The Islamic State terrorist group has released a disturbing propaganda video in which its fighters are shown stomping on a bust of Jesus, desecrating religious statues, and ripping photos of Pope Francis.
The latest "Inside the Khilafah" video filmed in the Philippines features a narrator speaking with an American accent who praises "the truthful soldiers of Mohammed" who have infiltrated the city of Marawi.
The narrator explains that the occupation took place in the city because the Philippine government tried to "subjugate the Muslims" and "expel them from the land." He says ISIS soldiers freed inmates from the local jail and attacked local churches.
The video then depicts ISIS members destroying a church and its contents, including a crucifix, a statue of Jesus on the cross and one of Mary, among other saints. Pictures of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis are also shown being torn up and thrown to the ground before the church goes up in flames.
"After all their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken," says the narrator. "The crusaders' enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of youth."
"Remember this, you kuffar [an extremely offensive term for non-Muslims] - we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [god willing]," the narrator adds.
Muslim fighters loyal to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi first infiltrated the city in May in an effort to establish a "caliphate", or city ruled by Islamic law. About 200,000 residents have been evacuated since the start of the conflict but several hundred - many of them Christians - are believed still to be held captive inside the city. Philippines government figures put the death toll at 758: 584 militants, 129 soldiers and 45 civilians.
The narrator says that after jihadist fighter stormed the city, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte "ran to his masters, the defenders of the cross, America, along with their regional guard dog Australia, and begged them for help, and despite having been previously insulted by Duterte, they were quick to put their differences aside."
"America is continuing to be drawn into the lands of the Muslims all over the globe to be weakened and to bleed to death at the hands of the believers," the American narrator adds.
The video shows a map of "America's War on Islam": Iraq, Syria, Sinai, West Africa, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Philippines.
Malaysian counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay told Channel News Asia warned that video, the fourth released from the terrorist group, had the potential to "inspire (Islamic State) followers in Malaysia, Indonesia - all of Southeast Asia - to go to southern Philippines to wage jihad".
This is not the first time ISIS has targeted Christianity with its propaganda material; last year, the group urged followers to "break the cross" and destroy "arrogant Christian disbelievers", calling on Muslims to "pray for Allah's curse to be upon the liars".
In the 15th issue of the propaganda magazine Dabiq, published last August, ISIS mocked those who claim Islam is a peaceful religion and urged Christians to "break the cross" before offering them two options: risk death in a "futile" war against ISIS or convert to Islam and "enter the Gardens of Paradise," the Express notes.
"[Christians] have the option of trying to cling to the transient luxuries of this life, rejecting the truth in favor of either paying jizyah [tax] to the Islamic State or continuing to wage a futile war against it," read the magazine.
"Alternatively, they can heed the warning of Allah that the worldly life is not guaranteed even for those who pursue it at the expense of their salvation, and thus choose to embrace Islam, champion the truth, attain the mercy of their Lord, and enter the Gardens of Paradise."
The magazine also included several disturbing images of beheadings and stonings and devotes an entire section to the words and actions of Pope Francis, headlined "In The Words Of Our Enemies."
Another editorial titled "Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You" criticized Westerners and "apostate 'Imams' in the West" who refuse to define ISIS' motivation as being Islamic and refer to the religion as one of "peace."