Thousands of Christians fled the Iraqi city of Mosul after receiving death threats from Muslims.
The Islamic State demanded that Christians convert, pay a special tax, and leave; but messages from mosque loudspeakers prompted their immediate departure. Christians were threatened with “nothing for them but the sword” if they did not do these things before noon Saturday.
Senior Christian cleric Patriarch Louis Sako commented on the statement:
We were shocked by the distribution of a statement by the Islamic State calling on Christians to convert to Islam, or to pay unspecified tribute, or to leave their city and their homes taking only their clothes and no luggage, and that their homes would then belong to the Islamic State.
He also told the AFP that “For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians.”
Iraq’s Christian community is now a sliver of what it once was, according to AFP. It once numbered more than a million nationwide, but now it is below 400,000.
Nor is it just Christians who are suffering. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stated:
Every day we receive accounts of a terrible litany of human rights violations being committed in Iraq against ordinary Iraqi children, women and men, who have been deprived of their security, their livelihoods, their homes, education, health care and other basic services.
Should anything be done to stop the flood of violence in Iraq?
Photo credit: Eddie (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom