To Be A Christian In The “Islamic State”

Well, you may be able to imagine. Andrew Doran and Drew Bowling report on the plight of Mosul’s terrified Christians:

On June 23, the Assyrian International News Agency reported that ISIS terrorists entered the Iraqi Refugees in Erbilhome of a Christian family in Mosul and demanded that they pay the jizya (a tax on non-Muslims). According to AINA, “When the Assyrian family said they did not have the money, three ISIS members raped the mother and daughter in front of the husband and father. The husband and father was so traumatized that he committed suicide.”

Although few reports from ISIS-occupied Iraq can be corroborated, the group’s record of torture chambers, public executions, and crucifixions lends credibility to nightmarish accounts from the ground. Since the fall of Mosul, a litany of evils has replaced the liturgies of the Christians there: a young boy ripped from the arms of his parents as they ran from the ISIS advance and shot before their eyes, girls killed for not wearing the hijab.

Small wonder that since the fall of Mosul, tens of thousands of defenseless civilians have fled the ISIS onslaught, including the region’s Christians, whose presence on the Nineveh plains dates back to the earliest centuries of Christianity. Most have left their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Meanwhile, some Iraqi Christians are turning to Putin as a possible savior:

“Russia proved through history that it’s the only defender of Christians,” said Ashur Giwargis, who heads the Assyrian Patriotic Movement (APM), which for two years has energetically lobbied the Kremlin to support an independent Assyrian Christian state in northern Iraq. Until recently, the Beirut-based exile and his colleagues, who are scattered among the global Iraqi diaspora, had little to show for their efforts, but in January, as Western-Russian tensions escalated over Ukraine, Giwargis was summoned to Moscow to meet government officials. …

There are few assurances that Russia—which is already held in low regard by much of the Arab World for its stance on Syria—will further jeopardize its relations across the region by throwing its weight behind Iraq’s Christians. Nor, for that matter, does APM’s courting of Putin necessarily command serious support among many Iraqi Christians, of whom only 10-15 percent favor its pro-active approach, according to several church officials.

But the APM’s fishing for alternative patrons is illustrative of the tremendous anger many Eastern Christians feel towards the West for its perceived indifference to their plight.

(Photo: A Iraqi girl fleeing from the city of Mosul arrives at a Kuridish checkpoint. ISIS has captured major roads and town in central Iraq. June 12, 2014. By Sebastiano Tomada/Getty Images.)