The Corner

One of Iraq’s Most Ancient Christian Communities Now Has No Christians

The Islamic State presented Christians in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, with a deadly ultimatum last Friday: Convert to Islam, pay a tax, leave, or face death. The order from the militants said they had until noon on Saturday to leave the city, and almost all of them appear to have left. 

The Islamic State, which controls parts of northern Iraq and eastern Syria, ordered Christians in Mosul a couple of weeks ago to pay a tax, known as “jizya,” in return for protection, according to the Blaze. Jihadis then started occupying churches and seizing the homes of Christians who had fled, and militants have now apparently removed the cross from one of Mosul’s cathedrals, replacing it with the black flag of al-Qaeda. Reports that one of Mosul’s cathedrals has been burned to the ground, however, are unconfirmed.

Christians living in Mosul make up one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, dating back 1,700 years. Their population has decreased dramatically since the U.S. invasion of the country in 2003, as it has in Iraq more broadly: The city’s Christian population dropped from 30,000 to just a few thousand, before the most recent jihadist offensive. In Iraq generally, there were about 1 million Christians before the U.S. invasion, a number that’s dropped to about 450,000 in the past decade.

According to a United Nations report released Friday, Christians are among several minority groups that are being systematically expelled or killed by Islamic State militants. Most of the Christians have reportedly fled to the areas of Iraq controlled by the Kurds, which are close to Mosul.

Most Popular

Elections

What Do Republican Voters Want?

The latest entry in the post-Trump conservatism sweepstakes was Marco Rubio’s speech at the Catholic University of America in early November. The Florida senator made the case for a “common-good capitalism” that looks on markets in the light of Catholic social thought. “We must remember that our nation ... Read More
Books

The Houellebecqian Moment

We are living in the imagination of Michel Houellebecq. The bête noire of French literature has spent decades deploring the erosion of Western mores that he believes resulted from the sexual revolution of the 1960s. His last novel, Submission, revolved around the election of a theocratic Muslim to the French ... Read More
Culture

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More
World

Israel’s New Way of War

Commuters on Route 4, driving toward the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod on November 12, were shocked by an explosion, a rocket impact next to a major intersection. Had it fallen on a car or one of the many trucks plying the route, there would have been deaths, and the road would have been closed. Instead, police ... Read More