Update: Christians in Mosul, Iraq

 “Christians throughout the Middle East have been
targeted, and we are on the verge of being exterminated. The West
stepped in to stop the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar
Muslims, so we know it can be done. The West must step in now and save
the Middle East’s Christians, or we will be wiped out.” 
Bishop Habash 

ISIS has taken over Mosul and declared an Islamic state in an ever-increasing area within Syria and Iraq.  The international community is doing little to thwart the crisis and Christians are paying the price.

Mosul is where most of the Christians in Iraq live and is one of the last places to speak the language of Jesus – Aramaic.  Many fled other areas of Iraq and sought refuge in Mosul.  Many fled the city and went to Irbil (Kurdish city) when ISIS came and took over. 

The Christians that remained in the city of Mosul fled this last week to neighboring Kurdish cities.  They were given an ultimatum, convert, pay jiziya, or die.  Jiziya is a tax that non-Muslims (namely Christians) must pay in order to not be killed.*  If Christians did not comply by midday on July 19, “then there is nothing to give them but the sword.”

Christian houses were marked with a red “N” – meaning “Nazara,” the word for “Christian.”

There are reports of families being tortured and abused because they could not pay the tax.  One father committed suicide after his wife and daughter were brutally raped in front of him because he could not pay the tax.

Nuns and orphans are being kidnapped.

As if eradicating Christians from the area was not enough, ISIS has demolished the tomb believed to belong to Jonah and yesterday, set fire to an 1800 year old church.

ISIS, as well as other Islamic extremists, are taking over.  Christians have nowhere to go.

In addition, ISIS is seizing oil fields and other critical infrastructure.

See the maps below (from BBC) showing the situation. 

If you want to help Christians in Iraq, consider giving to Open Doors.  It is a valid organization that has people on the ground to help with medical, food, and shelter.

* Jiziya is described in the Book of Omar.  A good book to help you understand
this concept is “Crucified Again” by Ibrahim.  I highly recommend this
book.

Map showing Isis in Iraq and Syria 
Areas ISIS claims to control or have a presence in 
Map of Iraq's ethnic makeup and population 
Map of Iraq's oil resources 
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