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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

ISIS Selling Church Artifacts Worth Millions to Western Collectors

  • Carrie Dedrick
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2014 Dec 18
  • Comments

ISIS is reportedly making money by raiding and looting churches in Iraq and Syria, then selling valuable stolen artifacts. 


Christian Today reports some of the stolen artifacts are worth millions of dollars. 


The militants previously established illegal channels to smuggle oil and weapons across borders. Authorities believe these same channels are being used to connect with western collectors of religious artifacts. 


Willy Bruggeman, Belgian federal police council president told the Times that ISIS is likely "using their own networks to come into contact with the final buyers...they want to have a one-to-one relationship with the collectors.” 


No collectors in the UK have been caught accepting the stolen goods, but Bruggeman said that it is most likely going on undetected. 


Murals and masonry taken off church walls are the most common stolen artifacts. 



Publication date: December 18, 2014