The United States Department of State has detailed in its International Religious Freedom report what one group described as "unimaginable horrors" Christians are facing at the hands of the Islamic State terror group, including beheadings and kidnappings. The American Center for Law and Justice, which has been speaking out about Christian persecution across Iraq and Syria, described accounts in the IRF report as "truly gut-wrenching," and said the report only offers "a small glimpse at the unimaginable horrors" Christians are facing.
In Mosul, Iraq and nearby towns, shortly after the takeover of the area by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Christians who had been given the choice to convert, pay a ruinous tax, or die, gathered their families and what few possessions they could carry, and sought all possible means to escape. Their community, having been a part of the rich culture and history of this city for more than a thousand years, was being threatened. Three-year old Christina Khader Ebada boarded a crowded bus with her mother to leave when suddenly one of the fighters guarding the checkpoint tore Christina from her mother’s arms. The panicked mother followed him, pleading with him to return the girl. “Shut up,” he responded. “If you come close to this little girl you will be slaughtered; we will slaughter you.” And she was forced back on the bus, leaving her baby behind, never to know what became of her. Christina and her family were also victims of ISIL’s brutal persecution, which has targeted all those, including religious and ethnic minorities, who oppose or do not fit in with ISIL’s ideological vision and its categorical and violent opposition to religious freedom.
David Saperstein, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom (IRF) has said, “There is an absolute and unequivocal need to give voice to the religiously oppressed in every land afraid to speak of what they believe in; who face death and live in fear, who worship in underground churches, mosques or temples, who feel so desperate that they flee their homes to avoid killing and persecution simply because they love God in their own way or question the existence of God.”
Report is here.