The Islamic State has issued an ultimatum to the Christians in the town of Mosul in northern Iraq, urging them to convert to Islam, pay a religious tax or face death.
The statement by the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, warned that the Christians had until Saturday to “leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate.”
“After this date, there is nothing between us and them but the sword,” the statement said.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which is the previous former name for the Islamic State, captured Mosul as part of a large-scale offensive in July, which resulted in the declaration of a “caliphate” in parts of Iraq and Syria earlier this month.
Messages warning Christians about the ultimatum were announced through loudspeakers on the city’s mosques.
Church leaders advised the few families who wanted to negotiate with militants that they should also flee for their own safety. The exodus went on in Mosul throughout Friday, with all the Christians abandoning the town by the end of the day.
Source: RT News
Christians Flee from Islamic State Threats
Christian families have abandoned their homes and fled Mosul after the Sunni rebel group, the Islamic State, threatened them with death if they did not convert to Islam or pay tax.
“Some families have had all their money and jewellery taken from them at an insurgent checkpoint as they fled the city,” Abu Rayan, a Christian who left Mosul with his family told AFP news agency on Saturday.
“Some of our homes have already been confiscated and I know families who have handed their keys to neighbours, asking them to look after their property with the hope they would return one day.” Rayan said.
The hardline group on Friday ordered Christians in Mosul that they could convert, pay a tax or flee the city after abandoning their possessions.
An earlier Islamic State statement said there would be “nothing but the sword” if Christians did not abide by those conditions by 9am GMT on Saturday.
Source: Al Jazeera