The head of the Anglican Church in Baghdad reported last week that the Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), beheaded four Christian children for refusing to denounce Christ.
Canon Andrew White fled Iraq for Israel in October, and described the atrocities he witnessed in a recent interview.
"Things have gotten so bad in Iraq," White told Jerusalem Dateline.
"They said to one man, they said, 'Either you say the words of converting to Islam, or we kill all your children.' He was desperate, he said the words," Canon White explained.
"And then he phoned me, 'Abuna, Abuna [Father, Father]! I said the words! Does that mean Yasua [Jesus] doesn't love me anymore? I've always loved Yasua, but I said those words because I couldn't see my children be killed."
The Vicar of Baghdad said he comforted the man.
"I said, 'Elias, no. Jesus still loves you. He will always love you.'"
Canon White said another act of persecution occurred days later.
"ISIS turned up and said to the children, 'You say the words that you will follow Mohammed,'" he recounted. "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.'"
After repeatedly refusing to convert to Islam, the children were reportedly beheaded.
"How do you respond to that?" White asked. "You just cry. They're my children. That's what we have been going through. That's what we are going through."
The vicar said that most of his staff are still in northern Iraq, trying to help the displaced Christians and Shiite Muslims. White was ordered to leave Iraq by the Archbishop of Canterbury after repeated threats on his life.