By Emily Judd on 17 May 2020 for Al Arabiya
As many churches around the world face dire financial straits and struggle to survive due to the coronavirus pandemic, one church is rising from the ashes in the most unlikely of places: former ISIS territory.
ISIS, which ruled the Iraqi city of Mosul from 2014 to 2016, damaged or destroyed every church in the city including the “Our Lady of the Hour” Church, also known as Al Saa’a Church.
Established in the 19th century, the Our Lady of the Hour church was the base for the Roman Catholic parish in Northern Iraq and Kurdistan – until ISIS damaged its structure, looted and ransacked its convent, and drove its worshippers out of the area.
Now the historical monument is being rebuilt through a partnership between UNESCO, the United Arab Emirates, and the Roman Catholic Dominican order. Christians and Muslims have joined forces for the initiative, part of UNESCO’s “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” project.
Originally published on 17 May 2020 on Al Arabiya