In November 1964, Thomas Merton hosted an unprecedented ecumenical gathering of 13 peace authors and activists—including Catholics Daniel and Philip Berrigan, Mennonite John Howard Yoder, and Quaker A. J. Muste—at the Abbey of Gethsemani, in Kentucky.
Satellite images show that Islamic State militants have completely destroyed a 1,400-year-old monastery, St. Elijah’s—the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq. The jihadist group has destroyed other ancient sites in their attempt to establish a caliphate in Iraqi and Syrian territory. “Our Christian history in Mosul is being barbarically leveled,” said Paul Thabit Habib, an Iraq-based Catholic priest. “We see it as an attempt to expel us from Iraq, eliminating and finishing our existence in this land.” The monastery was taken over by U.S. troops during the Iraq War. It had been partially restored before the ISIS demolition (Newsweek, January 20).