On Friday, Yelena Agapova, Vice-Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), stated that the IOPS would create a White Book containing the names of all the Christians killed and tortured by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation and other radical militant groups, saying at a press conference at Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, “The IOPS community centre for the protection of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa has begun preparing a White Book, where we give the names of victims and glaring instances of harassment and persecution of Christians, which we’d pass to UN structures and present for the judgement of the world public”. She spoke of the situation in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which now has almost no Christians, despite the fact that under former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein they accounted for 40 percent of the population. Agapova said, “Today, for the first time in 16 centuries, there are no worship services in Mosul’s churches”. She stated that IS militants forced local Christians either to convert to Islam, or pay a special tax of 250 USD (11,450 Roubles. 1,530 Renminbi. 15,400 INR. 280 CAD. 288 AUD. 202 Euros. 160 UK Pounds) per month for each family member, or leave the city. The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has fought the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate over the territory that it controls.
28 October 2014