The decision for Christian’s in northern Iraq last month was simple:
Convert to Islam, pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection, or face death.
Do you have any gold lying around that you could use to pay your taxes?
This has lead to a city that once had 100,00 Christian’s a decade ago, to only 200, today.
The Death of Freedom
This story hasn’t picked-up nearly the amount of attention that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has, but it should. This isn’t only a story of radical Islam nor is it just another story of Christian persecution around the world. This is a story about freedom.
Religious freedom is usually one of the first freedoms to go by the wayside, but it is a foundational freedom that all others rest on. The moment you remove a freedom that overlaps with a person’s conscience or establishes a law that dictates or prevents the exercise of interacting with the unseen, is the moment that you give footing to the removal of all other freedoms. Once you’ve lost the freedom to assemble to pray, you are one step closer to losing the freedom to assemble. Once you’ve lost the freedom to freely worship the god of your choosing, you are about to lose the freedom to freely speak of your own choosing.
Freedom is an intricate tapestry and whether you tug on loose threads carefully or rip them out in full force, the result is the same. It is weakened, it is frail, it is torn.