Frustrated Islamic State commander searches monastery for weapons, finds Bibles


Date:                    October 21, 2015


By Mark Ellis and Michael Ashcraft, Special to ASSIST News Service

Refugees flee Mosul Mark EllisSOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS - October 21, 2015) -- Sister Hayat, a 30-year-old Iraqi nun, lived a quiet life of devotion in a Dominican monastery near Mosul, Iraq. She helped care for children in an orphanage and also taught anthropology at a local university. Then Islamic State jihadists overran the city.

“When we realized that running was our only option, all the nuns packed a bag,” she said. “We met in the church and prayed, before kissing the floor one last time and closing the door of the monastery behind us.”

A refugee camp in Erbil Mark EllisShe is now helping refugees in the city of Erbil, where she spent the last five months caring for elderly nuns, according to a report by World Watch Monitor.

A few days after fleeing, an Islamic State commander called the abbess, Sister Maria, to taunt her. “Just to let you know, I’m sitting in your chair now and am running things here,” he said.

Then he demanded to know where the sisters kept their weapons; he couldn’t conceive that such an important building in the community would be without an armory, Hayat told World Watch Monitor.

Sister Maria guided him to the library.

But his careful search didn’t turn up what he was looking for and he called her back, noticeably upset.

“There are no weapons here, just books,” the man shouted through the phone.

Photo captions: 1) Refugees flee Mosul. 2) A refugee camp in Erbil.


About the writer: Mark Ellis is senior correspondent for the ASSIST News service and also the founder of , a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church aorund the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.

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