Christians are being slaughtered and oppressed across the Middle East and beyond. The bravery of this writer is beyond words. Imagine the terror suffered by the ordinary people who endured this
In news that you didn’t read in the West, on Thursday the al-Qaeda linked “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) broke the crosses off the two Christian churches in Raqqah, a city in northern Syria. They also set the contents of the churches — the Church of the Annunciation and the Church of Martyrs — aflame, and lifted the Islamic flag above them.
This is part of an ongoing pattern against Christians which threatens a slow genocide under which Christians may disappear from the region, as observers such as myself can testify. To the point at issue:
Members of the Islamic organization first broke the large cross from off the Church of the Annunciation. This prompted the residents of Raqqah to march and protest, calling for the expulsion of the Islamic terrorists, while carrying the large, broken cross (see video here, around the :38 second mark).
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant responded by attacking the Church of the Annunciation once again, gathering all its crosses and icons from inside, and setting them on fire. They capped off their “victory” by raising the ISIL flag — which is identical to al-Qaeda’s black flag with the words, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger” (the Islamic shehada, or profession of faith).
The same flags were raised on some of the 80 Christian churches destroyed in Egypt weeks earlier at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters.
After the desecration of the Church of the Annunciation came the Church of the Martyr’s turn. It was treated in the same manner, also with Islam’s black flag raised atop its dome in place of the broken cross.