This video appeared on Facebook this week: it shows a group of Muslims pitching in to help rebuild and restore a Christian church in Mosul that was desecrated by ISIS.
Our external affairs officer, the Rev. Elias D. Mallon, S.A., Ph.D., translated the Arabic for us.
The title of the video is: “The Muslim people of Mosul return the cross to the church in the district of Tel Kaif.”
A sign in Syriac and Arabic reads: “Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
Over a picture of the church, the text announces that this was the office of Daesh (ISIS) and a shooting range.
Usama al-Sahir, president of a group called “Giving Without Borders,” narrates:
“Our response to this attack is to strengthen the bonds between Muslims and Christians. We begin with the people of Mosul. As Muslims, we work to strengthen bonds. There is no division between Christians and Muslims. We are beginning today to invite our people and our friends. We say to them: this is your place, return to it. May worship return, God willing. We do this task, which is an obligation…(unclear). God willing, Mosul gathers us together, all of us. We call our Christian brothers to return to Tel Kaif and to return to their churches and to return as before to their religious practices. Next week, we shall turn our efforts to cleaning the Church of the Resurrection.”
This isn’t the first time Muslims have volunteered to help repair a church destroyed by ISIS. A report from earlier this year (old/broken link: https://www.news.va/en/news/asiairaq-young-muslim-volunteers-clean-up-the-chur) described efforts to restore a Chaldean church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
For more on displaced Christians returning to Mosul, read Hard Choices in the September 2017 edition of ONE.