeks to remember the religious coexistence that was present in the city before the jihadists occupied it in 2014.

Full article…


The church, as many others too, was badly destroyed and desecrated by the ISIS. Christians who had managed to stay alive having escaped from the murderous hands of ISIS, have to start from scratch. Many of them have lost members of their family, dying of terrible death from torture, beheaded and rape.

The trauma on them could last a life time. Many of them have fled the country and probably will not return. Christians in Iraq are perilous minority, their number dwindling and maybe extinct one day.

My prayers for them.


I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bravery and resilience of middle-eastern christians. To keep the faith through all the suffering and persecution of late is so inspiring. Always in my prayers. You have all won my heart. What an example of faith and courage. :grouphug:


Good deal.

May ISIS never darken the streets of their town again.


Bless them!


God bless them all!


praying for these brave Iraqi Christians…


Praise God for the example of their strength and conviction. It’s is hard to imagine how strong a commitment they would have to have to endure such terrorism aimed at one’s loyalty to Christ!!!

God is good…



Sometimes trying times bring out the best in Christianity, not that we ask for it.There were story after story how the Iraqi Christians willingly gave up their lives rather than convert to the religion of their captors.

Long after all these perhaps the Church would make martyrs of them.


I pray that their numbers grow again.

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