Four Christian children in Iraq, under the age of 15, have been beheaded by Isis, after they refused to renounce their Christian faith and become followers of Islam.
A British reverend has spoken out about the atrocities suffered by Christians in Iraq, highlighting the shocking murder of the four youths, who dared to stand up to the jihadists.
Canon Andrew White, known as the Vicar of Baghdad, recounted the horrific incident in an interview with the Orthodox Christian Network.
"Islamic State turned up and said to the children, 'you say the words that you will follow Mohammad. The children, all under 15, four of them, said "no, we love Yesua; we have always loved Yesua; we have always followed Yesua; Yesua has always been with us".
"They [ISIS] said, 'Say the words. They [the children] said, 'No, we can't.' They chopped all their heads off. How do you respond to that? You just cry. They are my children. That is what we have been going through and that is what we are going through," said the Canon, struggling to contain his emotions.
Describing the persecution of Christians and the brutality of the regime, he said it is 'impossible' for Christians to survive in Iraq under the tyranny of ISIS.
"Things were bad in Baghdad, there were bombs and shootings and our people were being killed, so many of our people fled back to Nineveh, their traditional home. It was safer, but then one day, ISIS – Islamic State. They came in and they hounded all of them out. They killed huge numbers, they chopped their children in half, they chopped their heads off, and they moved north and it was so terrible what happened," he explained.
Iraq had 1.5 million Christians before the US-led invasion in 2003, but now only 250,000 remain, many of whom have been displaced from their homes in the north of the country by the advance of ISIS.
The 50-year-old is the vicar of the city's St George's Church, the only Anglican church in the whole of Iraq. Under the instruction of The Archbishop of Canterbury, Canon White, who has a family home in the UK in Liphook, Hampshire, has now fled the region for his own safety, after facing constant threats on his own life by Islamic State.