Muslims are making history, but not in a way of which the world can be proud.
Christians have lived in Mosul, Iraq for at least over 2,000 years, according to historical documents. That has all changed with the threats that any Christian who stayed would be slaughtered.
ISIS have officially forced the last living Christian in Mosul to leave the city, ending 2 millennia of Christian existence, which began with St. Peter’s scriptural reference to the church in Babylon.
Assyrian International News Agency reports:
The last Christian reportedly left Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul at 12:00pm on Saturday, ending over 6,000 years of Assyrian history in the city. Assyrians have lived in Mosul for over 6,000 years, converting to Christianity over 2,000 years ago. This all came to an end on Saturday, when the last Assyrian Christian left the city. On Thursday, July 17th, the Islamic State (IS)– formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)– released a statement demanding the Christians in Mosul either to convert to Islam, paying the jizya (tax on non-Muslims), leave the city, or be killed. The threat was to be implemented on Saturday. It is being reported locally that by noon yesterday, every Christian had chosen to leave.
Here in Erbil, about an hour an half [sic] away from Mosul by car, I have spoken with families who were forced to flee. They describe how ISIS invaded their homes, taking whatever they wanted, and threatening to kill them. The estimates are that over 500,000 refugees have fled Mosul after Islamists took control on June 10th, and the few remaining Christians left yesterday.
ISIS made citizens first believe they were there to protect them, but soon began forcefully implementing oppressive Sharia law, with which even Muslim citizens were forced to comply.
The notice of eviction from Mosul came with Muslims marking Christians’ homes to identify where they were living. Christians ultimately decided they could not hide from the Islamic authorities, packing up what they could and leaving within hours of ISIS warning.
Everyone I have spoken with has expressed their frustration with the international community’s lack of response to the crisis facing the people of Iraq. They blamed the United States for creating the current situation and for leaving the country so quickly and so creating the vacuum for IS to exploit. Many also think that it was a serious mistake for the U.S. to “give Iraq to Iran,” allowing Tehran to have a major influence in the Iraqi Parliament.
Another local told me he thought it was strange and nonsensical that the U.S. and European countries were opposed to IS in Iraq, but supporting IS groups in Syria and other violent groups against local governments. They warned of the danger such groups pose to the West. “These jihadists will eventually go home to their countries, to Canada, England and the U.S.” said one.
Christians also fear that Iraq may split into several smaller countries, creating a domino effect in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt.
Since 2003, more than 1 million Christians have been exiled from Iraq. Now, only 300,000 remain in the country.