On June 15, Sunday morning Mass was cancelled in Mosul for the first time in 1,600 years reports Christian Today. ISIS insurgents have taken over the region, forcing most Christians out of the area; the few who remain are under the control of militant insurgents.
Christians in Mosul are now prohibited for expressing their faith in public. ISIS leaders also recently demanded that Christians pay a “poll tax” that is not required of Muslim citizens.
Dr. Sallama Al-Khafaji of Iraq’s High Commission on Human Rights said, “The Christians have told me that they cannot pay this tax and they say ‘what am I to do, shall I kill myself?’”
According to Al-Khafaji, ISIS militants entered one Christian home and demanded the money from a family who could not pay the tax. The insurgents raped the mother and daughter in front of the father and son; the father killed himself after witnessing the horrific act.
Bishop of Baghdad Saad Sirop said, “We ask God to give us the wisdom to face these problems with courage. There is no doubt that we are passing through some difficult days.”
Publication date: June 30, 2014