On Sunday, the International Business Times reported that eight members of an Iraqi Christian family was murdered -- shot in the face -- for refusing to convert to Islam, citing an account posted to Facebook by Canon Andrew White, the Anglican vicar of Baghdad.
"Todays Pictures (sic) are too awful to show," he wrote. "You know I love to show photos but the photo I was sent today was the most awful I have ever seen."
The photo he spoke of showed all eight members of one family shot through the face with their Bible open on the couch. White said the family would not convert and it cost them their lives.
"I thought of asking if anybody wanted to see the picture but it is just too awful to show to anybody," he said. "This is Iraq today. The only hope and consolation is that all these dear people are now all with Yesua in Glory."
“I’m almost in tears because I’ve just had somebody in my room whose little child was cut in half,” he told the Anglican Communion News Service. “I baptized his child in my church in Baghdad. This little boy, they named him after me – he was called Andrew.”
Reports of gruesome atrocities committed by members of ISIS, or Islamic State, as it is now known, have grown in number. They have also become more bloody and outrageous with time. On Friday, we reported that ISIS militants were systematically beheading Christian children in Mosul, and another report says the Islamic militants also buried women and children alive in mass graves.
The IBT said White's account echoes reports from across Iraq as Sunni militants take over large areas, systematically eradicating anything non-Muslim. Now, the IBT added, Christians are leaving Qaraqosh, Iraq's largest Christian city, as they are only given three choices -- convert to Islam, leave or die.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced an emergency meeting to deal with the crisis in Iraq and French President Francois Hollande has called for a meeting intended to discuss ways to "counter the terrorist threat in Iraq." But, White and others said, the British government is not helping Christians facing certain death in Iraq.
A spokesman, however, said the UK government is "proud" of its record on asylum and each case is considered on its individual merits. The spokesman also said White's allegation could not be verified because "information on the detail of the basis of an asylum claim is not routinely recorded on Home Office databases."