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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/23/2014 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Christians refuse to convert even after death threats.

Eleven sick and disabled, elderly Iraqi Christians said they preferred death to giving up their faith, defying militants from the Islamic State who demanded that they convert to Islam or be beheaded.

One of the eleven elderly Iraqi Christians who refused to convert to Islam, even after threats of beheading, now safe inside a refugee camp in Kurdish controlled territory.

One of the eleven elderly Iraqi Christians who refused to convert to Islam, even after threats of beheading, now safe inside a refugee camp in Kurdish controlled territory.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/23/2014 (6 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Iraq, News, International, Christians, faith, convert, survive, mock, ISIS, threat, elderly


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The show of Christian strength forced the Islamic State militants to drop their demands, and instead force the Christians-including an 80-year-old woman with breast cancer-to leave their village of Karamless, after robbing them of their possessions.

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Sahar Mansour, a refugee, reported the story to Catholic News Service via email after the group turned up at Ankawa refugee camp, and the 80-year-old woman, known as Ghazala, told it to her on August 18.

Militants from the Islamic State have been forcing non-Muslims in Iraq to convert, flee or die. Behe

Militants from the Islamic State have been forcing non-Muslims in Iraq to convert, flee or die. Beheading many religious minorities.


"When the people of Karamless fled from the village they (the elderly) were alone," Mansour said. "She (Ghazala) told me when they woke up in (the) morning they were surprised when they saw nobody in the village."

They were "afraid and terrified," she continued, and then they met masked fighters from the Islamic State who ordered them to their homes.

Mansour said that Ghazala told her that on August 16, the terrorists assembled the group "and told them either to convert or to be killed by sword."

"Ghazala told me that all the people told the terrorists that 'we prefer to be killed rather than convert,"' Mansour said. Mansour reported that Ghazala said that some members of the elderly group mocked the terrorists for ignoring Islamic texts that forbade forced conversions of non-Muslims.

"When ISIS heard that they told the people to leave Karamless immediately, without taking anything, to leave with only with the clothes they were wearing," she said.

"ISIS took all their money from all of them and their gold," Mansour said.

The five men and six women later arrived at the Kalak checkpoint, the gateway to Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Iraq, in two cars and where allowed to contact relatives who were already in the camps.

At the camp Ghazala was reunited with her brother, and is now receiving medical treatment for her cancer.

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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
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