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Homs, 21/8/2015 ~ Terrorists from DAESH, the so called “Islamic State” (IS, ISIL, ISIS) have bulldozed Mar Elian Monastery (a 1,500-year-old Christian monastery) on the western outskirts of al-Qaryatein city, 85 km from the central city of Homs.

According to local sources, terrorists used bulldozers to raze the 1,500-year-old Christian monastery, leaving it completely flattened.

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The barbaric terror group used the heavy building machinery to take down the Mar Elian Monastery, a national Syrian treasure, which has stood in Al-Qaryatayn since 432 AD.

The Christian monastery of St. Elian

The desecrated Assyrian monastery took its name from Saint Elian. The church was built on the spot where he died and his remains still rest in a small sarcophagus in a small chapel near its main crypt.

the spot where St Elian died and his remains

When Mar Elian was renovated in 1969, the plaster which lined the walls was removed to reveal stunning murals of Jesus, Mary and prophets dating back to the 6th Century.

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The monastery, which dates back to the 4th century AD, is deemed a center for interfaith dialogue in the heart of al-Qaryrtein city. It is also a key refuge for displaced people who fled terrorist organizations.

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Father Phillip Barakat said that DAESH’s crime is condemned by all faiths and human and divine laws, lamenting the destruction of the monastery that housed scores of displaced families.

Mar Elian Monastery is also the place where priest Jacques Mourad was abducted back in May. Mourad was known to help both Christians and Muslims and was preparing aid for the arrival of hundreds of refugees from Palmyra.

In a statement to the Syrian Arab News Agency the director of the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), Ma’moun Abdelkarim, said that the act of bulldozing Mar Elian Monastery by DAESH is a crime that seeks to wipe out pages from Syria’s history.

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He said that bulldozing a religious site that had been standing unharmed since the 5th century AD shows how far DAESH has gone with its criminal acts, and that the fact that such an act occurred in the 21st century is unimaginable.

DAESH has a bleak track record of destroying and bombing out Muslim and Christian places of worship which it views as opposed to its barbaric fake-religious beliefs.

The hapless fate of Mar Elian Monastery (a 1,500-year-old Christian Monastery, Archaeological, Artistic and Spiritual World Heritage Site) was preceded by the Virgin Mary church in Hasaka, Muhammad bin Ali and Abu Bahaaeddin shrines in Palmyra and al-Rawi Tekkiye in Deir Ezzor.

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