October 23, 2015
Eight men are on trial in Germany for stealing from churches and schools in order to fund the Islamic State.
Christian Today reports that the group of men aiding the Islamic State stole 19,000 Euros worth of goods from churches and schools in Cologne and Siegen between 2011 and 2014.
In the court case, chief prosecutor Nadja Gudermann said that the men stole church offertory funds, collection boxes, crosses, chalices, and a number of other valuable objects “dedicated to church services and religious worship.”
In addition to pilfering from churches, the men are also accused of stealing money, laptops, and a cash card from schools.
The men allegedly sent the stolen items to Syria to fund Islamic State fighters in their terrorist campaign, although the court was not able to determine how much money actually reached Islamic State fighters.
A Moroccan man was found to be the leader of the gang of men. He appeared in a Youtube video, encouraging Muslims to participate in jihad. He also reportedly traveled to Syria to train at an ISIS military camp.
Christian Today reports that Germany banned all Islamic State activities earlier this year in an effort to prevent the use of religion for violence.
German Defence Minister Thomas de Mazier stated, “Germany is a well-fortified democracy, there's no place here for a terrorist organisation which opposes the constitutional order as well as the notion of international understanding."