An Iraqi boy looks on in a church in Iraq.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Islamic State (IS) is turning Christian churches in Syria and Iraq into torture chambers and selling stolen holy artifacts on the black market in the process, according to recent reports.
IS has been utilizing routes for moving oil and weapons to smuggle stolen ancient relics from churches into their “caliphate,” and then sell them on the black market for profit.
These stolen church artifacts and antiques are sold to western collectors to help fund the terrorist organization. IS has collected 23 million pounds from the sale of pilfered artifacts from churches in Nabaq, according to a report
by The Christian Post
Experts also believe that the militants have converted the ransacked churches in Qaraqosh into torture chambers for local Christians. The members of the Islamic State who now run the churches are holding the Christians prisoner and forcing them to convert to Islam.
Although it is unclear what church items have been stolen by the militant terrorist organization, IS has made clear that they intend to destroy any religious group that does not agree with their interpretation of Islam.
“ISIS has a stated goal to wipe out Christianity,” Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice said.
“This is why they are crucifying Christians — which includes children — destroying churches and selling artifacts. The reality is, this group will stop at practically nothing to raise funds for its terrorist mission.”
Islamic militants have conquered and destroyed churches and Christian sites in the past, most notably, this summer when they destroyed the tomb of Jonah in Mosul. Islamic State militants believe that they must destroy the non-believers who do not subscribe to their sect of Sunni Islam.
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