The Assyrian Observatory said that ISIS militants destroyed the Mar Elian monastery in the town of Al-Qaryatain in Homs province which the extremist group seized on August 5. Nothing is known about the fate of priest Jacques Moura, monk Peter and 100 Christian families who were taken captives by ISIS earlier.
Spokesman for the Syrian Coalition Salem al-Meslet strongly condemns this heinous crime which targets the unity of the Syrian people, reaffirming its full commitment to protecting rights of Syrians of all religious, ethnic and political affiliations. It stresses that ISIS’s continued atrocities will only serve to unify Syrians to defeat this extremist group.
Mar Elian is a Syriac monastery that goes back to the fifth century AD. In it monks lived a life of asceticism, worship, hospitality and farming until the ends of the 7th century. During the past two decades, the Mar Musa al-Habashi monastic community founded by the kidnapped Jesuit priest Paulo Dalilao restored monastic life in the monastery and welcomed visitors and worshipers. It turned the monastery to a center of dialogue between religions and ecumenical meetings. It is owned by the Syriac Catholic Diocese of Homs, Hama and Nabek. (Source: Syrian Coalition)