An Isis supporter vandalising a cross on a church in Mosul
An Iraqi Christian priest has revealed that several Muslim neighbours turned against Christians in Mosul after the city was captured by the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists in June 2014.
Father Douglas Bazi, a Chaldean Christian priest, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, made some shocking revelations about the events that partly resulted in about 100,000 Christians being forced to leave their homes and flee Mosul.
It was not just the “genocidal” campaign of ethnic cleansing that forced the Christians to leave their homes; their Muslim neighbours were also in a way responsible for making the Christian population feel unsafe inside Mosul.
After capturing the second largest Iraqi city, Isis issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Christians to either convert, pay exorbitant tax or face beheading. But what apparently matters worse for the local Christians was the attitude of their Muslim neighbours, who, empowered by the Isis, literally forced the Christians to leave, he said.
In one instance, a Muslim man, who had lived with his Christian neighbour for 30 years, threatened to kill the latter, if he did not vacate his home immediately as he wanted his house, Father Bazi revealed.
“The Muslim guy, he went to the Christian’s door and knocked and said ‘did you hear about the decree, the announcement is to leave in 24 hours by Allah’s name, and if I see you here tomorrow I’m going to kill you,'” the priest said.
Bazi, who himself was once captured and tortured by Al Qaeda in 2006, runs centres for displaced Iraqi Christians.
Since capturing areas in Iraq, the Sunni terrorist group has desecrated and destroyed dozens of churches in the region.
In July 2014, days after throwing Christians out of Mosul, the Sunni group, which wants to establish a Muslim kingdom governed under the Sharia law, burned down 1,800-year-old Chaldean Christian churches inside the city.
The cross from St. Ephrem’s Cathedral, once the seat of the Syriac Orthodox archdiocese in Mosul, was removed and instead the black flag of Isis was hoisted on the church dome.