Iraqi authorities launched on Wednesday a campaign to reconstruct the churches that the terrorist group Daesh had destroyed during its takeover of the city of Mosul, in the north of Syria.
“The local government is making efforts to start the reconstruction of dozens of churches destroyed by Daesh’s terrorist gangs, along with ensuring the return of displaced Christians to their areas in the right side (western side) of Mosul,” said Nineveh Governor Nawfal Al-Aakoub in a statement that Anadolu Agency obtained a copy of.
Al-Aakoub added that the engineering bodies in Ninawa Governorate Office and the municipalities would start the reconstruction of the oldest and largest church that Daesh had destroyed: The Immaculate Church, inside the ancient city of Mosul.
On his part, Yonadam Kanna, head of Al-Rafidain Christian bloc, told Anadolu Agency that Daesh combatants had destroyed and ruined 15 churches and monasteries in Mosul in its eastern and western sides.
Kanna added that “40 churches had been destroyed and remarkably affected during Daesh’s takeover of the whole of Nineveh.”
Christians had fled from Mosul and the rest of Nineveh Governorate in 2014, when Daesh took over these areas and forced them to choose between converting to Islam, paying the Jizya (a per capita yearly tax historically levied on non-Muslim subjects, permanently residing in Muslim lands governed by Islamic law), or facing beheading with a sword.
The Iraqi army had regained control over Mosul and the rest of the territories, which have been under Daesh’s control and that are estimated at one-third of the country during a three-year raging war that ended in late 2017.
The war had resulted in massive destruction of the infrastructure of public services, as well as the houses of people, places of worship and other buildings.