Iraq,  The persecuted church

France offers a refuge to Christians fleeing from Iraq

As Damian Thompson observes in the Spectator, the international/media response to ISIS’s treatment of Christians in Iraq has been apathetic:

Most modern Christians have no idea that a gigantic Church worshipping in Syriac — a form of Jesus’s mother tongue, Aramaic — once spread from the Mediterranean to the Pacific. And this ignorance helps explain the shamefully sluggish reaction to the news that the last members of this community in the Middle East are being cleansed from the soil by fundamentalist Muslims.

The National Secular Society reports on the plight facing Christians in Mosul:

Before pitilessly exiling the Christians on foot, Isis stole everything they had — homes, businesses, cars, money and even wedding rings, sometimes with the ring fingers attached. Churches have all been destroyed, shuttered or turned into mosques.

Isis has taken a sledgehammer to the tomb of Jonah, replaced the cross with the black Islamic flag on top of Mosul’s St Ephrem’s cathedral, and beheaded or crucified any Muslim who dared to dissent.

Even before the arrival of Isis, targeted persecution of Iraq’s Christians, who still pray in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, was ignored. The numbers in Mosul have gone from 30,000 to zero.

And  this post offers a horrifying account of the ordeal faced by Iraq’s Christians

“There is not a single Christian family left in Mosul,” he said. “The last one was a disabled Christian woman. She stayed because she could not get out. They came to her and said you have to get out and if you don’t we will cut off your head with a sword. That was the last family.”

while noting that ISIS does not speak for all of Iraq’s Muslims.

“The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) condemns the forced expulsion of the Christian brothers of Iraq from their homes, cities and provinces,” the group said. “These are acts that violate Islamic laws, Islamic conscience and leave but a negative image of Islam and Muslims.”

“They (Christians) are native sons of Iraq and not intruders,” IUMS concluded. “The aim must be to bury discord, unite the ranks and solve Iraq’s problems, rather than thrusting it into matters that would further complicate the situation.”

Now some Christians – faced with a choice between paying the jizya tax, converting to Islam, and death – have been offered a refuge in France:

Two top ministers said, “We are ready, if they so desire, to help facilitate asylum on our territory.”

It was a joint message from Laurent Fabius and Bernard Cazeneuve, respectively foreign minister and interior minister in the Socialist government.

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