by Carolyn Wheeler
Scores have already been murdered by Islamic State and thousands forced to leave ancient Christian communities in northeastern Syria and western Iraq as the extremists demand they either convert to Islam, pay an extortionate rate of tax or face execution.
Some have even been crucified.
Despite concerns being raised by religious leaders including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the plight of Christian refugees is largely being ignored by the western world...
...Britain’s offer to take up to 20,000 Syrian refugees inadvertently discriminates against the Christian communities most victimised by the Islamic State butchers...
...In areas controlled by IS, Christians have been crucified, beheaded, raped and subjected to forced conversion.
Christian children are also being sold as slaves.
Mr Sookhdeo [Barnabas Fund founder and international director] added: “It is like going back 1,000 years seeing the barbarity that Christians are having to live under. I think we are dealing with a group which makes Nazism pale in comparison and I think they have lost all respect for human life.
“Crucifying these people is sending a message and they are using forms of killing which they believe have been sanctioned by Sharia law.
“For them what they are doing is perfectly normal and they don’t see a problem with it. It is that religious justification which is so appalling.”
While it is not known how many Syrian Christians have been murdered by IS, the numbers living in the country have fallen rapidly since the start of the civil war in 2011.
More than 700,000 of Syria’s population of 1.1 million Christians have already been forced to leave as IS militants expanded into the northwest of the country.
Mr Sookhdeo believes there are now no more than 250,000 Christians living in Syria.