Isis claims that it ‘will not stop’ as 30 Christians die

ISIS has released a video apparently depicting the murder of 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya. 

The 29-minute video, titled ‘Until There Came to Them Clear Evidence’, shows 15 Christians being beheaded by masked militants, with a further 15 being shot. One group appears to have been killed on a beach in eastern Libya, the other in the desert to the south. 

A subtitle on the video labels both groups “worshippers of the Cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian Church”, and prior to the executions a masked militant declares, “To the nation of the Cross, we’re back again,” saying, “Muslim blood that was shed under the hands of your religion is not cheap.

“We swear to Allah,” he adds, “you will not have safety even in your dreams until you embrace Islam.

An aim of the video seems to have been to offer a religious justification for killing Christians, while also terrorising Christians in ISIS-dominated areas into submission. The narrator says Christians, labelled “infidels” in the video, must choose between facing slaughter or paying the ‘jizya’ – a protection tax imposed during the early medieval Muslim conquests in Asia and Europe.

An ISIS cleric, Abu Malik Anas An-Nashwan, claims non-Muslims can be fought if they refuse to convert to Islam or pay the jizya, and says Christians in Syria’s ISIS base at Raqqa have paid the jizya rather than convert, and have been treated fairly and respectfully by ISIS courts. 

Casting the forced exodus of Iraq’s Christians as an act of mercy by ISIS which allowed them to flee rather to stay and choose between payment of the jizya and certain death, he says ISIS will continue to spread, and that ultimately, for those who neither convert to Islam nor pay the jizya, “the men will be killed, the women and children enslaved, and the money seized”.

A similar video was released in February showing the slaughter of 21 Christians from Egypt. The Coptic Church has announced that their names will be inserted into the Coptic Synaxarium, a procedure equivalent to canonisation, with their martyrdom being commemorated on February 15 each year.