The Islamic State has published a list of rules for Christians living in ISIS controlled territory which they are expected to follow in return for their “safety”, including a ban on church repairs, crosses and praying in public, and a requirement to pay a ‘subjection’ tax to the Islamic authorities.
After months of indiscriminate murder, gunpoint-conversions, and sexual slavery of young Christian girls, the declaration that Christians could enjoy personal safety if they follow a strict list of rules appears to be a radical change of direction for the Islamic State. The declaration, which begins with a quote from the Koran is issued in the name of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the warlord Imam who claims the title of Caliph in the newly established Caliphate, reports the International Business Times.
The Koran quote reads: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgement of superiority and they are in a state of subjection”.
The rules given are arbitrary and oppressive, and in most cases should be followed on pain of death. Any form of public worship and even prayers within earshot of a Muslim are banned: it is not allowed for Christians to “raise their voices when praying or in other acts of worship”. Although what churches remain can continue to be used, building new ones or repairing those damaged over the course of the conflict is forbidden.
Translated, the rules equate to:
- No public worship
- No treachery against ISIS
- No church construction or repairs
- Do not display crosses in Muslim areas or markets
- Praying must be done quietly and should never be heard by Muslims
- No mockery of Muslims or Islam
- Do not prevent others from converting to Islam
The Times newspaper today reports an impending “wipeout” of Christianity in the Middle East, as tens of thousands are murdered, converted, or flee abroad from persecution. 130,000 Christians have fled Mosul, the second city of Iraq, an area where churches have been demolished and Christian property and people confiscated.