The handful of Christian families remaining in the Islamic State’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa have been forbidden from fleeing the city, according to a tweet from a secret group that reports from inside the caliphate, Fox News says.
The activist group Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered said the black-clad terrorist army issued a decree that any Christians or Armenians still within city limits may not leave. It is believed that there are just more than 40 Christian families left in the city, and that they have been forced to register with the extremist group and to pay a “jizya,” or a minority tax in exchange for being unharmed.
“Any Christian living within Syria or Iraq is in a very dangerous and precarious position,” David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, a Christian advocacy organization, told Fox News. ‘We want to see the Christian church survive in the Middle East, especially in the areas occupied by the Islamic State.”
Raqqa first fell into rebel control in March 2013 after a battle between Al Qaeda-linked jihadi group Al Nusra and Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s regime, becoming the first provincial capital under rebel control. ISIS has since used the city as a launching point to increase their caliphate.
According to Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered, there are about 43 Christian families left in the city, Fox News says. “The suffering of Christians began with ISIS control of Raqqa,” RIBSS said on its website,. “ISIS looks at Christians as infidels loyal to the West more than their loyalty to their homeland which they live.”