ERBIL, Iraq—Satellite photos obtained by the Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble, yet another victim of Islamic State group’s relentless destruction of heritage sites it considers heretical.
St. Elijah’s Monastery stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years, including most recently for U.S. troops. In earlier millennia, generations of monks tucked candles in the niches, prayed in the chapel, worshiped at the altar. The Greek letters chi and rho, representing the first two letters of Christ’s name, were carved near the entrance.
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