A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the situation of Christians in Iraq. It was not good, judging from the email sent by a Dominican who was there.
And things look worse now:
Last Sunday, for the first time in 1600 years, no mass was celebrated in Mosul. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized Iraq’s second largest city on June 10, causing most Christians in the region to flee in terror, in new kinship with the torment of Christ crucified on the cross. The remnant of Mosul’s ancient Christian community, long inhabitants of the place where many believe Jonah to be buried, now faces annihilation behind ISIS lines. Those who risk worship must do so in silence, praying under new Sharia regulations that have stilled every church bell in the city.
You should read the entire article by Drew Bowling & Andrew Duran at The Daily Beast.
But here are a couple more key paragraphs:
The media has largely ignored the horrifying stories that are emerging from Mosul. On June 23, the Assyrian International News Agency reported that ISIS terrorists entered the home 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.”
As the horrors unfolded in Iraq, back in Washington, in the briefing room of a presidential hopeful, an Iraqi bishop made a desperate plea for help via phone as a delegation of Iraqi Christians seeking greater support for the Kurds. “We have no food, no petrol, no [means] to protect ourselves. Where are America’s values? Where is our dignity?” Many in Washington are keen to see greater Kurdish autonomy, viewing them as the prudent third way between the Sunni states that have supported Islamist militants (Turkey, Saudi, Qatar) and Shia Iran and its puppets. The Kurds represent not only the best hope for an American ally in an increasingly Islamist-dominated region, but also the best hope for the survival of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.
Tragic. They need our prayers.