The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group has continued its effort to destroy the Christian faith in Iraq, as reports come out revealing the extensive killing of Christians, including crucifixions and the beheadings of children.
"They are systemically beheading children, and mothers, and fathers. The world hasn't seen an evil like this for a generation. There's actually a park in Mosul that they've actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick," Mark Arabo, national spokesman for Iraqi Christians told CNN.
According to a report by Arab News, ISIL militants have moved on from beheading to burying women and children alive in mass graves.
In July, the ISIL captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, as they looted Christian homes, desecrated cemeteries, destroyed tombs of biblical prophets, ruined churches, and pulled down crosses.
Christians were told that they could escape this harassment and death by paying a fine. However, Arabo says the ISIL broke this so-called promise.
"The letter that they sent out with those three items (convert, pay a fine or die), they did ask to pay a fine but actually after they pay a fine, they (ISIL militants) are actually taking over their wives and their daughters and making them into their wives. So really it's convert or die, face death by the sword," explained Arabo.
"They've marked the red stamp of death on Christian homes and basically saying we know who you are and if you come back, you will get killed. That's why we're saying this is a Christian holocaust within our midst and the world community cannot turn a blind eye," said Arabo. "They are absolutely killing every Christian they see. This is a genocide in every sense of the word. They want everyone to convert and they want Sharia law to be the law of the land."
The U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper reported that over 200,000 Iraqis have fled from Nineveh, Iraq's largest Christian city, to the north as the ISIL campaign of murder and mayhem continues.
Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako told AFP News that Iraqi Christians “have fled with nothing but their clothes, some of them on foot, to reach the Kurdistan region.” He added that it was a “humanitarian disaster. The churches are occupied, their crosses were taken down,” with ISIL terrorists burning as many as 1,500 ancient Christian manuscripts.
Iraqi Christians have protested demanding that the United Nations, who they have criticized for their lack of help, to intervene and protect them from persecution by the ISIL.
“We were holding banners in Arabic, English, Chaldean and French against the violence that happened in Mosul and (questioning) why the world was in silence against our problems,” Sahar Mansur, a Chaldean Catholic told Catholic News Service. She added that the people in Iraq are not only angry about being driven away from their homes, but also about the international silence at the injustices they are suffering.
Arab League Chief Nabil Al-Arabi condemned on Monday "crimes against humanity" committed by the terrorists in Iraq, who are also targeting the minority Yazidi sect, and demanded the executors to be brought to justice.
Arabi "strongly denounced the crimes, killings, dispossession carried out by the terrorist (IS) against civilians and minorities in Iraq that have affected Christians in Mosul and Yazidis," he said in statement.
"The perpetrators must be held accountable and brought to international justice," the statement said.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Catholic Church Pope Francis has expressed his own disbelief at the violence suffered by religious minorities in Iraq, as he called on the international community to address the ongoing violence and "stop these crimes."
Referring to ISIL's actions, Pope Francis said, "All this gravely offends God and humanity. Hatred is not to be carried in the name of God. War is not to be waged in the name of God."