A Christian leader in Baghdad says “hell has broken out” in the Iraqi city as the jihadist group Islamic State threatens to take overt the capital.
“People simply do not know what is going to happen next,” Canon Andrew White, the vicar of Baghdad, said in a report by Anglican News, the denomination’s official news service.
White is pleading for prayer and support as Islamic State, formerly Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, attempts to eliminate religious minorities, including Christians, in Iraq.
Islamic State, he pointed out, has declared it “can do anything now the world is just looking at Gaza.”
“In reality that is true,” White said, according to Anglican News.
The plea for help comes as Islamic State has chased tens of thousands of members of the Yazidi religious sect in northern Iraq from their homes into the mountains, threatening to kill them if they come down. The refugees have no food or water.
President Obama has authorized military action to protect U.S. personnel and Iraqi civilians, and Friday U.S. fighter jets launched a “targeted” airstrike against Islamic State.
The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. military delivered meals and water to Yazidi members.
White’s plea for prayer and support described the disastrous situation in Iraq.
“Every day, we think that the crisis here cannot get worse and every day it does,” he told Anglican News. “Yesterday, over 1,500 people were killed.
“Iraq seems like old news, yet things just get worse and worse here. It is as if hell has broken out here and nobody cares; that is apart from you, our supporters, who never leave us and keep supporting us in every way and to you I simply say thank you.”
He said many Christians have left or are planning to leave.
“Even here in Baghdad, people are terrified of what is happening around us,” he said. “The IS has established their hidden cells within Baghdad, and people are seriously under threat even though they are not in the areas controlled by the IS. The number of kidnappings here has soared and people simply do not know what is going to happen next.”
The atrocities allegedly committed by ISIS continue to stun the world.
The Gateway Pundit blog reported a Chaldean-American businessman, Mark Arabo, described it as evil not seen “for generations.”
“There is a park in Mosul, where [ISIS] they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick and have them in the park,” he said “More children are getting beheaded, mothers are getting raped and killed, and fathers are being hung [sic].”
President Obama’s threats Thursday evening to strike Islamic State, the Daily Caller reported, prompted a response.
“I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established,” said Abu Mosa, an Islamic State spokesman. “Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”