Christian leaders in the city of Raqqah, Syria, have reportedly signed an agreement to pay the jizya protection tax and accede to the demands of radical Muslim rebels who now control their city.
The agreement was announced online by The Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), one of the radical Sunni groups fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. ISIS is attempting to put in place full Sharia law in the areas of Syria it controls, and has already enforced the wearing of veils by women in the area.
Islamic law teaches that Christians and Jews living in areas under Muslim control must pay a tax known in Arabic as jizya in return for the protection of the Muslim rulers, known in Arabic as dhimma.
The Christians in Raqqah also agreed to a list of conditions, including making no repairs on any church building, no public displays of crosses or other Christian symbols, and not holding Christian services outside of the church building. Even inside the church buildings, Christians are told not to sing or read Scriptures loud enough that a Muslim standing outside the building could hear.