Christians have inhabited Mosul for over 2,000 years, but the last Christian fled the Iraqi city on Saturday around noon. ISIS militants had demanded that all Christians leave Mosul, convert to Islam or be killed. The ultimatum prompted thousands of people to leave the city; 500,000 have been forced to flee since ISIS gained control of the city on June 10.
Former Mosul residents said that militants forced themselves into homes, stole anything they saw and threatened to kill families inside. The Muslims who remain in the city are now being controlled under strict Sharia law; many Muslims are trying to escape now as well.
Iraqi Christians are asking for protection from ISIS militants in Ninevah province. Many citizens fear that the insurgent group will continue to attack and are calling on the international community for help.
reports that since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, more than 1 million Christians have been forced out of Iraq; now only 300,000 remain.
Publication date: July 21, 2014