In an attack against Christians, ISIS bulldozed the Saint Elian Monastery in Syria last week.
ISIS destroyed a monastery that dates back to the 5th century, the Huffington Post reports.
The monastery was in central Syria and is located in the same town where the Islamic State group abducted over 200 Christians early in August. Bulldozers crushed the Saint Elian Monastery near Qaryatain, which also included an Assyrian Catholic Church.
ISIS fighters have been on a path of destruction since they captured portions of Iraq and Syria and destroyed mosques, churches and archeological sites.
What’s worse is that Christian Today.com is reporting that the monastery’s abbot, Father Jacques Mouraud, and one of its workers, Bostros Hanna, were kidnapped and are feared dead at the hands of ISIS militants.
Syria in late antiquity was one of the great centres of Christian civilisation – so obviously ISIS want to trash it: http://t.co/nADsyULrhT
— Tom Holland (@holland_tom) August 22, 2015
Many witnesses spoke with the promise of anonymity for fear of retribution from the group. Several of them reported that ISIS stole the bells from different religious buildings.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is worried that ISIS is planning to demolish more religious and historical sites and artifacts across Iraq and Syria, which is obviously contrary to the mission of UNESCO.
There is more evidence of this potential than just the recent razing of the Saint Elian Monastery. In July, ISIS militants destroyed a renowned 2000-year-old limestone statue called “Lion of al-Lat.”
Christians make up approximately 10% of the Syrian population, and in addition to the more than 200 who were abducted in August, another 220 were taken by ISIS from the northeastern province of Hassakeh back in February.
While some have since been released, many kidnapped Christians are still missing.