The broadcast networks haven’t reported on the plight of Iraq’s Christians in weeks – in fact, ABC only mentioned them once. So everything must be ok, right? Wrong.
WorldWatch Monitor, a news outlet focused on Christian persecution, reported on Aug. 22 about Iraqi Christian Mikha Qasha who told Mid-East Christian News that ISIS gave him one week to either “leave, convert to Islam or face the sword.” The threat came with “weapons pointed at his head.” Elderly and paralyzed, Qasha fled from Qaraqosh – in a wheelchair – to Ankawa, a Christian suburb, according to the story, which was picked up by Christian Today and Charisma News.
The convert or die ultimatum has played out across the areas of northern Iraq controlled by ISIS. According to the article:
The Islamic State took over Mosul in June. At the time there were 3,500 residing Christians who fled east to Qaraqosh, which is often referred to as the Christian capital of Iraq. Of the 3,500 about 25 people decided to stay home in Mosul. Since then nine have converted to Islam, while the others are paying jizya – the Islamic tax for non-Muslims.
Tragically, this follows the pattern in the Middle East, as Egyptian and Syrian Christians have been attacked and murdered, forced to flee and seen their churches, stores and homes torched. In all cases, the networks have been as reluctant to report on the oppression as they have been to name the oppressors.
— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.