Yesterday the Islamist group ISIS read out an ultimatum to Chrisians from its Mosques. It called on Christians to comply by midday on Saturday or face death if they did not leave the northern city.
The ultimatum cited a historic contract known as “dhimma,” under which non-Muslims in Islamic societies who refuse to convert are offered protection if they pay a fee, called a “jizya”.
"We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword," the Isis statement said.
Please keep the native Christians of Iraq in your prayers as they face this threat against their very existence.
Western media have been so lax about reporting the very real, and torturous persecution Christians are facing in Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria and others. For example, a 14yr old Altar boy was taken from serving Mass and Crucified against the front door of the Church not very long ago in Mosul/Ninevah. Elsewhere, a Priest was decapitated and his head left on the front steps of his Church.
But you won’t find out about it on the Internet, or in the newspapers, because Western Media doesn’t care. The only reason I happen to know this is because my (Benedictine) Priest has (Religious Order) friends that escaped from Iraq recently, and this was their lived experience.
Oh and by the by, when ISIS say that “they will have nothing but the sword”, it’s worth being aware that in parts of ISIS controlled territory, crucifixion is the preferred treatment for Christians. A dozen men were crucified in a town square just a couple of months ago, because they refused to recant or pay the jizya - that was in Syria, but the belief that ‘the sword is too good’ for Christians is strong in certain areas. (Rather like the Roman Empire - St Paul wasn’t crucified because he was a Roman Citizen, and crucifixion was kept for non Romans, as “lesser” human beings.
Signal boost the heck out of this, and please, please pray.
(and it shouldn’t need said, but please, do also remember that this is not the will of the majority of Muslims, who are just as horrified - if not more so - as we are at this reckless, awful treatment of other human beings.)