Friday, August 21, 2015

Report that Mar Elian monastery has been destroyed

AINA NEWS: ISIS Destroys 5th Century Assyrian Monastery in Syria.
(AINA) -- Photos posted on ISIS social media sites show the destruction of Mar Elian monastery in Qaryatain, Syria, which is near Homs. Qaryatain fell to ISIS on August 6 (AINA 2015-08-07). An estimated 1,400 Syriac Orthodox and 400 Syriac Catholic Assyrians lived in Qaryatain before it fell to ISIS.

Related: Attacks on Assyrians in Syria By ISIS and Other Muslim Groups
The Assyrian monastery was founded in the 5th century A.D. as a Syriac Orthodox Monastery. In the 17th century it became a Syriac Catholic monastery. It was renovated by the head of the ancient Mar Musa al-Habashi monastery, the Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, ten years ago.

I don't know this monastery by sight, but the photos certainly show a substantial building being demolished.

More on the assault of ISIS on the past — and its representatives — is here and here and links. And with special reference to speakers of Aramaic, here. Cross-file under Syriac Watch.

UPDATE: The Daily Mail (John Hall) reports the destruction by ISIS of another ancient Syriac monastery, this one in Iraq:
Another blow to Christianity and civilisation: ISIS destroy 4th Century Mar Benham monastery in Iraq
  • Jihadis used explosives to destroy Mar Benham monastery in Bakhdida
  • Blast reduced the ancient building to rubble according to local residents
  • ISIS seized control of the monastery last summer, expelling resident monks
  • The ancient building was built by Assyrian king Senchareb 1,600 years ago