It’s official: ISIS has now expelled all Christians from Mosul. The NYT reports that ISIS declared this past Friday that every Christian in the city had to be gone by noon on Sunday. More:
Interviews on Friday with Christian elders and leaders suggest that in fact many had hung on, hoping for an accommodation, a way to continue the quiet practice of their faith in the city that had been their home for more than 1,700 years. Chaldeans, Assyrians and other sects, including Mandeans, whose Christianity is close to that of the Gnostics, could still be found in Iraq, and many made their home on the plains of Nineveh in the north of the country, an area mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Genesis.
Friday’s edict, however, was probably the real end. While a few scattered souls may find a way to stay in secret, the community will be gone.
This tragic persecution is a particularly egregious example of a phenomenon that is global and growing. According to the Barnabas Fund, Sri Lanka recently has seen two incidents of mob violence against Christians. Now a hardline Buddhist group called Ravana Balaya has threatened to “take firmer action” if Christians don’t stop trying peacefully to evangelize the country’s citizens.Meanwhile, in China, the government’s systematic campaign to pull down Christian churches has become violent. Reuters reports that several people were injured in China’s Pingyang county recently when they attempted to stop police from removing a cross from a church. In much of the world, these days, it’s increasingly dangerous to be a Christian.