As millions of Christian celebrated Easter Sunday morning, the Islamic State destroyed the Virgin Mary Church in Tel Nasri, northeast Syria.

Virgin Mary Church, Tel Nasri

The Assyrian church of Virgin Mary was built and consecrated in 1934.  It was then temporarily closed for renovation and reopened in 2005.

According to Arabic media reports, the church was leveled around 9 a.m. Sunday (Syrian time).  Loosely translated as “Christian Hill,” Tel Nasri is an ancient Assyrian Christian village.

It is one of the dozens of Christian villages along the Khabur river that were attacked and occupied by the Islamic State in late February (more here and here).

Side view of now destroyed church
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Courtesy of RaymondIbrahim.com

Raymond Ibrahim is a Middle East and Islam specialist and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow, David Horowitz Freedom Center; a CBN News contributor; a Media Fellow, Hoover Institution (2013); and a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum . Ibrahim’s dual-background — born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East — has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.