An Iraqi church damaged and defaced by the Islamic State in 2014 was rededicated Thursday for the parish’s celebration of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.
The Syriac Catholic Church of Mar Behnam and Mart Sarah in the Iraqi city of Qaraqosh welcomed Archbishop Petros Mouche of Mosul, priests, and the local Catholic community to celebrate the solemnity.
Archbishop Mouche rededicated the church’s altar, which had been burned by the Islamic State. After renonvations and rebuilding, the interior of the church, once charred black by fire, has been painted white.
“All these people do not see the community reborn only as stones, but as faith around Christ who is celebrated in the Resurrection. So the Resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of the community itself that goes on. Our community has about 800 families,” Fr. George Jahola told Vatican News in an interview published Aug. 15.The Church of Mar Behnam and Mart Sarah was charred black and its bell tower was demolished. “But we never stopped imagining how beautiful our church would be, once fixed,” Fr. Jahola said.
Just look at the transformation: