On Jan. 7, ten elderly Chaldean Christians and Syrian Catholics arrived in Kirkuk, Iraq after Islamic State militants expelled them from Mosul for their refusal to convert to Islam.

The group spent two days travelling to Kirkuk, an area now under the control of Kurdish Peshmerga Forces, after being forced to leave temporary housing in Mosul where they had been residing after being forced out of their homes by Islamic State.

“They had thrown us out from our villages and our homes to occupy them and then we were all clumped together in a residence in Mosul. We managed to survive thanks to the assistance of some Muslim families, who brought us food and what we needed. Then, at some point, those of the Caliphate told us we could stay there only if we converted to Islam. I refused. If you want, send me away,” said Rachel, one of the elders to Agenzia Fides.