About 4,000 Christians left the Iraqi city of Mosul for Jordan in the last three months, forced out by Islamic State fighters.
With the capturing of Mosul, the city in Iraq, by the Sunni militant group ISIS, Christian residents have been forced to flee to Jordan for refuge. The terrorists that follow ISIS hold significant principles of religious intolerance, and they demanded that Christians pay extra taxes, convert to Islam, or face execution. Therefore, thousands from Mosul have relocated to Jordan with thousands more from across Iraq.
“They threatened us, saying you have to either leave, be slaughtered, convert to Islam, or pay the jizya tax [on non-Muslims]. We couldn’t bear living in Mosul, and we were scared for our girls and our honor,” said Lubna, a former resident of Mosul.
The Political Concern
The rising religious tension in the Middle East, particularly the actions by ISIS, has concerned many leaders throughout the world. Therefore, despite the economic toll placed onto communities throughout the country from the influx of Syrian refugees, Jordan opened borders to escaping Christians in a strategic humanitarian effort. It shows significant disconnect with the surrounding countries, which will likely strengthen the relationship with the United States and other American allies.
Luckily, the government, with the help of churches, charities, and other organizations and communities, have accepted the traumatized refugees with open arms. The groups have made great strides to waive application fees and help provide the basic necessities, including shelter. The Iraqi Christians often faced horrible repercussions based on their religion, including extremely violent acts, such as stabbings and murder. Therefore, the support and the opposing parochialism has grown drastically.
Political leaders, including the President of the United States, has undoubtedly noticed the terrorist act by Islamic extremists, particularly ISIS. Fortunately, governments and helpful organizations from around the world are coming together in an effort to assist with the horrible religious intolerance. However, families in the Middle Eastern countries are still being forced out of the homes by threats of death and even direct violence, including stabbings and bombings that have resulted in too many casualties.
U.N. refugee agency UNHCR reported Tuesday 13.6 million people have been displaced, escaping to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq or Turkey.