A Christian militia is fighting alongside Muslim militias to hit back
against the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) which has taken the
homes and livelihood of Christians in Iraq.
The Iraq Christian Brigade also called the Babylon Brigade
is led by their leader Rayan al-Kildani who said they have taken up arms
because they have had enough of the abuses committed by the ISIS.
"What Islamic State was doing to the Christians is terrible. They are the devil," he said.
According to a report by BBC,
militias have been formed in 2014 to block the ISIS attacks when the
national guard collapsed. To date, militias, composed of Sunni Muslim,
Shia Muslim and Christians which belong to the umbrella group called the
Popular Mobilization Forces have maintained their position to protect their homes from assaults by the ISIS.
In recent years, the numbers of the militia have grown to close to
100,000, especially after the militias were able to secure financial
support from the government to cover their expenses. However, the
Babylon Brigade remains firm that fighting for the rights of Christians
is the main reason they have joined the militia.
"I know the Bible says that if you get hit on one cheek you should
offer the other. But we have really good defence forces now. No-one is
going to do anything bad to the Christians. Some Christians had their
homes taken over. I have personally been to those houses to tell the new
people living there to get out. Christian suffering is over," Kildani
While he maintained secrecy on their actual numbers, he expressed
confidence that they are armed and ready to ward off threats to their
peace. Despite the fact that some may criticize their group for
violating the tenets of the Bible which tells Christians not to kill,
the group also cites another Bible passage that fuels their crusade.
In the interview, Kildani cited Luke Chapter 22:36 which says "If you
have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword,
sell your cloak and buy one."
"We have to fight. We have to defend ourselves," he said.
In an earlier interview with NBC, Kildani said that it is their responsibility to band with their brothers to liberate Iraq.
"ISIS terrorists do not differentiate among Christians, Muslims,
Sunnis and Shiites — they kill everyone. We have to help our Muslim
brothers liberate Iraq," he said.