Armenians established in Iraq’s largest city of Mosul centuries ago. There are facts to support this, including the manuscript Book of Sermons (1352) entitled “Book about the City of Mosul by Priest Manuel” (Karin List, 2206). Consequently, it is safe to conclude that Armenians settled in Mosul in the 14th century, had a spiritual pastor and might have even had a church.
Today there are 2 Armenian churches in Mosul that have been destroyed by terrorists, Pastor of the Diocese of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church of Iraq in Zakho, Fr. Mambre Hmayakyan told Hayern Aysor.
Holy Etchmiadzin Church
The oldest of the churches is the Holy Etchmiadzin Church, construction of which ended on June 7, 1857. It was one of the most beautiful churches of the Armenian Diocese of Iraq, but was destroyed by the Islamic State. According to information provided by the Muslim families living in the vicinity of the church, the church was used as a court, and the Prelacy located in the churchyard – as a prison.
Currently, the city is liberated from terrorists, but the road leading to the church has been completely bombarded, and it is impossible to reach the church by car or foot. Recently, Chairman of the District Council of Mosul, accompanied by soldiers, reached the church through holes in homes that the terrorists had dug to move freely and without any harm. According to Kulizian, there were bodies of IS terrorists in the churchyard.
Newly built church
The other church is newly built. The church hadn’t even been consecrated when the attacks began. It is also destroyed. Terrorists have tried to destroy the newly built church several times with the use of explosives, but it survives thanks to strong foundation.
Currently, there are 3 Armenian families (10 people) living in Mosul.