Monday, The New York Times correspondent Rikmini Callimachi posted a series of tweets that reminded the world of the resilience and hope of Christians who survived life in Mosul. Together, they offer a snapshotof one woman’s efforts to continue her faith:
In West Mosul, we were introduced to 1 of only [a few] Christians who stayed during ISIS’ rule. She described how they announced on the mosque speaker that Christians needed to convert, leave, or else pay a jizya, or religious tax. A Shariah judge forced her to convert by reciting the shahada, which states “There is no God except God & Mohamed is his messenger”. She was given a signed & stamped form titled “Proof of Islam” saying that she had converted. When she recited “There’s God but God & Mohamed is his messenger,” in her heart she apologized to the God she’d worshipped as a Christian. “I was about to cry,” she told me. “Deep inside my heart, I said forgive me God. If I don’t do this I will be killed.” At home she continued 2 recite Lord’s Prayer. When ISIS came 2check on her, her Muslim neighbor covered 4her. “She prays w/ us” they said. She remains so afraid of being discovered by ISIS, she asked me to withhold her name. All she would allow me to photograph were her shoes.
There’s more on her Twitter page.
Pray for these Christians, struggling to remain faithful under the most horrific and frightening circumstances.