Islamic State blows up Assyrian church as Christians celebrate Easter
Shhh! Do not speak of this! “Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” — Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, February 8, 2013
“IS brings down Syria’s Historical Virgin Mary Church,” Xinhua, April 6, 2015:
The Islamic State (IS) militant group blew up an 80-year-old church in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasaka, as the Christian minority in Syria is observing the Easter holiday, state-run news agency SANA reported.
The IS booby-trapped and blew up the Virgin Mary Church in the town of Tal Nasra in the western countryside of Hasaka province, the report said, adding that the attack is part of the “brutal crimes” the terrorist group is committing in Syria.
The Christian minority in Syria makes up about 10 percent of Syria’s largely Muslim Sunni population.
The Easter celebrations this year are limited to prayers and masses due to the tough circumstances in the conflict-torn country.
Virgin Mary is one of three major churches in the town of Tal Nasra. It was originally built in 1934 and then renovated and opened in 2005.
In February, the IS militants burned down the historic church of Tal Hurmoz, one of the oldest churches in Syria, and destroyed three other churches in the town of Tal Tamer in Hasaka.
Numerous historic buildings and archaeological locations, including all six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Syria, have been damaged.