There are many media reports that ISIL, the radical Sunni Islamic army which has taken over much of eastern Syria and northern Iraq, has ordered all Christians remaining in Mosul, a major northern Iraqi city, to either convert to Islam, pay a special tax or face death. The first three links [1, 2, 3] present this information from somewhat different perspectives. I think it likely that most Christians in Mosul already fled to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq for sanctuary when ISIL first invaded and occupied Mosul. Reportedly, only 3,000 Christians remain in Mosul and those now fleeing the city are forced by ISIL to leave all possessions, homes and money behind for ISIL to seize.
Jesus Christ prophesied that believers in the latter days would face persecution and even martyrdom (Matthew 24:9). It is happening in many areas of the Muslim world. Notably, Christians in northern Nigeria are being attacked, killed and kidnapped by another radical Islamic group called Boko Haram. The Nigerian army seems ineffective in protecting its own citizens and other nations have not provided help to stop Boko Haram’s attacks the way they have done so in other African nations. It was Boko Haram that kidnapped over 200 girls and forced them to convert to Islam. The French have militarily intervened in a number of African nations, including a major operation in Mali, to successfully defeat and repulse radical Islamic groups.
Just because persecution of Christians hasn’t reached your back yard yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. Even in the USA, Christians could face persecution in the future for even expressing their biblical beliefs on Christian topics. Thankfully, the USA’s Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and personal speech so Christians (and other groups) have special protections. Readers in other nations may face “hate crime” charges for simply expressing biblical teachings of modern lifestyle and social issues.
The ISIL group is becoming a threat to everyone in the Mideast region. They are waging war on and killing Shiites, moderate Sunnis, Christians, etc. ISIL has even threatened to attack Sunni-led Jordan and kill their king, as I noted in my recent post. ISIL is even now rumored to be capable of assembling a uranium “dirty bomb” to be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world (fourth link).
ISIL has declared itself to be a new Islamic “Caliphate.” My understanding is that a Caliph would claim to be the supreme leader of the Islamic world. Does this mean that ISIL will soon threaten to overthrow not only the Jordanian king, but the Saudi royal house and Turkey’s Prime Minister? Whoever founded and funded ISIL has created a Frankenstein monster. Even Islamic nations are not safe from ISIL’s lust for power and territory. The sooner the Islamic nations in the region realize this, the better!