A newborn baby was sentenced to death after Iraqi tribal leaders discovered it had been conceived in rape committed by an ISIS terrorist.  With the help of some Catholic sisters, the child’s mother was able to make a plan for the baby to be adopted.

The young woman's story was recently shared by Aid to the Church in Need, a pontifical foundation supporting Catholic ministries in the Middle East.

ACN reported that the young woman, whose name was not released, had been kidnapped and raped by jihadists. During the ISIS occupation of northern Iraq, Christian and minority women were routinely kidnapped by ISIS, and often were treated as sex slaves for militants.

When tribal elders learned a teenager had become pregnant while in ISIS captivity, “they made the decision to kill the baby as soon as it was born.”  

“They could not live a baby conceived by ISIS. For them it was practically the devil,” ACN stated.

ACN reported that the woman was put in contact with a group of religious sisters, and that she gave birth to the child with their help. The mother asked that the child be placed in an orphanage run by the sisters. A month later it, was adopted by a Christian family.

The pontifical foundation stated that the child’s adoptive family “will surely educate their new son in love and forgiveness.  This is contribution of Christians in Iraq and the entire Middle East today. Evil never has the last word.”

The mother is under protective care to avoid any risk of retributive violence.

ACN reported that an anonymous witness told the group that saving the mother and child “could only have happened thanks to the presence of the Church” and that it is “an example of life and why our presence and culture of life are so important here.”

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.