Mosul in Iraq ‘empty of Christians’

The city of Mosul is now empty of Christians for the first time in the history of Iraq, according to Patriarch Louis Sako after Islamist fighters told them to convert, pay a protection tax – or be killed reports The Telegraph.

Families, the elderly and the disabled were seen walking in the fierce Summer heat on 19 July after a 12pm noon deadline was announced by the Islamic State group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who has declared a modern caliphate.  Mosques around the city read out the warning which was carried throughout the city via loudspeakers.

The announcement said: “We offer [Christians] three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment. If they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.”

Turkmen, Shabaks and Yazidis numbering at least 200 people have also been seized by the Sunni extremists in the city and 11 of them were slaughtered.

The Iraqi Government has lost control of much land especially in northern Iraq due to the progress of the ISIS extremist group last month. Mosul was captured on 10 June by the Islamist group.