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ICC Note: A Christian man has described what life is like under ISIS-Syria Control.  Without a unified organizational structure, the severity of ISIS rule can vary from region to region.  John (a pseudonym to protect his identity) decided to remain in Syria when ISIS took control of Raqqa.  He speaks about witnessing countless horrors including having to walk past the heads of beheaded martyrs whose crosses were hung from their ears. His hope is for his country to be filled with Syrian Christians once again who were able to live without the daily threats and insatiable “Christianity tax” that ISIS implements on those who refuse to convert or leave.

2/18/2016 Syria (World Watch Monitor) – When John, a Syrian Christian, chose to stay in Raqqa after the Islamic State took control of the city in 2014, he had no idea how he would survive. Thousands abandoned the city, believing it better to save their lives than live at the centre of the Islamists’ new “caliphate”. John survived in Raqqa for 18 months before escaping in the middle of the night. He told World Watch Monitor about a life of frequent harassment, witnessing weekly executions, and the sadness of ordinary Syrians who welcomed Islamic State fighters at first, but grew to regret giving them their support.

. . .

John soon witnessed how IS (sic) dealt with those who didn’t obey their rules.

“I saw a lot of cruelty. Every Friday they executed people. I was there when they beheaded the first man in public. They couldn’t behead him with the first cut. He suffered so much they finally shot him.”

. . .

John described how sick he felt when IS beheaded hundreds of soldiers from Raqqa’s Syrian Army base and then pinned their heads on the fence he passed daily on his way to work. He felt IS soldiers were monsters, who could attack at any moment and for any reason.

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