In June the Iraqi city of Mosul fell to ISIS, the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams. An underreported implication of this turn of events is how devastating this is to the story of Christianity, says church historian Philip Jenkins. “No later than the second century AD, the city had a Christian presence,” says Jenkins. “This was a vital base for the Church of the East, the so-called Nestorian Church, which made it a metropolitan see.” Also present were the so-called Monophysites, today’s Syrian Orthodox Church. Mosul was also the center of a network of monasteries, some of them the earliest and most active in the monastic movement. “For anyone who cares about Christian history, it’s like the end of the world,” says Jenkins (aleteia.org, June 24).