Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Threatened By ISIS, Monks Digitize Iraq's Christian Heritage

One of the rescued Christian manuscripts Photo: Alice Fordham via NPR   

The ancient Christian heritage of Iraq is at risk as ISIS drives Christians from their homes in the North West of the country. Monks in the city of Erbil are now working on digitizing ancient manuscripts to protect the valuable documents from destruction and make them accessible from around the world.

Dominican monks first settled in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 1750. In the early 19th century they brought the printing press to Iraq and began printing Christian doctrines. 

The Christians continued to live in Mosul in relative peace until 2008 when Islamic insurgents threatened Christian lives and libraries, forcing the city's monks to flee to the town of Qaraqosh, taking the ancient texts with them.

Last summer, with rise of ISIS again threatening Iraqi Christians with persecution, the community was forced to relocate once more, eventually settling in Erbil. The church and various charities have provided the group with shelter and basic necessities.

Father Najeeb Michaeel revealed that he and his fellow monk Columba Stewart from Texas, personally loaded the “big collection of our archive, and the manuscripts" into a large truck at 5 am to deliver it to safety. “We passed three checkpoints without any problem, and I think the Virgin Mary [had] a hand to protect us," he said. However he was forced to leave behind over 50,000 regular books.

The monks admit that the instability will probably force Iraq's remaining Christians to flee the country, however for the time being they are working tirelessly to document their heritage before it is lost or destroyed.



1915 Armenian Genocide 21st-century Christian martyrs‎ africa al assad Al Qaeda albania anti-Morsi protests Apostles Arab Christian Arab-Orthodox Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov army Asia Australia bank BBC Belarusian Orthodox Church Bethlehem bible Bible movies bible translations bulgaria Bulgarian Orthodox Church Byzantine byzantine music C.I.A. Cairo China Christian Armenians christianity christians christmas Christmas Traditions Christmas tree church Conspiracy Constantinople coptic church copts cyprus daily news Documentary Easter economy Ecumenical Patriarch Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople egypt egypt pope elder Elder Ephraim of Vatopaidi elder joseph of vatopaidi elder Paisios Elder Porphyrios english subtitles Epiphany europe food Fr Seraphim Rose france FREE books FREE Greetings Cards fyrmacedonia Georgian Orthodox Church germany greece greek greek food greek music Greek Orthodox Church Greek Orthodox Easter greek orthodoxy health and medicine Holy Fathers Holy Scripture Holy Tradition icon Internet Interview iran islam islamist israel Italy jerusalem Jesus Christ jews jihad killed libya mafia Middle East Miraculous Icon monastery money mother of god mount athos Mount Sinai Movie Trailers music muslim muslims news orthodox church Orthodox Church in America pakistan Palestine patristic tradition photo photos picture politics pope Prophecy protests quotes recipes religion romania romanian orthodox church Russia Russian Orthodox Church saint Saints science Shroud of Turin Son of God spy St Nicholas of Myra syria The Mount Athos Food Evolution theotokos travel turkey tv UK Ukraine Ukrainian Orthodox Church usa Vatican vatopaidi video war Watch FREE full movie world
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...