Ezidi 24 – Jameel Al-Jameel Translated by: Nagham Aloka

As part of the project for building bridges between the Nineveh communities, the Itallian NGO Bridge to (UPP) contributed to the establishment of the Peace Mass with a group of Ninewa youth in the Church of St. Thomas in the Old City of Mosul this morning, February 28, 2019.

The ceremony was attended by Archbishop Karam al-Araji, the surrogate of the Mosul governor, the Archbishop of Mosul, Kurdistan of Iraq, and Kirkuk of Syriac Catholics, Archbishop of St. John the Baptist, and the Bishop of Mosul and Akra of the Chaldeans, Archbishop Michael Mikhail Najib of Dominica, Khor, Bishop Noel Thomas and a number of priests and nuns, representatives of civil society organizations and a large number of Muslims, Christians and Yezidis And the Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen.

The activities of the Mass began with the speech of Nineveh youth represented by the civil activist, Mustafa Hisham, who pointed out that this step aims for peace and good faith and encourages Christians to return to their homes and historic areas. Later, the speech of Father Pius Afas who thanked the contributors in support of this initiative and those present, and he assured that the Christian citizen is encouraging peace daily, and this is a message that Nineveh is the city of peace, and then the Mass service began with the blessing of Bishop Mar Yohana Peter Moshi with a chattering patter and expressions filled with calmness and an atmosphere illuminated by the lights of candles. From the ruins and rubble, the Christians declared that Mosul city is part of them and other components.

“Today was a very important opportunity and an indescribable feeling that I and my sister, who came from Sweden recently, to took part in the mass of peace in my church, the one I used to attend and my message through this mass is that extremism and terrorist groups have managed to destroy the churches and houses, but they will never be able to destroy our social textile and will not be able to destroy our historical presence in the city of Mosul and the province of Nineveh and in all of Iraq, and we will continue to strengthen peace until the stability of our wounded country ” said mother of Danny, a Christian woman from the Old City to Eizidi 24.

Al Khor Asqef Noeal al qas toma confirmed to Ezidi24,”We will not be able to make peace if we don’t live it and believe in it, This mass is a sign that Christians are an important part of Ninewa and its historical and cultural presence, and in this church, this mass is an indication of the dedication of the Christians in their land. Strengthen their presence and encourage their return. “

“We have contributed to arranging, cleaning and preparing the atmosphere of the mass to prove that Christians are our brothers and we share the same country with the, the same province and human identity, and the idea of this mass come to encourage the Christians to come back to their homes and practice their normal daily life” said civil activist Bandar al-Okidi to Ezidi 24.

The activist, Arkan Karim expressed to Ezidi24, “I am a kakai from the village of Tal al-Laban and I was very happy of this occasion and I am honored to attend this mass as it was an important mass after the absence of Mosul bell, they are back again.

With incense, candles, and the sounds of the carobim and the voice of (Barkhamur and Shibuno Alohu del), life returned to the Church of St. Thomas and the bells celebrated as it was hammered again.

And a cathedral dating back to the first century AD was visited by St. Thomas the prophet, and it was the home of one of the Magi until it becomes a Christian church.

The Islamic State, ISIS used it for their terrorist practice and the demolition of some parts of it and stole all the manuscripts and heritage tools there.

After 2003, the Christians of Mosul were subjected to several attacks by al-Qaeda from extortion, kidnapping, murder, displacement and seizure of their property. Then, ISIS continued its criminal operations against them and left their homes until it was able to dismantle the social textile in Nineveh.

St. Thomas Cathedral or St. Thomas Church (in Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܪܝ ܬܐܘܡܐ ܫܠܝܚܐ) is a Syriac church located in the Al-Saa neighborhood of Mosul. It’s considered the oldest church in Mosul and was the place of the Syriac Patriarchs in the city previously.

It is worth mentioning that the project of building bridges between the Nineveh communities in the second phase has been divided into two parts: the first is the rehabilitation of a number of schools in Nineveh Governorate and improve the capacity building of the educational staff and the establishment of activities that promote peace within students. The second part started with building of the civil activists abilities in different aspects and improves their capabilities to be the peace ambassadors in their homes and the preventers of conflicts. It will include many activities and they will work with media to publish these peace programs. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the implementation of the Bridge to Italian (UPP) organization.