Islamic militant terrorists ISIS is giving non-muslims in Iraq three options: leave, convert or die. A WorldWatch Monitor report tells the personal account of Iraqi Christian Mikha Qasha.
In August, WWM reported that Qasha, an elderly paralytic, was moved from his home in Qaraqosh after ISIS members threatened him with weapons giving him one week to leave, convert to Islam or "face the sword."
Qasha eventually found his grandson and was taken to Ankawa, Iraq, the predominantly Christian suburb in the province of Erbil. ISIS has reportedly been giving the ultimatum since the group took over Mosul, the capital of the Nineveh providence in northern Iraq, in June.
The group also threatened to impose a "special tax" on Iraqi Christians. Thousands of Christians left Mosul in July after the group gave the ultimatum saying that if they did comply there would be 'nothing for them but the sword."
Of the 3,500 Christians living in Mosul, WWM reports that about 25 of them decided to remain in Mosul. Since then, nine have converted to Islam and the others are paying an Islamic tax for non-muslims called jizya. Later on, ISIS demanded an immediate decision by the small group of Iraqi Christians, and they are now giving all non-muslims one week to decide.
The United Nations launched a major aid operation Aug. 20 providing tents and other goods to Erbil via land, air and sea. Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, told WWM that Christian persecution in Iraq is "off the scale."
Welby said that the members of the terrorist group are "particularly savage" and "the international community must document the human rights abuses in northern Iraq so that the perpetrators can later be prosecuted."
Some non-muslim refugees have found refuge in an Ankawa refugee camp. WWM reports that a group of church workers are currently helping more than 360 families staying in Erbil. Of the families, 216 live in the church's courtyard. The group serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to more than a thousand people every day.
by Charlene Adams