A Syrian Islamic rebel group has been confiscating Christian-owned properties in Idlib, according to a new report released by a Syrian human rights watchdog.
“Christians in Idlib province face the injustice of jihadist organizations and violations by Islamic factions, in terms of applying ‘Islamic Sharia law’ to members of different religious communities,” an April 25 report released by the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reads.
The group warns that Islamic factions in the war-torn province in northwestern Syria are “clamping down” on Christians and imposing “Jizya,” a hefty tax imposed on non-Muslims.
SOHR warns that the imposition of Jizya, which was imposed by the Islamic State during its reign of terror in Iraq and Syria, is an attempt by Islamic groups to force Christians “to leave their homes to regime-controlled areas.”
According to SOHR, Idlib has been administered by different Islamic factions ranging from Al-Fateh Army to “Salvation Government,” the civilian wing of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). HTS is a Sunni militant group that formed in 2017 as a merger of militant factions including Al-Nusra Front.
“HTS has clamped down on the Christians of Idlib city, pursuing the landlords and occupants of their properties,” the report states. “The office of ‘Christians’ properties’ of HTS, which considers as spoils, has notified tenants to check with the administrative offices, to renew the contracts and set new terms, including raising the rents of houses and shops.”
According to SOHR, the factions have informed the tenants that the office has the “right to rent, acquire and dispose of property at any time.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith