- Islamic State fighters demanded payment from mother, then set her house on fire.
- 12-year-old daughter inside the house escaped but later died in hospital.
After failing to pay a “religious tax” on time, the Islamic terror group ISIS set fire to a Christian woman’s house. The “punishment” occurred when the woman’s 12-year-old was inside the property in Mosul, Northern Iraq on the 18th May. The girl suffered severe burns on 90% of her body and later died at hospital.
Under Islamic State’s rule, those from other religions may live as long as they pay a Jizya or Jaziya – a per capita monthly or yearly tax levied by Islamic State on non-Muslim subjects. However, it’s become clear than Christians and other non-Muslims are being oppressed and persecuted in the region, regardless of whether they pay or not.
Iraq has been labelled the second most dangerous place in the world for Christians, with North Korea taking the top spot for the 14th consecutive year, according to Lisa Pearce from Open doors UK & Ireland. “The persecution of Christians is getting worse, in every region in which we work – and it’s getting worse fast. In many parts of the world, despite the pressure and the often terrible cost, the church continues to grow.”
The girl’s mother described how “foreign ISIS fighters” came to the her home in Mosul, telling her “you have two choices, you are to leave now or you are to pay the Jaziya,” according to human rights activist Jacqueline Isaac.
“She [the mother] said ‘I will pay, give me a few seconds my daughter is in the shower’. They said ‘you don’t have a few seconds’ and they lit the house with a torch,” added Ms. Isaac.
The mother and child were able to escape, but it was too late the 12-year-old. The burns were so severe and she died in hospital within a few hours. “Her daughter died in her arms,” and the child’s last wish was “Forgive them.”
ISIS has carried out a number of especially barbaric executions this week, including lowering 25 people into nitric acid “until their organs dissolved,” according to local news reports. The men had been accused of spying on ISIS on behalf of the Iraqi Government.