On Sunday, the online media outlet Christian Today reported the horrific account of a Christian man who was brutalized and crucified by ISIS militants, reportedly telling him, “If you love Jesus, you will die like Jesus.”
According to Christian Today:
The survivor identified only as Esam told the persecution watchdog World Watch Monitor that ISIS militants brutally crucified his brother-in-law “like Jesus” and forced his wife and children to watch.
“My wife’s brother was crucified by Daesh,” Esam said, using another name for ISIS. “He was crucified and tortured in front of his wife and children, who were forced to watch. They told him that if he loved Jesus that much, he would die like Jesus.”
Esam said the militants tortured his brother-in-law for five hours—6 p.m. up to 11 p.m. They then crucified him, cut his stomach open and shot him, he added.
Last year, the Virginia-based Christian Aid Mission reported that ISIS heinously tortured and killed a 12-year-old boy, along with 11 local Christian missionaries, after they refused to leave their homeland or renounce Christ, the Gospel Herald reported.
“All were badly brutalized and then crucified,” an indigenous ministry leader said. “They were left on their crosses for two days. No one was allowed to remove them.”
World Watch Monitor added:
When IS seized control of Iraqi territory in the summer of 2014, they gave Christians, as “People of the Book”, four options: leave, convert to Islam, pay a protection tax (jiyza) or be killed. The vast majority fled – an estimated 120,000 in a few short weeks that summer. But those left behind were subjected to torture, forced conversion, sexual slavery and even crucifixion, according to testimonies collected from Iraqi refugees in Jordan by the religious freedom charity ADF International.
Karlus told its researchers he had been unable to flee his home in Batnaya, a village outside Mosul, because he was looking after his disabled father. When the terrorists came to his house, they destroyed a cross and a picture of Jesus.
“They even destroyed a piece from the Quran that was given to me by a friend,” he said.
According to the report, Karlus, a 29-year-old cook, was hung from the ceiling of the jail cell he was in by a rope attached to his left foot.
“As blood poured from his foot, they beat and kicked him, rubbing salt into his wounds. He was sexually abused in prison by three women wearing niqabs,” the report added. “He was told he would be shot dead; but for reasons he still does not understand, on the day his execution was due to take place, 26 September 2014, he was released.”
Some of the damage done by ISIS has already begun to be reversed, World Watch Monitor said. “Esam said friends of his who escaped Mosul after being forcibly converted to Islam had been ‘baptised back to Christianity’. Other aspects will take far longer. Iraqi Christians who end up returning to Iraq know they return to a country whose sectarian fault-lines have been activated to lethal levels. Aid workers have warned that extensive reconciliation work will be vital if Iraq’s many different faith and ethnic communities are to cohere again, especially as levels of trauma among all sectors of the population are thought to be extremely high. In Jordan, Karlus reflects on his ordeal at the hands of IS members in Mosul.”
“What happened is not easy, but in the end we must forgive,” he said. “This is my destiny; maybe God is planning something for me.”
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