Even though she was blind, a Christian woman named Mariyam Petrayus from western Mosul bravely stood up to Islamic State (ISIS) militants and refused to convert to Islam despite the threat of death.
Petrayus told Rudaw that the militants forced her to renounce Jesus Christ, but she defiantly refused. One of them told her, "'Why don't you convert to Islam? Why are you Christian?"
Petrayus said she told the ISIS fighter that "everyone is on their religion, and nobody leaves their religion."
Petrayus, who is in her 50s, said she did not want to convert to Islam because she did not want to be anything like the jihadists. "I do not want to become one like you," she told the militant.
He asked, "Why? What is wrong with me?"
She answered, "You don't say your prayers, you kill humans, you earn haram [sinful] earning, and you harass people."
The militant denied her accusations, but the blind woman insisted that he's guilty of all those things, adding,"I swear to God."
She was held by the ISIS for over two years before she was able to escape. Petrayus had to walk tens of kilometres through ISIS-held territory before reaching the Kurdish region. She is now living in the Sewdinan displacement camp near Khazer, Iraq.
Petrayus is just one of the estimated 6,000 people forced to flee Mosul after Iraqi government forces launched a major offensive to liberate Iraq's second largest city from ISIS occupation.
The blind woman was fortunate to escape without being harmed.
Meanwhile, Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," told the Orthodox Christian Network that ISIS chopped off the heads of four young boys just because they refused to convert to Islam.
"ISIS turned up and they said to the children, 'You say the words that you will follow Muhammad.' The children, all under 15, four of them, they said, 'No, we love Yasua [Jesus]. We have always loved Yasua. We have always followed Yasua. Yasua has always been with us.'" White said. "[The militants] said, 'Say the words!' [The children] said, 'No, we can't do that.' They chopped all their heads off."
"How do you respond to that?" White further asked. "You just cry. They are my children. That is what we have been going through. That is what we are going through."