Mosul Cathedral to become 'Mosque of the Mujahedeen'

Thursday, June 25, 2015

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News)-- The Islamic State has announced that the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral Church of St. Ephrem in Mosul will become known as the "Mosque of the Mujahedeen" in honor of the "holy warriors" of Islam who wage jihad in Allah's name.

According to Barnabas Aid, the new name was announced on the one year anniversary of the seizure of the cathedral when Mosul fell to IS.

After IS jihadists removed the cross from the cathedral's dome, human rights activist Nuri Kino said that if they can change a church into a mosque, they're "cleansing" it.

"They destroy our artifacts, our churches and try to erase us in any way they can," he said.

Mosul is Iraq's second largest city and traditionally the center for the country's Christians. After Mosul fell to IS last June, its Christians were issued an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay the jizya -- a special tax for Christians allowing them to keep their religion while living under Islamic rule -- or be immediately put to death.

An estimated 200,000 Christians fled Mosul and other nearby towns when the city fell to IS last summer. Many moved to Kurdistan where they have little hope of being able to return to Mosul.