ISIS threatens Pope Francis: 'We will be in Rome'

ISIS' latest propaganda film threatens Pope Francis with fighters seen stamping on a bust of Jesus, defacing pictures of the pontiff, and vowing to come to Rome.

The video was filmed largely in the Philippines where the jihadists are waging a war with government forces for control of Marawi city. It shows militants ransacking a church, destroying its decorations and setting the building on fire.

YouTube / News MencosThe ISIS fighter holds up a picture of Pope Francis before defacing it and ripping it up.

An English speaking narrator directly threatens Pope Francis, saying: 'Remember this, you kuffar [an offensive term for non-Muslims] - we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [god willing]'.

Focusing on the fight between Christianity and Islam he goes on: 'After all their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken.'

He adds: 'The crusaders' enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of youth.'

The desire among extremist Islamists to conquer Rome dates back to the religion's origins where fighters attempted to conquer the Byzantine Empire, reaching the edges of the Italian capital but never capturing it fully.

As ISIS' territory and power is eroded in the Middle East, their Philippine branch is engaged in a fierce battle after they captured the city of Marawi.

Christians are being used as human shields as government forces try to recapture the city and those who remain are being used as sex slaves or killed.

The fighting is now entering its fourth month and the length of the seize is causing concern about the strength of the jihadists in the mainly Catholic southern Philippines.

Despite a sustained bombing campaign from President Duterte's armed forces, the Islamists have a grip on the city and most of the 200,000 inhabitants have fled.

Lifestyle