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CONVERT TO ISLAM OR FACE DEATH, Iraqi Christians told •Churches and Christian-owned shops smashed

By News Express on 19/07/2014

Views: 2,975


The Islamic State group has threatened Christians in the Iraqi city of Mosul with death if they do not convert to Islam or pay a tax, Al Jazeera has reported.

“The Sunni rebel group issued the orders in a letter after Friday prayers,” said Al Jazeera, adding that the document obtained by it states that the order was issued after Christian leaders failed to attend a meeting called by the group.

“In response, the group says in the letter that Christians must either convert to Islam, pay a tax on non-Muslims known as jiziya, or give up their possessions and leave the city. Failure to do so would result in a death penalty, ‘as a last resort’,” Al Jazeera reported this morning.

Continuing, the report said: “Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was overrun by the Islamic State group and allied rebel groups last month.

“The Iraqi army units stationed in the city, most of whom were Shia, fled after the group crossed from Syria and attacked the north of Iraq.

“Before the attack, Mosul’s Christian community was estimated at 3,000. Many are believed to have already fled the city as part of an exodus of up to one-third of the population. Those who fled reported that churches and Christian-owned shops in the city were smashed.

“The Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, held a sermon in Mosul’s grand mosque two weeks ago, calling on all Muslims to unite behind his group.

“The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIL, has issued similar demands in areas it control in Syria, and has posted pictures of Christians being crucified for disobeying orders in Raqqa.

Church leader‎s in Iraq have not responded to the threats officially.”

Condemning the order, Nickolay Mladenov, the head of the UN assistance mission In Iraq, said: “Any persecution of minorities constitutes a crime against humanity and we urge all sides to protect civilians. We have produced a report listing attacks on civilians ‎and have brought this up at the highest levels of the Iraqi government.”

•Photo, courtesy of Al Jazeera, shows the conversion orders were issued in a letter after Friday prayers yesterday.

Source News Express

Posted 19/07/2014 3:07:26 PM

 

 

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Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera