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Iraq Christian Teenagers Face Death or Prison

By BosNewsLife with Special Contributor Jim Dykstra
BAGHDAD, IRAQ (BosNewsLife) — There was mounting international concern Tuesday, October 31, about the persecution of Christian teenagers in Iraq amid reports that a 14-year old boy was beheaded while a 13-year-old girl is being held in prison.
Christian Assyrian Ayad Tariq from Baqouba in Iraq was beheaded by militants earlier this month while working his 12-hour shift maintaining an electric generator, said the online Christian Assist News Service (ANS), citing Assyrian Christians.
One employee who witnessed the events was quoted as saying that the insurgents questioned Ayad after seeing that his Identity Document noted he was “Christian.”
The militants allegedly asked the boy if he was really a “Christian sinner.”
“NO SINNER”
Ayad reportedly replied, “Yes, I am Christian, but I am not a sinner.” The insurgents apparently said, “dirty Christian sinner!”. They proceeded by holding one of the boy’s limbs, shouting “Allahu akbar! ” or “‘God’ is Great'”, while beheading him, ANS said. There was no immediate independent confirmation of the report, but BosNewsLife established a rise in similar incidents against Christian teenagers.
Already in 2004, October 5, Christian residents near Mosul in northern Iraq , discovered body of Fadi Shamoon, 15, who was found burned after he was beheaded, Assyrian Christians said. “The ‘Aaid Khidir Shamoon family was devastated as they witnessed the body of their 15-years-old son,” recalled the Assyrian International News Agency via www.aina.org
There were up to 750,000 Christians when the conflict began in Iraq , but church observers say that number dwindled in recent months as bloodshed spreads in several areas of the troubled nation. (With additional reporting by BosNewsLife Correspondents Stefan J. Bos and Eric Leijenaar.