By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
BAGHDAD (Worthy News)-- Members of the militant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria torched an 1,800 year-old Catholic Church in Mosul as Christians fled for fear of their lives, according to the Christian Post.
The razing of the church was just part of the deliberate destruction of Christian memorials in Iraq.
Christians still in Mosul must decide before Saturday's ISIS ultimatum whether to convert to Islam, pay Muslims a special tax or leave the city. Christians who had opted to leave Mosul were searched and robbed of all their jewelry and money by armed Muslims who claimed both were the property of Islam.
Once home to an estimated 1 million Christians before the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, the Christian community in Iraq is now estimated at about 450,000.
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Iraqi Christians are begging for help from the civilized world after Mosul, the northern city where they have lived and worshiped for 2,000 years, was purged of non-Muslims by ISIS, the jihadist terror group that claims to have established its own nation in the region.
Assyrian Christians, including Chaldean and Syriac Catholics, Syriac Orthodox and followers of the Assyrian Church of the East have roots in present day Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran that stretch back to the time of Jesus Christ. While they have long been a minority and have faced persecution in the past, they had never been driven completely from their homes as has happened in Mosul under ISIS. When the terror group ordered all to convert to Islam, pay a religious tax or face execution, many chose another option: flight.
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