It first appeared in the city of Mosul, where Christians have lived for the past 2,000 years. When ISIS, today’s most feared Islamic terrorist group, took control of the ancient city, Christians homes were spray-painted with a letter for identification. That letter was the Arabic letter “N”, the first letter of the word “Nasrani” (Nazarene). It was chosen to mark the Christians because they are followers of Jesus the Nazarene.
These believers were given three choices. Convert to Islam, pay a high tax to live as abused, second-class citizens, or face death by the sword. Withing 24 hours the city was emptied of all Christians. They fled by any means they could. Afterwards, a social media campaign emerged to raise awareness of the plight of these Christians.
For centuries Christians have used symbols such as crosses or the sign of a fish to identify themselves as being followers of Jesus. But today’s persecution has given birth to a new symbol.