Iraqi Christian survivors of Islamic State’s brutal reign have been coming forward to tell the horrors they experienced as their land becomes liberated by coalition forces, reports Christianity Today.
One man, identified only as Esam, related how Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) jihadis tortured and killed his brother-in-law while his wife and children were forced to watch.
"My wife's brother was crucified by Daesh [ISIS]," he said. "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."
For four hours, militants tortured the man, before crucifying him and cutting open his stomach. He was eventually shot and killed.
Esam also reported that two members of his wife’s family, a Christian couple, were kidnapped by ISIS. The wife “now lives with one of the Daesh emirs,” he said and the whereabouts of the husband are unknown.
Another horrific account emerged told by a teenager from the Iraqi Christian village of Qaraqosh, located near Mosul, which was taken over by Islamic State in 2014 when the boy was 14.
Speaking to the BBC, the boy said the jihadis forced him and his mother to convert.
"They told me to say 'there's no God but Allah' and you'll become a Muslim,” he related. “I said, 'There's no God but Jesus,' so he slapped me. I was still young," the boy, identified as Ismail, said.
"He slapped me and pointed the gun at my head. He told my mum, 'If you don't convert to Islam we will kill your son.'"
Ismail also recounted how he saw six people killed by children indoctrinated by ISIS.
"A car stopped and six blindfolded people dressed in red got out,” he related. “They had them on their knees and then IS children arrived. Each child stood behind one of the men in red. Someone who seemed to be their leader started reading from some papers. When he finished reading, the children shot the men dead."
Another child, identified as Mohammed, in a video made by Alsumaria News explained how children were forcibly taken from their parents, who were threatened with torture if they refused to give the jihadis their children.
The children, now part of the “Cubs of the Caliphate” were sent through a cruel training and brain-washing process, which taught them that they were even allowed to kill their parents. Afterwards, they were shipped off to fight on the front lines.
Get a preview of Clarion Project’s upcoming film, Faithkeepers, about the violent persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The film features exclusive footage and testimonials of Christians, Baha’i, Yazidis, Jews, and other minority refugees, and a historical context of the persecution in the region.