"Ultimatum for Mosul's Christians to "convert, pay tax, leave or face execution" leads too exodus

"...hundreds of Christian families fled their homes in the northern city of Mosul...

The fighters, who have run the city after a military offensive that began six weeks ago, issued a written declaration to Mosul's Christian community to either convert, pay a tax, leave or face imminent execution.

Mosul's new rulers said there would be "nothing for them but the sword" if Christians did not abide by those conditions by Saturday.

...The Sunni-led Islamic State group issued the the ultimatum in a letter after Friday prayers.

...Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, was overrun by the Islamic State and allied rebel groups last month.

Prior to the 2003 US invasion, more than a million Christians lived in Iraq, including more than 600,000 in Baghdad and 60,000 in Mosul, as well as a substantial number in the oil city of Kirkuk and in Basra.

Until their forced exodus over the weekend, Christians had been continuously present in Mosul for approximately 16 centuries."


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