Ezidi24- Khalil Boko
Translated by: Nagham Aloka

The churches of Sinjar city lost their bells and became rubble as a result of the destruction caused by the attack of the Islamic States five years ago on August 3, 2014 and the genocide crime against the Yazidis and Christians in Sinjar and Nineveh.

With the end of the control of the “Islamic State” (Daash), which lasted for one year and three months on the district located west of the province of Nineveh in northern Iraq, in August 2014, the ISIS members put mines throughout the city, including shrines and Husseiniat and the historic and holy churches of Yazidis, Shiaa, and Christians. As a result, 7 churches, temples, and cemetery belongs to Christians has been destroyed. The most important is the Church of the Virgin Mary, which is the oldest church in the district that belongs to the Syriac Orthodox community and was built in 1915.

“May be the future of the Christians in Sinjar is very unknown after the recent events, especially in the period if ISIS in which most Christians have traveled outside Iraq, and Christians in general are dying out, because of the continuous persecution, and that the Kurdish governments and the government of Baghdad could not protect Christians,” Says the bishop Behnam Sonny.

“Until now There is no attention given to the Christians of Sinjar and Mosul, and there are demographic, geographical, social and cultural changes affecting Christian areas and their religious institutions in front of the Iraqi and international communities, all of which affect their historical and cultural existence,” he added.

The bishop, Behnam Sonny, explained that “The Church of the Virgin Mary of the Syriac Orthodox located in the center of Sinjar city has become a destructive wall and lost its religious features after the Islamic state bombing it on August 3, 2014, and wrote on the remains of the rubble Black phrase (The State of Islam Remains) “.

Fakher Khalaf, a Yazidi man hoping while telling Yazidi 24, “The return of the Christians and says, we were living together Yazidis, Christianity, Shiites and Sunnis and there was love, peace and forgiveness among us. After the attack of the Islamic state on the city on the third of August, 2014 and the perpetration of massacres against the people and the destruction of worship places and the holy shrines of Christianity, Yazidi and Shiites and the displacement of the people.

Khalaf pointed out that “The return of Christians and Yazidis is also a bit difficult, but we hope that the Christians will return to their city and they are a basic component and with their return we will be happy and we will build our city together.”

“The Christian immigration will affect the building of Sinjar and the restore of life to it as they are a basic component of this historic city, therefore we are hoping and asking for their return and the building of their churches and protecting them. After the liberation of the district, the Yazidi families returned to their city and the families began to renovate and build their houses and places of worship and gradually return to life and at the same time returned displaced Shiites to their homes and began their work and the restoration of their homes and holy shrines,” Khalaf explained.

Sonia Said, a Yazidi lawyer, indicates that “The Christians of Sinjar are an essential component of this civilization and an important part of this beautiful texture in Sinjar, Nineveh and Iraq in general. Their identity and protection must be preserved and other ancient religions in Iraq and in the historical city of Sinjar, The Iraqi government and the Iraqi community should accelerate the support and compensation of those affected people of these affected areas that were destroyed by the occupation by the Organization of the Islamic State (Daash) in 2014.

“Said added, “We must work hardly and seriously to rebuild Sinjar and build the full confidence of the people, especially Yazidis and forming of a joint court between the local and international courts to question and punish the accused and those who participated in the genocide of Yazidis and Christians and the rest of the components who existed thousands of years ago in Iraq, specifically in the Nineveh Plain.

Prior to the attack of the Islamic State on Sinjar City in 2014, Christians from the Syriac and Armenian Orthodox communities accounted for 1% of the total population of approximately 500,000, most of them Yazidi. But all fled when the terrorist control of the city.

With the Islamic State (Daash) control in 2014, Christians, Yazidis and Shiites fled, where Christianity was asked to choose among converting to Islam, paying tribute or leaving, and Yazidi between converting to Islam or killing and Shi’ites between their loyalty to Daash or killing.