A few days ago, I wrote about ISIS slaughtering women for refusing to have sex with them and the group’s extremely brutal penal code. However, their inhumanity does not stop there. Yesterday, Fox News reported on even more of their heinous deeds. This time it’s about ISIS selling Christian artifacts and turning churches into torture chambers. Here’s what they say:
The Islamic State is turning Christian churches in Iraq and Syria into dungeons and torture chambers after stripping them of priceless artifacts to sell on the black market, according to reports.
Ancient relics and even entire murals are being torn from the houses of worship and smuggled out through the same routes previously established for moving oil and weapons in and out of the so-called caliphate, a vast region the jihadist army has claimed as sovereign under Sharia law.
And they continue:
Experts believe Islamic State’s trafficking in religious artifacts is both to make money and to culturally cleanse the region. The Islamic militants have converted churches in Qaraqosh and other Iraqi cities into torture chambers, according to the Sunday Times. One priest from the region, who gave his name as Abu Aasi from Mosul, told the newspaper earlier this month that prisoners were being held in the Bahnam Wa Sara and Al Kiama churches.
“These two churches are being used as prisons and for torture,” he said while in hiding. “Most inside are Christians and they are being forced to convert to Islam. Isis has been breaking all the crosses and statues of Mary.”
By the time this post is published, many of you will have already gone to church. Others of you will be going to an evening service. As you do so, please remember the extraordinary freedom you enjoy to do these things. Please pray for the Middle East’s dwindling number Christians as they face horrific persecution, even unto death, for their beliefs. If you can spare money, please consider donating to charities like the Barnabas Fund, the International Orthodox Christian Charities, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, or any one of many reputable other charities out there. In the past, I’ve also written about how France has been leading the way in helping Iraq’s Christians. We need to get our leaders in Washington to do more to help them.
SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images – Iraqi security officers stand guard outside of the Virgin Mary Chaldean church (Church of Our Lady of Sacred Heart) in the Karrada neighborhood of the capital Baghdad on December 21, 2014.
Make no mistake, we’re getting directly involved in the ground war against ISIS. As my colleague Streiff noted yesterday, the Obama administration is sending 1,000 paratroopers to Iraq. If we are going to get involved, and I think there’s a pretty strong case for doing so, this sort of piecemeal, half-hearted effort isn’t going to cut it. We need to be treating the Islamic State as a legitimate military threat deserving of our full attention, but thus far, Washington has failed to do so, and the Middle East, Christians and everyone else who does not adhere to ISIS’ radical beliefs, is suffering for it.
Lord have mercy.