Christians in Raqqa, ISIS’ self-declared capital in Syria, have no way of getting out of the city. The terrorist organization has declared it illegal for them to flee.
The last remaining Christians in Raqqa could suffer a horrendous fate as hostages in their own city. The Islamic radicals started mistreating Christians immediately after they conquered Raqqa, but this travel ban for Christians is new.
The decree spells disaster for the 43 Christian families remaining. ISIS considers Christians to be subhumans, and the terrorists have oppressed them for years. The Iraqi city of Mosul, which once was a stronghold of Arab-Christians in the Middle East, has already been cleansed of all Christians. Many Christians living there were murdered; others fled when they realized what ISIS had in store for them.
Christians in Raqqa have already gone through hell and back again (they’re forced to pay a special tax, are not allowed to improve their churches let alone build new ones, and they can’t pray in public or even display Christian symbols like crosses), but this makes matters even worse for them: now they can’t even flee Raqqa to rebuild their lives in a different city or country.
The United States Department of State issued a statement two weeks ago, declaring ISIS’ anti-Christian campaign to be a “genocide.” It was important that the State Department finally said this out loud, but it does no good if they don’t act on it.
The international community has the obligation to stop genocides when they happen. This means that it’s time for the United States and Europe (it can be done by NATO) to finally take this obligation seriously and declare all-out war on ISIS. No more playing around by dropping a few bombs here and there; massive military action is required.