“They took everything from us, but they cannot take God from our hearts. They cannot.”
Those are the opening words of Archbishop Nicodemus Sharaf in Mosul on tonight’s 60 Minutes episode. The show chronicles the ascendancy of ISIS there.
He shares the sad news: His ancient church, which still prays in the language of Jesus, seems doomed.
“I think they burn all the books,” says the Archbishop. “And we have books from the first century of the Christianity.”
The report tells of churches being coopted by ISIS, of the military campaign in Mosul, and of the abolition of all Christian symbols.
But the human cost is the hardest to see.
Iraq is being cleansed of Christians, reports Lara Logan. She shares terrible details like the man who says he would convert to Islam, afraid that ISIS would take his wife and daughter.
“They said to me that in Islam, the Sharia says girls that are 10 years old should get married,” he said. “We were so scared they were going to take our daughter from us.”
The report does not share many stories of Christian hope. But it does chronicle the military response.
“The Christian community hastily set up militias to guard their deserted villages and homes along the frontline, and they’re getting a little help. We were surprised to come across American Brett Felton, a Christian veteran of the Iraq war, who traveled — on his own — from Detroit to train Christian volunteers.”
It also records Archbishop Sharaf’s exasperation with friendly Muslims who he believes should be raising an outcry.
“Speak up. Of course, there is good people of the Islam people. …. Not all Muslim people [are] bad. I believe. But where is the good people? Where is their voice? Nothing. Few. Few.”
Watch the episode above or at 60 Minutes, where you can also read a full transcript.