Iraqi Christians Forced to Pay for “Protection”

By April 19, 2007

Iraq (MNN) — WorldNetDaily reported that Iraqi Christians are being forced to pay a "protection tax" since Muslims started enforcing an Islam law that says payment is required "in exchange for being allowed to live and practice their faith as well as being entitled to 'Muslim protection' from outside aggression," the Assyrian International News Agency reported.

The newest report says that Christians in Dora, who are also called Chaldeans and Syrians, must pay the jizya, or poll tax, commanded by the Quran. Christians there have reported their churches bombed and men and women killed for their faith.

This area is receiving no government or U.S. help despite past requests. An e-mail found by the agency from an unidentified source from the area said, "We talked to many people within the American Embassy and Iraqi Government, but it seems nobody really cares, because they have done nothing. Sometimes I wonder if they care at all."

Another report from a Syriac now living in Syria said, "Today a family [name withheld] arrived from Dora/Mualimeen street, and they said some terrorists knocked on their door. When they opened the door, they were told to either pay money [jizya], support the insurgents, or convert to Islam, or leave the house within 24 hours or else be killed."

Though just 5% of the population in this area is Christian, 40% of those who are leaving Iraq are Christians.

Among other things in the recent months, a pastor and 14-year-old boy were decapitated.  Another 14-year-old boy was crucified and stabbed in the side to mimic Jesus' death. A car was bombed killing nine people, and churches were bombed in Baghdad and Basra.

WND said "at least" two cases had been reported to the government in which Christian Assyrian wives had been ordered to go to a certain mosque and make payments, which "they did out of fear."

Nina Shea, who rallied in front of the White House a few months ago, said that Iraqi Christians want an autonomous district because of the "ethnic cleansing." 

Shea "has been raising the plight of the Iraqi Christians with the U.S. government for several years, including in a face-to-face meeting with President Bush in her role as a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom," reported WND. 

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