BAGHDAD, Iraq - Extremists occupying large swaths of Iraq and Syria have issued a threat to Iraqi Christians in the city of Mosul to accept Islam, pay extra taxes to Islamic Sharia courts or face "death by the sword."
The letters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, were distributed to leaders of the dwindling Christian minority in the city in recent days.
The message added that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has agreed to "allow them (Christians who do not agree to convert or pay extra taxes) to evacuate themselves only from the caliphate state" by noon Saturday (5 a.m. ET). After that, the message said, "the only option is the sword."