10 Elderly Christian Escapees Recall Life Under ISIS Control
ICC Note: First-hand accounts continue to accumulate as ten elderly Christians recall life under ISIS rule following their escape. The group was living in the city of Mosul after members of ISIS forced them from a nursing home in Qaraqosh in October. Reports indicate that the militants would not release them without ransom and would beat the Christians on a daily basis.
02/02/2015 Iraq (World Watch Monitor) – More news has emerged about the situation of Christians who are still being detained in Islamic State after ten elderly Christians, some with disabilities, managed to escape.
The group, eight men and two women, were ‘expelled’ by IS militants for refusing to convert to Islam.
They spent two days travelling and arrived in Kirkuk on Jan. 7, an area now under the control of Kurdish Peshmerga Forces, after being forced to leave a temporary residence in Mosul.
The group had been living in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, for nearly three months after IS militants forced them out of a nursing home in Qaraqosh on Oct. 24, said a nun Sister Teresa (whose name has been changed for security) who met them
Teresa has worked at a monastery in Erbil after also having fled Islamic State six months ago when its rebels attacked Qaraqosh in August. She confirmed that militants stole the elderly Christians’ money, jewellery and IDs.
The group told another WWM source working in Erbil that they were pressured to say the Islamic Shahada, which is a spoken confession of faith to become Muslim. Rahel, one of the women from the groupsaid “We did not want to become Muslim; we just wanted to leave”.
Teresa said several Christians are being held against their will throughout the region and that the church is trying to negotiate their release and has already paid IS money to set them free: “among them is a 3-year-old girl that IS has demanded thousands of dollars to release.”
She estimates about 40 Christians from Qaraqosh, Bartella and Karamles are still detained in an elderly care home in Mosul.
“When we were in Qaraqosh, IS used to beat us every day with their weapons or hands,” one of the elderly men told Teresa.