Islam in Syria: Minaret of Ancient Mosque Destroyed

Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo

Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo
Minaret in background destroyed

Al Jazeera reported that the minaret of the ancient Umayyad mosque in Aleppo, Syria has been destroyed, according to Syrian state media. Both sides of the fighting in Syria blame the other: Syrian rebels blame the army, while the state blames rebel fighters. The Umayyad mosque is currently in rebel control.

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Aleppo’s largest and oldest mosque, Umayyad is situated in the city’s UNESCO*-listed Old City. It held various Islamic relics and ancient artefacts and is purportedly the home of the remains of Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father.

According to Al Jazeera, “both rebels and regime forces have turned some of Syria’s significant historic sites into bases, including citadels and Turkish bath houses, while thieves have stolen artifacts from museums.” UNESCO says that five of six World Heritage sites in Syria have been damaged, a list which includes the Ancient Cities of Aleppo, Bosra, and Damascus, the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Saladin’s Castle), and Site of Palmyra.

Pray for the fighting to cease in Syria. Pray for Syrian Christians to share the gospel with the Muslim neighbors; it is in times of great unrest that the gospel spreads.

*UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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