One of Mosul’s Oldest Churches

The Church of Saint Thomas, a witness to Mosul's tumultuous history and diversity

Al-Ghad Radio

The Syriac Catholic Saint Thomas (or 'Mar Toma') Church in Mosul is considered one of the oldest churches in the city.  

Syriac Catholic Mar Toma Church by Photographed by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

The church is dedicated to Saint Thomas the Apostle, known as the ‘Apostle of the East', and is believed to have been constructed on the site of the house that the saint once resided in.  

His remnants are believed to have been discovered on the site during a restoration project in 1964.  

General Location (2020) by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

The church is first mentioned in 770 as part of a grievance to Caliph Al-Mahdi. 

The current structure was built around the 13th century.   

merging of churches (2020) by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

The church witnessed numerous restorations and renovations throughout history. It also witnessed a lot of warfare. 

 In 2009, a bomb blast hit the church, resulting in human fatalities and irreparable damage to its former structure. 

The Prophet’s House (2020) by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

After the fall of Mosul to ISIS, the relics of Saint Thomas were taken from the church by Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Mosul, and transferred to the Monastery of Saint Matthew, 20km away from the city, on 17 June 2014. 

Unfortunately, Syriac Catholic Mar Toma Church was not spared during the ISIS occupation.  

Sabotaging the Cross (2020) by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

Like other ancient monuments in Mosul, it was destroyed as part of a deliberate program to eradicate historic city landmarks and erase cultural identity.  

Syriac Catholic Mar Toma Church Counrtyard by Photographed by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

And instead of serving as a holy place of worship, the remnants of the church were used as a prison by ISIS insurgents until the city's liberation in 2017.

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Syriac Catholic Mar Toma ChurchAl-Ghad Radio

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