SYRIA UNDER ISIS: How to stay alive if you’re a Christian in Raqqa

The Islamic State (ISIS) has released a list of rules dictating how Christians living in the Syrian city of Raqqa should behave, including the instruction to never pray in public or within earshot of a Muslim.

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UK Daily Mail  In the list of seven rules that Christians must obey, the terror group also warns that there should never be any ‘treachery’ against ISIS, nor any mockery directed towards Muslims or Islam.  The new set of restrictions are applicable to those living in ISIS-controlled Raqqa, previously one of Syria’s most liberal areas.

They are said to be in return for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – the head of Islamic State and the most wanted man in the Middle East – granting safety to Christians in the war-torn city, according to the International Business Times.

In the document, it says al-Baghdadi will safeguard ‘their selves, children, money and churches’, if Christians obey the stringent list of rules. It comes just months after the jihadists banned Christians in Raqqa from drinking alcohol in public or from trading pigs or alcohol in markets.  The document opens with a lengthy quote from the Quran which describes how Christians are ‘in a state of subjection’.

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It goes on to explain that public worship and treachery against ISIS is forbidden. It adds that Christians in Raqqa are no longer allowed to construct churches or even repair any damaged churches in their villages. They are also banned from publicly showing their crosses in Muslim areas or in their own market places. The rules then describe how ISIS have forbidden Christians to ‘raise their voices when praying or in other acts of worship’.

In a statement which effectively bans Christians from openly reading from the Bible, the statement says that Muslims ‘do not hear the recitation of their books out loud’. Likewise, the document prescribes that all acts of worship must be carried out inside a church and never in public.

Christians have also been ordered not to prevent any of their fellow Christians from converting to Islam. ISIS have also declared that it is illegal for Christians to ‘carry out any actions of enmity to the Islamic State such as helping air strikes locate their positions’. Defying these rules could result in death.  

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