The Islamic State’s occupation of Mosul and other parts of Iraq can only be described as a wrecking ball of Islamic extremism.
Genocide against Christians was brutal and systematic.
When ISIS entered Mosul, one of the country’s largest cities, militants began singling Christians out.
ISIS marked their homes and businesses with a symbol — the Arabic letter “N,” which stands for Nazarene or Nasrani, the Arabic word for Christian.
It gave Christians four options – leave, convert to Islam, pay a tax or be killed. (The “N” symbol has become a rallying cry for Christians and sympathizers around the world.)
They and other religious groups were forced from their homes, their possessions either looted or destroyed, and many of them were enslaved or killed.
Nearly all the Christians, estimated around 120,000, fled. Those left behind were beheaded, tortured, subjected to sexual abuse, sold into slavery or forced conversion.
A Yazidi girl who escaped after she was captured by ISIS jihadists, said she was raped every day and attempted to kill herself. She was 14 years old when ISIS fighters captured her in 2014.
One resident told of his brother-in-law being crucified in front of the man’s wife and children.
“They told him that if he loved Jesus that much, he would die like Jesus.”
Christian churches were converted to warehouses or destroyed.
Emanuel Youkhana, an Assyrian Church of the East priest who directs the Christian Aid Program of Northern Iraq, fears there is no longer a future for Christians in Mosul.
Homes, landmarks and people have all been destroyed in the wake of ISIS trying to create its own caliphate.
For example, the city of Qaraqosh once contained 60,000, many of them Chaldean or Syrian Christians. It was turned into a tomb.
ISIS cut electricity and running water, and introduced IEDs, tunneling and fighters to the residents left behind.
ISIS used earthmovers and bulldozers to do what chisels and explosives could not.
Their goal was to eliminate the past, present and future of every non-Muslim, particularly Christians.
In Mosul, the terror group left every street, every wall, every doorway marred or destroyed by fighting.
Militants tunneled passageways running 30 feet deep beneath houses, leaving dirt piled high inside bedrooms where it reached above the curtains.
They punched large doorways through houses so they could pass house to house without being detected by aircraft.
In a church cemetery in Bartella, militants uncovered and desecrated nearly every gravesite, even prying open caskets to leave bodies exposed.
This is the terror group’s systematic destruction, the work of a sick but highly organized bureaucracy.
First church service held in Mosul since ISIS retreated
As ISIS is pushed out of Iraq, a semblance of life is returning within the destroyed hulls of cities.
The first church service in Mosul took place Aug. 9, held in a church where crosses were busted off with sledgehammers
But will the Christians ever return? Many still do not feel safe or welcome in the places they once called home.
There are several aid projects in place, among them Christian Aid Mission (CAM). They and other groups are providing food, blankets and basic necessities to war-ravaged residents, particularly in Mosul.
As fellow Christians, we can send aid where possible.
And we can pray for the restoration of Iraq and that our fellow servants can live in peace the world over.
Would you please sign this petition to have Congress vote for H.R. 565, the Save the Christians from Genocide Act?
CLICK HERE to sign the petition.
And if you can, please donate $10 to help get this petition signed by Congress.
CLICK HERE to donate.
Watch this informative, brief video on donating to save Christians
Watch this powerful 5-minute video of the devastation in Mosul.
What do you think? Write me at [email protected]