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Their town now liberated, Iraqi Christians talk of life under ISIS

SPIRIT OF HUMANITY

The historic heartland of Assyrian Christians in Iraq was seized by the militants in 2014, and nearly all fled in the face of demands to convert, pay a tax, or die.

When Christians fled the small town of Bartalla in August 2014 as Islamic State militants swept toward them, then-14-year-old Ibrahim Matti and his elderly mother stayed behind. Without a car, they waited on a relative who promised to return for them after ferrying his own family to safety.

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