For centuries, Iraq’s Christians – one of the oldest Christian communities in the world – have lived peacefully alongside their Muslim neighbours. They will soon all be gone, according to The Daily Star of Beirut, Lebanon as the invasion of Iraq by “fellow Christians” from the US in 2003 made them targets for attack by Islamic extremists. Their bishops and priests have been kidnapped for ransom, their churches looted and burned.
Mosul is situated on right bank of the Tigris, in 36° 35′ N., 43° 3′ E.
Pop. 40,000 (Moslems 325,500, Christians 300, 000, Jews 10,000) .
In Mosul, as in Bagdad, only part of the space within the walls of the town are covered with buildings, the rest is occupied by cemeteries; and even the solid limestone walls of the ancient town are half in ruins, being serviceable only in the direction of the river, where they check inundations. So looking at the place there is little reason for ISIS to go there except that it is s on the road to Baghdad.
Since capturing the town, only a fifth of the non Moslems have remained in town since the city was taken over by militant Sunni group ISIS as many fled. The few that fled, mainly because of inability to go, have been told to convert to Islam or face execution.
As usual, the world professes to be appalled, but it doesn’t grasp the gravity of what’s happening. In attacking Arab culture and heritage, the Islamic State’s fanatics are committing something ‘worse than murder”; they are annihilating centuries of civilisation.
|Mosul Christian Church burning, June 2014
Mosul’s Christians were cruelly deceived, said Jomas Avenarius in Siiddeutsche Zeitung (Munich). Like city’s Shias, whose mosques and shrines were “reduced to dust’ the moment the Islamic State took over in June, the Christians found fighters knocking on their doors promising to guarantee their safety, even giving them mobile numbers to call should anyone molest them.
When the militants came round with paint pots daubing on their houses a big “N” for Nasarene – the “somewhat derogatory” Arab term for Christian – many thought that it was to ensure they were left alone like the passover scene in Exodus.
That ended though when a brutal message began to be broadcast from loudspeakers across the city: “Christians, convert or die.” A tiny few, too infirm to travel, have renounced their faith and have found themselves lost in despair.
The rest have fled, like this family on the left,
robbed of their money, jewellery and other possessions at checkpoints. Their houses have been confiscated and handed over to ISIL supporting Sunnis. They have sadly become vagabonds, on the road to who knows where. A holocaust.