ICC Note: As ISIS attempts to harden its control of land in Syria and Iraq it also continues to expand, putting at risk the fate of entire church communities that have called these lands home for nearly 2,000 years.
08/23/2015 Middle East (Christian Post) A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014. The offshoot of al Qaeda which has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria has declared itself an Islamic “Caliphate” and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance, a statement posted on jihadist websites said on Sunday. The group, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS, has renamed itself “Islamic State” and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi as “Caliph” – the head of the state, the statement said.
There are Christian churches throughout the Middle East that trace their roots back to the time of the apostles that could cease to exist if Islamic State and other radical Muslim groups continue to gain control of more territory in the region.
Author George J. Marlin, who is also chairman of the Board of Aid to the Church in Need USA, recently released a book titled Christian Persecutions in the Middle East, which not only discusses the growing threat to believers in the region, but also provides the history of many of the churches that have existed in the Middle East since the time of the apostles that could now be facing extinction at the hands of Muslim extremists.
Listed below are five of those churches.