A Christian man in Syria recently had his head brutally hacked off by Islamic militants after being forced to deny his faith and salute Mohammed as "the messenger of God".
The incident was caught on video for the world to see and broadcast as a warning to "everyone like him".
In the video that was posted to YouTube with translated captions, the helpless Christian man is surrounded by armed militants wearing masks and he is heard reciting as instructed: "There is no God but God and I testify that Mohammed is the messenger of God."
An apparent leader in the group of militants is then heard instructing the group: "No one will shoot him now, do you understand? He will not be killed by shooting because it is merciful for him."
"He will be beheaded because he is Kaffir, non-Muslim, sided [with] the government and was not praying at all. Everyone like him will have the same end, beheading," said the militant.
A militant armed with a machete then grabs the defenseless man by the hair and begins to cut his head from his body as the group cries "Allahu Akbar…there is no God but God."
The 2014 report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom highlights Syria among several countries where being a Christian can be extremely hazardous due to terrorist and extremist Muslim threats.
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"Extremist groups and terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida and ISIL, also are perpetrating egregious religious freedom violations. They espouse violence and the creation of an Islamic state with no space for diversity, and have carried out religiously-motivated attacks and massacres against Alwaite, Shi'a, and Christian civilians," explained the document in highlighting conditions in Syria.
"NGO's report that several different anti-regime opposition groups have established Shari'ah courts in areas they control. Recently ISIL, a terrorist organization not aligned with the internationally-recognized opposition, announced that the approximately 3,000 Christians in Raqqa province must either face death, convert to Islam, or be treated as dhimmis (non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic state) who must pay a tax for their 'protection' and obey serious restrictions on their religious practices," it continued.
The report further noted that Bishop Boulos Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church and Bishop John Ibrahim of the Assyrian Orthodox Church are still missing since they were kidnapped by unknown assailants in the Northern province of Aleppo in April 2013.
Some 13 nuns and three workers from a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Christian village of Maaloula, who were kidnapped by the al-Nustra Front in late November 2013, were finally freed on March 9, 2014.
Al-Nusra took over Maaloula in September 2013 and their fighters reportedly attacked Christian homes killing at least a dozen people, and burning down a church. Those who remained were forced to convert to Islam according to the report.