Two weeks ago the State Department officially declared the extinction of Christians and other minority religious groups by ISIS a genocide. Unfortunately, despite making the declaration Secretary of State John Kerry also announced the Obama administration wouldn't be changing military strategy in Iraq and Syria in order to stop it.
Now, adding horror the the ongoing nightmare for Christians trapped in the region, ISIS is holding at least 43 Christian families hostage in Raqqa and will not allow them to leave. Lisa Daftari at The Foreign Desk has more:
The Islamic State is now preventing the last remaining Christians from leaving Raqqa, Syria, according to activists on the ground.
According to the group Raqqa Is Being Silently Slaughtered, which was founded by a group of journalists turned activists, ISIS has put out a new decree preventing both Christians and Armenians in Raqqa from leaving.
Raqqa, now the de-facto Syrian headquarters of the Islamic State, fell into rebel control in March 2013 in a battle between insurgents led by the Islamist jihadi group Al Nusra and Bashar Al Assad’s regime. Raqqa then became the first provincial capital under rebel control in the war.
“The suffering of Christians began with ISIS control of Raqqa,” RIBSS said on its website about the treatment of Christians under the jihadi militant group.
“ISIS looks at Christians as infidels loyal to the West more than their loyalty to their homeland which they live.”
In the 1920s, Christians constituted up to 30 percent of Syria’s population and had lived there for 2000 years. Popular belief holds that the apostle Paul converted on the road to Damascus, and a small segment of Christians from the town of Maaloula still speak Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke.
More recently, 10 percent of Syria’s 22 million population were Christians.
According the The Guardian, Russian and U.S. forces are coordinating strategy in order to liberate the city.