UNESCO and Dominican Order raise new bells over Latin Church in Mosul, Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq — On Wednesday, new bells were raised over the Church of the Dominican Convent (Our Lady of the Hour), also known as the Clock Church or Latin Church, in Mosul, Iraq, during restoration work carried out by a team from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Dominican Order.

The church bells had been removed and melted down by the Islamic State (ISIS), which had converted the church into a detention center for ISIS opponents during its control of Mosul. The new bells were sent from Normandy in France.

Meanwhile, the media office of Dr. Khaled al-Obaidi, head of the Security and Defense Committee in the Iraqi government, announced that he had conducted a field tour of the destroyed churches in the old city of Mosul, inspecting the progress of their restoration. Al-Obaidi expressed gratitude towards those in charge of the work and affirmed that doors were open to any who seek to support the rehabilitation of the churches.

In related news, Christian communities in the region prepare for Lent, during which it is customary to visit cemeteries. Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian activists have issued a call for attention to be paid to the dire condition of the united cemetery in Mosul, which was vandalized during the period of ISIS control. This cemetery, located in the Wadi Akab area on the road to Shigur (Sinjar / Shengal), is used by most Christian denominations in the city.