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Islamic State tracks down Christians

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The Islamic State marked Christian homes with an "N" (for "Nazara", meaning Christian), on 17 and 18 July 2014 in Mosul, while at the same time issuing a statement enjoining them to convert to Islam, pay a tax for being infidels, or die. [1]

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Some fifteen families agreed to convert.

A mass exodus ensued, but the number of displaced persons is still uncertain. The jihadists having in addition confiscated the cars, people had to leave everything behind and try to reach Tel Afar on foot, some 70 kilometers from Mosul.

On the 18th of July, the Islamic State targeted the major Christian sites (photo: the Syriac Catholic Archdiocese of Mosul set on fire).

Despite the appeals from the patriarchs and bishops of the Levant, the "Westerners" de facto supported the jihadists - who have been perpetrating the same type of abuses in Syria for the past three years - on the grounds that they constituted the price to pay for their fight against the "Alawite dictatorship" (sic). The only difference here is the deadline given Christians to flee: two days against the seven they had in Syria.

Before the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003, there were 1.5 million Christians in the country. Persecuted by the jihadists before the eyes of the occupation troops, 1.2 million fled the country, mainly to seek refuge in Syria. Only 200,000 Christians still remained in Iraq during the invasion by the Islamic State.

[1] “ISIS Statement Ordering Christians to Convert or Die”, Voltaire Network, 18 July 2014.

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