By Theodore Shoebat
ISIS Muslims are right now surrounding a 4th century Christian monastery, called St. Matthew’s Monastery. Although the Muslim terrorists are armed with machine guns and knives, the Christians inside the church — three monks and six students — are not afraid, declaring:
“We of course are not scared. God protects us”
Sahar Karaikos, one of six students in the monastery, said
We are not scared, because our teachers give us a feeling of peace here, but we know we are on the front lines, and in seconds the Islamic State could be here… I don’t even want to think or speak about the destruction the Islamic State would cause if they took our monastery.
The Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda, explained that a small unit of Kurdish soldiers are protecting the church and the nine Christians. But he also explained that this was not the reason why the Christians are so confident:
There is a kind of feeling that they cannot express but they at least feel relaxed in a way that even if, God forbid, something would happen, they are in safe hands
Multitudes of people from the nearby villages have already fled, but not these nine Christians, even though the church is right on the frontline of the fighting between ISIS and coalition forces. Yousif Ibrahim, one of three monks, said:
We can see the battles and the airstrikes from here in front of us, especially at night. The sky lights up at night, but we of course are not scared. God protects us
The church is located on top of Mount Alfaf in Nineveh Plains, and is recognized and esteemed as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence. It is currently under the care of the Syriac Orthodox Church; and like the churches in antiquity, within the monastery there is an amazing library with a significant amount of Syriac Christian manuscripts.
What is disturbing is to hear Christians in the West say stupid things like: ‘They should flee. Its not about a building!’ The building itself is holy; the building is an icon, an icon that signifies the grace that God has given to us through His Church. This little monastery, no matter how insignificant people may say it is, is an icon of Christian civilization, and if they flee, it is only an expression to the enemy, that Islamic despotism is vanquishing Christian civilization. When Christendom rises and Christ returns, this little church will be one of the stones by which the empire of the Cross will be built, and even if the Muslims destroy it, it will be a piece of the fortress of Faith that will stand within our hearts.
It is by courage that the flames of Faith are alighted, for in the flames of valiancy, there is love. But in the cold brick of cowardice, there is only indifference and callousness. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) God is love; thus, within this little church, there is God.