ISIS Militants Destroy Christian Crosses and Icons Inside Historic Iraqi Churches, Replace With Terrorist Black Flag

Militant Islamist fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014. The fighters held the parade to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighbouring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al-Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said. | (Photo: Reuters)

Terror group ISIS has posted a series of photos detailing its latest act of destruction, namely destroying Christian crosses, statues, and icons in churches in Ninawa, Iraq, and replacing them with its infamous black flag.

MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor obtained and published the photos that show men smashing crosses with hammers, tearing down crosses from rooftops, smashing various Christian iconography, and bringing down statues.

"The images show ISIS men engaged in the destruction of various Christian symbols, which ISIS perceives as being polytheistic and idolatrous," JTTM states.

ISIS, which has captured a number of cities across Iraq and Syria, has said that the Christian relics promote idolatry, and go against its implementation of Sharia law.

"They don't care what it's called; they are just following their ideology and that means getting rid of churches and minorities. It is the Islamic State, and there's no room for anyone else," MEMRI Director Steven Stalinsky said, according to The Daily Mail.

ISIS published a collection of images showing an array of acts of vandalism perpetrated against churches in Ninawa, Iraq, on March 16, 2015. The images show ISIS men engaged in the destruction of various Christian symbols, which ISIS perceives as being polytheistic and idolatrous. The men remove crosses from atop churches and replace them with the black ISIS banner, destroy crosses at other locations such as atop doorways and gravestones, and destroy and remove icons and statues inside and outside churches. | (Photo: MEMRI JTTM/Shumoukh Al-Islam forum)

"This has been going on for some time, a systematic campaign to rid the region of any vestiges of Christianity."

Throughout its campaign ISIS has often targeted Christians. In February it kidnapped close to 250 Assyrian Christians, and earlier it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in a video it titled "A Message Signed With Blood to the Nation of the Cross."

Todd Daniels, International Christian Concern regional manager for the Middle East, said at the time: "These Islamic extremists continue to claim their inspiration for their actions from their religious beliefs and have once again committed horrific violence in establishing their religious beliefs. We strongly urge the Egyptian government to act swiftly to provide protection for its citizens who remain in Libya and face continued threats if they attempt to flee the country."

Earlier in March, ISIS militants were seen bulldozing and destroying the ancient biblical city of Nimrud in Iraq. The famous statues and archeological treasures of the Assyrian city, founded in the 13th Century BC, were destroyed for being "false idols," according to the jihadists.

The U.N. condemned the action as a "war crime."

UNESCO head Irina Bokova added: "This is yet another attack against the Iraqi people, reminding us that nothing is safe from the cultural cleansing under way in the country: it targets human lives, minorities, and is marked by the systematic destruction of humanity's ancient heritage."

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