Iraq: Militants Destroy Historic Church

Islamic State militants on Wednesday blew up an important site in early Christianity known as the Green Church in Tikrit. The group, also known as ISIS, has driven thousands of Christians and other religious minorities from their homes as it has consolidated its hold on a broad section of Syria and Iraq. It has destroyed or defaced several historic churches as well as many Muslim shrines that it considers prohibited by its puritanical version of Islam. After capturing the city of Mosul this summer, the Islamic State’s fighters took a sledgehammer to the tomb of the biblical figure Jonah. It replaced the cross above the historic St. Ephrem’s Cathedral in Mosul with its black jihadi flag, and it also destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary.