In rescue of a temple

A Polish foundation wants to rebuild the 13th century St. Jacob’s Church in Tel Eskof in Iraq, which was destroyed by the so-called Islamic State.

Thousands of people are escaping from nearby Mosul. What is happening in Iraq’s Nineveh Province right now is reminiscent of the Biblical prophecy of the prophet Nahum, who lived in these lands.

The Iraqi province of Nineveh is one of the most dangerous places on earth. The area around Mosul lies on the front line and it contains deserted and ruined wasteland.

The Polish priest Tomasz Jegierski, the founder and president of the “SOS for Life” Foundation (SOS dla Życia), was less than 30 km from Mosul in Tel Eskof (also known as Tall Asqaf).

It is an abandoned Christian town, once inhabited by 11,000 Chaldean Catholics. In August of 2014 it was occupied by the so-called Islamic State, soon thereafter it was won over by the Kurdish Peshermega; this year it was once again occupied by the jihadists and yet again reclaimed. Not many residents decided to return.

The Chaldeans are a very old Christian community. They still speak to each other in Neo-Aramaic, very similar to the language used in Palestine at the time of Christ. There are two churches in Tel Eskof: the Church of St. Jacob and the Church of St. George. Both were destroyed and plundered.

A broken statue of the Lord Jesus was found in the Church of St. James.

“We would like to help rebuild these churches, to help people return home,” Father Tomasz Jegierski.

The region has a very long history and tradition dating back to antiquity. Mentioned many times in scripture, Nineveh is now a northern suburb of Mosul. Next to Tel Eskof is al-Kush, a place where prophet Nahum lived and worked, which to this day is the seat of the Chaldean Catholic bishop.

Father Jegierski believes that the description of the destruction of Nineveh found in the biblical Book of Nahum came true with regards to what the Islamic State did in Mosul and other lands of the Middle East.

Piotr Falkowski

Source: Nasz Dziennik, 23 November 2016