Hundreds protest persecution of Christians by ISIS in Iraq

CBC News

Hundreds of Iraqi Canadian Christians gathered in Toronto today calling for the government to stand up against the persecution Christians in Mosul have faced since terrorist group ISIS began its occupation on June 10.

The crowd marched around Queen’s Park Sunday afternoon.

Many said they had fled Iraq years ago in fear and are now worried about their loved ones back home.

“If I was there right now my options would be to convert, to be killed, pay or to leave,” said Roubina Shamoil, a protester born in Mosul.

Shamoil said that news from friends in Iraq is devastating, with tales of people being forced to leave with nothing but the clothes on their back and some young women being taken by ISIS.

“It’s really, I have no words to describe the horror stories we hear from there … We need protection, we need humanitarian aid, and we need help.”

Convert, pay or be killed

Since conquering the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has become one of the most feared jihadist organizations, seeking to create an Islamic state in eastern Syria and northern Iraq based on Shariah law.

After taking Mosul, the group gave Christians three options: convert, pay a hefty tax or be killed.

Most of the Christians — a minority group in Iraq — have chosen instead to flee, many to a self-ruled Kurdish region.