In a recent video produced by ISIS and posted online by the Middle East Media Research Institute TV Monitor Project (MemriTV), the extremist group announced that it has captured the Syrian town of Qaryatayn. Christians there were forced to flee, convert to Islam or sign a dhimma contract agreeing to live under Islamic law and pay jizya, an Islamic tax.
In the video, an Islamist explains that Christians caught trying to flee have four options: “One, for the men to be killed and the women and children to be enslaved. Two, to be exchanged (for prisoners, money or booty). Three, to be pardoned (provided they leave the Caliphate). Four, to pay the jizya and live as dhimmis under the rule of the Caliphate.”
A report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) stated that ISIS received money in early September that is believed to be jizya tax collected by Christian clerks in the village. The IDs of Christians were also seized and are still being held by the extremist group.
In addition, the SOHR reported that the Saint Elian monastery in Qaryatayn was bulldozed and demolished on Aug. 6 by the extremists, who claimed that Christians worshiped the monastery instead of Allah.
(Editor's note: it is important to remember that these options are only available to members of the traditional Christian communities in IS-controlled areas. For a former Muslim who converted and now follows Jesus Christ, there would only be two choices: return to Islam immediately or be executed.)