Iraqi Muslims and Christians are now working together to rebuild a church and mosque in Mosul that were destroyed by terrorists.
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The Islamic State terrorist organisation ruled the northern Iraqi city for two years. During the occupation, jihadists destroyed or damaged all Christian churches in Mosul.
In November 2014, for reasons that are still incomprehensible, the Iraqi security forces hastily withdrew from Mosul and were replaced by the Islamic State. The terrorists immediately set about cleansing religious minorities in the city and destroying Christian monuments. Such was the fate of the Church of Our Lady, built in the 19th century and belonging to the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq.
UNESCO and the United Arab Emirates have developed a joint programme to restore the temple.
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The programme, called "Reviving the Soul of Mosul", brings together Christians and Muslims.
- The renovation of the church is a guarantee that the Christian community in the city will be preserved. There are currently about 50 Christian families in Mosul, most of whom have not yet dared to return, although we welcome everyone back," Catholic priest Olvier Puquilon told Al-Arabiya news channel.
The United Arab Emirates has contributed $50 million to the programme, which includes the reconstruction of Our Lady of the Cross Catholic Church, the Syrian Catholic Al-Tahera Church and the 12th century Al-Nuri Mosque (also blown up by Islamic State terrorists).
Noura Al-Kaabi, Minister of Culture of the United Arab Emirates, said he hoped that the displaced Christians would return to Mosul and that the rebuilt monuments would become symbols of the country's future.
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