For most of us, a place of worship is set aside for prayer, introspection and hope. For ISIS, one church was used for something completely different.
When Islamic State took control of the main church in Tel Kaif, Iraq, the organization turned the house of worship into a temple of evil.
Initially, fighters destroyed many of the church’s religious artefacts and used the walls for target practice, even drawing bullseyes on them.
But that was only the start, according to eyewitnesses.
The terror organization brought in teenagers to train them in acts of warfare. The children learnt of the commitment to martyrdom within the walls of this once sacred but now defiled space. Then they were sent on their way to maim and butcher.
Now locals have returned to their village church to see the damage for themselves. Indeed, Christians throughout this region near Mosul have come home to see the extent of ISIS’ willful damage.
In the coming weeks Clarion will share with you exclusive video footage from inside Christian villages showing the extent of the attack of the way of life of those whose religion predates Islam in this part of the world by hundreds of years.
And in case you needed a reminder – here are the comments of Rita, a Christian from another village close by after her home was destroyed by ISIS.
Clarion is about to launch our new film Faithkeepers, which examines the genocide against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East. Please take a look at the trailer below. If you’d like to host a screening in your home, place of worship or community center please let us know.
David Harris is editor in chief of Clarion Project.