Russian Religious Society to Issue White Book of Persecuted Middle East Christians

Source: RIA Novosti
Natalya Mihailova | 07 October 2014
MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian-based Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) will create a so-called White Book containing the names of all the Christians killed and tortured by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization and other radical militant groups, vice-chairman of IOPS Elena Agapova stated on Friday.
Russian Religious Society to Issue White Book of Persecuted Middle East Christians
Displaced Iraqi Christians settle at St. Joseph Church in Irbil, northern Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. Late Wednesday, militants overran a cluster of predominantly Christian villages alongside the country's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, sending tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters fleeing from the area, several priests in northern Iraq said Thursday. © AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed

“The community center of IOPS for the protection of Christians in the Middle East and North Africahave begun preparing the so-called White Book, where we hold the names of the victims, glaring instances of harassment and persecution of Christians, and which we will pass to the structures of the UN and present for the judgment of the world public,” Agapova said at a press conference at Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency.

The vice-chairman spoke of the situation in the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul, which now has almost no Christians, despite the fact that under the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein their number accounted for 40 percent of the population.

“Today, for the first time in 16 centuries there are no services of worship in the temples of Mosul,” Agapova said.

According to Agapova, the Islamic State militants force the local Christians either to convert to Islam, or pay a special tax of $250 per month for each family member, or leave the city.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting against Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories over which it had control.

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