Patriarch Ignatius Yusuf III consecrated the reconstructed Syriac Catholic Our Lady of the Hour Church in Mosul. The Syriac Catholic Our Lady of the Hour Church welcomed bishops and priests from other Churches, the local Syriac Catholic community and Iraqi provincial dignitaries to celebrate the rededication. The Our Lady of the Hour Church (built 1859-1862) is the first Church in Mosul that reopens her doors after the devastation and defacing inflicted by ISIS.
In the summer of 2014, ISIS conquered the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq – a home of Christianity since the first century. In the two years of ISIS control millions of Iraqis were internally displaced. In 2016 and 2017 the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq was retaken from ISIS. ISIS destroyed tens of Christian religious in Mosul and on the Nineveh Plain – the Tomb of the prophet Jonah, Iraq’s oldest monastery of the Assyrian Church of the East – and many archeological sites from antiquity. Churches were e.g. used as weapon storages or burned, destroyed and desecrated.
In his consecration sermon Patriarch Ignatius Yusuf III stressed the importance of love and that people practice their faith in the loving God through loving each other. Only love builds and enlightens future generations, “as we are gathered here today in love, I want to thank all present in this historical event of the first Church to be consecrated after Mosul was liberated from the terrorists of ISIS. I want to thank all who have contributed in this reconstruction.”