Church destroyed and crucifixes smashed in the now ISIS-free Christian town of Bertella near Mosul

Iraqi elite troops seized Christian ghost town Bartella near Mosul. (The European Post)

Former residents of the ancient Christian town of Bartella will find what they did to it hard to forgive. Inhabited by Assyrians since the first century, Bartella is one of the oldest Christian towns in the world. (Telegraph)

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-01-33-26Islamic State appears to have removed crosses from atop the steeple and bell tower of Saint Matthew’s church and defaced the statue of a religious figure. The stone sanctuary is in disarray: the floor is covered in filth, wooden pews are toppled and hymnals are strewn about. (Reuters)

Inside the church, the walls were sprayed with slogans and the floors were littered with dirt and garbage. As Iraqi soldiers raised the national flag over the building, they rang the church bell to signal its liberation. (Fox News)