It’s being reported that for the first time in history, the Iraqi city of Mosul is now empty of Christians after a warning was blasted from mosque speakers, and flyers passed out. The ultimatum issued was to either flee the city, pay the ‘al-Jiziya’ tax for Jews and Christians living under Muslim dominance prescribed in the Koran, or “face the sword.” After seeing their bloodthirsty viciousness in dealing with the remnants of the Iraqi army, the Christians chose to leave.
Christians were fleeing Iraq’s jihadist-held city of Mosul en masse Friday after mosques relayed an ultimatum giving them a few hours to leave, the country’s Chaldean patriarch and witnesses said.
“Christian families are on their way to Dohuk and Arbil,” in the neighboring autonomous region of Kurdistan, Patriarch Louis Sako told AFP. “For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians.”
Witnesses said messages telling Christians to leave the city by Saturday were blared through loudspeakers from the city’s mosques Friday.
A statement dated from last week and purportedly issued by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadist group that took over the city and large swathes of Iraq during a sweeping offensive last month warned Mosul’s Christians they should convert, pay a special tax, leave or face death.
“We were shocked by the distribution of a statement by the Islamic State calling on Christians to convert to Islam, or to pay unspecified tribute, or to leave their city and their homes taking only their clothes and no luggage, and that their homes would then belong to the Islamic State,” Sako said.
In a perverse reversal of the Old Testament story, homes of Christians have been marked with an “N” for “Nassareh,” the term the Koran uses to refer to Christians.