Syrian rebel group demands tribute from Christians
February 27, 2014
A Syrian rebel group has issued a draconian decree against Christians in Ar-Raqqah, a city of 220,000 that it took over last year.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which operates in Iraq and Syria and is part of al-Qaeda, has demanded a tax of up to 17 grams of gold from each Christian, according to the Reuters news agency.
The rebel organization has also decreed that Christians “must not make renovations to churches or other religious buildings, display religious insignia outside of churches, ring church bells or pray in public,” Reuters reported. “The directive also bans Christians from owning weapons and from selling pork or wine to Muslims or drinking wine in public.”