Rehabilitation of the Mar Behnam Monastery
The Mar Behnam Syriac Catholic Monastery in Khidr, 35 km south-east of Mosul, is one of the oldest Christian monuments in the country. The Monastery dates to the 4th century, although some buildings are medieval. The Monastery has been a site of pilgrimage for Christians, Muslims, and Yazidis, making it a symbol of a peaceful coexistence of the region’s religious communities across centuries.
The Monastery was badly damaged by Daesh in 2015, during the occupation that nearly destroyed the trust between the Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Yezidi communities.
In close cooperation with the Syriac Catholic diocese of Mosul, with the mayor of Al Khidr, and the Iraqi authorities, the project rehabilitated the Monastery, whenever possible using materials from destroyed historic buildings. The project involved Christian and Muslim communities supporting them in rebuilding their trust.