The northern Iraqi village of Bartella has been liberated from the hands of ISIS and now people like Father John Tarachee and his wife are returning for the first time in a couple of years.
In this 1:50 second video, Iraqi priest, Father John Tarachee showcases his return, the first time of this happening, after being forced to flee Bartella two years ago due to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
In the twenty-seven month control by the terrorist group in the town outside of Mosul, the Father’s church had been burned down and the cross hanging had bullets plastered in it.
The personal home of the priest had been ransacked and his prize possession according to the video, a 4,000 book collection had been pulled off of its shelves onto the ground.
Christian priest returns to his village of Bartella in Iraq for 1st time in 2 years after it was liberated by Iraqi forces from ISIS control pic.twitter.com/XTo3nobFsA
— Abu Nidal (@brooklynjnoubi) October 26, 2016
Despite this, Father Tarachee was elated to be back. He stated that, “I’m so happy, because I haven’t seen my home in two years and three months.”
Upon the faithful family’s return, his wife threw out sweets to the soldiers who were still present in the Nineveh Plains, an area referring to the northeast region of Iraq.
The Kurdish and Iraqi forces responsible for liberating the town, also worked with the Christian couple to rebuild their home.
When it comes to the Priest’s church, in the video, he was asked if he would come back? In response, Father Tarachee states while carrying some of his books to the church, “of course, of course I will come.” Then an additional question, followed up, saying, “rebuild?”
The Priest responds and states, “I will rebuild and make it well.”
Another triumph happened for the Christians of Bartella, one of the oldest regions of Christianity in Iraq. According to a Facebook post from the Shlama Foundation, an organization focused on providing aid for community based projects to help the Christian Chaldean Assyrian Syriac people, church bells were heard throughout the quarter for the first time, prior to ISIS control.
The 44 second video posted on the organization’s social media page said, for the first time in two years, the bells of Bartella’s Saint Matthew’s Church rang after the Nineveh Plains Forces (NPF) and Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPPU) as well as the Kurdish and Iraqi Military defeated ISIS.
Commentary included an unidentified person speaking to Mustafa at Saint Matthew’s Church saying, “Mustafa, we are not leaving until we ring the bells.”
Explaining, “there is nothing left to it, we’ve arrived and we just have to get Mustafa up there.”
Adding, “Mustafa I don’t want to just hear it I want all the people to hear it.”
Mustafa responds, “Absolutely, God willing. Every family from everywhere will hear these bells.”
The social media statement provided by Shlama stated that, Bartella had 20,000 people before ISIS invaded.