Members of a Syrian rebel faction have organized a book burning of Bibles and Christian books in front of the Greek-Catholic church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Raqqa, a city in Syria that has been under the control of anti-Assad militias for months.
According to the Fides Agency, the militia of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has monopolized the armed insurrection against the Assad regime in several regions of Syria, is “the creation of an Islamic caliphate in the areas which have fallen under its control.”
ISIL was founded in 2003 to oppose the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The report states that civilians are now “subjected to campaigns of indoctrination and fanaticization – based on jihadist ideology.”
Last month, several web videos documented the vandalism committed against the two churches in Raqqa by militants of ISIL, including the destruction of crosses, statues, and sacred images.
In late July, the Roman Jesuit Paolo Dall’Oglio was kidnapped in Raqqa. According to Fides, the main suspects in the kidnapping are the affiliates of ISIL.