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Re: [SORForum] Digest Number 411

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  • drthomas_joseph
    If you are asking, are we Assyrians now? I am not sure I can or should provide an answer. You should perhaps direct this to the news agencies from which the
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 17, 2005
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      If you are asking, "are we Assyrians now?" I am not sure I can or
      should provide an answer. You should perhaps direct this to the news
      agencies from which the news was obtained. I have merely reproduced
      the news as published in the media. I could have replaced all
      references to Assyrians with Syrians, but the fact is that this is
      not how the news was published in the sources.

      Thomas Joseph
      Moderator

      PS: Please note that the forum policy does not permit discussion of
      ethnic identity of Syriac Orthodox Christians.


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      > -------------------------------------------------------------------
      -~->
      > >
      > >
      > > There are 4 messages in this issue.
      > >
      > > Topics in this digest:
      > >
      > > 1. Christians Flee Genocide in US held Iraq
      > > From: "Thomas Joseph"
      > > <thomas_joseph@h...>
      > > 2. Turkey's Bid for EU Sparks Christian
      > > Rebirth in Turkey
      > > From: "Thomas Joseph"
      > > <thomas_joseph@h...>
      > > 3. News from the Assyrian Monastery in Midyat
      > > Turkey.
      > > From: "Thomas P" <thomas_pa1@y...>
      > > 4. Turkey Encouraging Displaced Christians to
      > > Return
      > > From: "Thomas Joseph"
      > > <thomas_joseph@h...>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      _____________________________________________________________________
      ___
      > >
      >
      _____________________________________________________________________
      ___
      > >
      > > Message: 1
      > > Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 16:35:30 +0000
      > > From: "Thomas Joseph" <thomas_joseph@h...>
      > > Subject: Christians Flee Genocide in US held Iraq
      > >
      > > Christians Flee Genocide in US held Iraq
      > > By Jack Fairweather at St. Matthew's Monastery near
      > > Mosul
      > >
      > > One of the most ancient monasteries in the world, St
      > > Matthew's, stands on a
      > > barren mountainside in northern Iraq, its last
      > > inhabitant a crusty old
      > > Syrian Orthodox priest. Nestled between sandstone
      > > crags with views of the
      > > hills around ancient Nineveh, now called Mosul, it
      > > looks like the final
      > > redoubt of the Christian world.
      > >
      > > Seven thousand monks used to worship here; now there
      > > is just one, Father Ada
      > > Qadr al-Kars.
      > >
      > > This thinning of the ranks has taken centuries, he
      > > said, but in the valleys
      > > Iraq's Christian community, targeted with especial
      > > ferocity by Islamic
      > > extremists for the past year, is disappearing
      > > rapidly.
      > >
      > > Churches have been bombed, priests kidnapped and
      > > Christian neighbourhoods
      > > subjected to random shootings, the terrorists'
      > > revenge for the community's
      > > shared religion with the "Christian" invaders.
      > >
      > > According to Church leaders, some 300,000 Christians
      > > - roughly a quarter of
      > > the population - have fled their homes since the
      > > US-led invasion.
      > >
      > > It is too early to speak of a humanitarian crisis,
      > > with many from the
      > > community, one of Iraq's more affluent, able to
      > > leave the country in
      > > civilised fashion or find shelter in the
      > > Kurdish-controlled north. But in
      > > the minds of Church leaders there is little doubt as
      > > to the nature of the
      > > exodus.
      > >
      > > "It's genocide. You can see it with your own eyes,"
      > > said Bishop Putres
      > > Harbori, head of the Christian community in Dohuk,
      > > near the Turkish border,
      > > where 350 families have found sanctuary.
      > >
      > > Many fear that Iraq's ancient Christian community is
      > > leaving for ever, some
      > > nostalgic for better times under Saddam Hussein.
      > > Life was good when the
      > > Ba'athists were in charge, said Paula Sliwa, 71, one
      > > of 60,000 Christians to
      > > flee Mosul in recent months.
      > >
      > > He belongs to the Assyrian Church, one of several
      > > sects in the city tracing
      > > their history to Job preaching to the ungodly. He,
      > > his wife and five
      > > children used to live with 100 other families near
      > > the Shaleeka Cunta church
      > > on the western bank of the Euphrates.
      > >
      > > Iraq's small Christian community has a history of
      > > collaboration with the
      > > powers-that-be in Baghdad, first with the British in
      > > the 1920s, then with
      > > Saddam's regime, which boasted the Christian Tariq
      > > Aziz as one of its most
      > > powerful leaders. Christians often worked in the
      > > luxury business, selling
      > > alcohol and running beauty parlours.
      > >
      > > "I have a large house and two cars," said Mr Sliwa,
      > > formerly a well paid
      > > government official. "We never had any trouble." But
      > > the Christian community
      > > in Mosul has been shaken by a wave of vicious
      > > attacks, including five car
      > > bombs detonated outside churches, killing more than
      > > 20, in one month.
      > >
      > > Anti-Christian graffiti was daubed on church walls
      > > and inflammatory CDs sold
      > > in the market. Regular gun attacks began in
      > > Christian areas of the city,
      > > with several priests kidnapped and told that, as
      > > Christians, they were on
      > > the side of the American invaders.
      > >
      > > "We were used to living in hell," said Mr Sliwa.
      > > Then a neighbour told him
      > > that his two sons had been killed by the latest
      > > attack. "My son's car was
      > > 300 metres away. They were slumped in their seats,
      > > covered in blood," he
      > > said. "The terrorists had shot at any car in the
      > > neighbourhood, knowing they
      > > would kill Christians."
      > >
      > > Mr Sliwa and the rest of his family fled to Angkawr,
      > > one of a number of
      > > Christian communities in the Kurdish-protected
      > > north. That evening his house
      > > in Mosul was broken into and ransacked.
      > >
      > > Stories like his are common in Angkawr, where 150
      > > families shelter from the
      > > oppression and fear that forced them to flee homes
      > > in Mosul, Baghdad and
      > > Basra.
      > >
      > > They say a new breed of al-Qa'eda-inspired
      > > terrorists, rather than the
      > > former Ba'athists, are behind the attacks. Iraqi
      > > police are powerless to
      > > protect the community, say families, and US forces
      > > rarely intervene, not
      > > wanting to be seen to be siding with Christians and
      > > thereby exposing the
      > > troops to more violence.
      > >
      > > For their part, Christian leaders in Iraq oscillate
      > > between calling the
      > > attacks "ethnic cleansing" and stressing that
      > > Christians are suffering along
      > > with others in Iraq.
      > >
      > > Angkawr, a town of 35,000 people, is defended by
      > > guards and concrete
      > > barriers. Residents, along with the refugees, want
      > > to leave the country as
      > > fast as possible, with Syria, Jordan, Europe and
      > > America the popular
      > > destinations.
      > >
      > > Saed Alexis, a local business leader, said: "There
      > > is not a person who
      > > wouldn't leave Iraq if they could. In five years
      > > there will be no one left."
      > >
      > > Source: http://telegraph.co.uk (8 Jan 2005)
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      _____________________________________________________________________
      ___
      > >
      >
      _____________________________________________________________________
      ___
      > >
      > > Message: 2
      > > Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 17:09:39 +0000
      > > From: "Thomas Joseph" <thomas_joseph@h...>
      > > Subject: Turkey's Bid for EU Sparks Christian
      > > Rebirth in Turkey
      > >
      > > Courtesy of the Associated Press
      > > 11 January 2005
      > >
      > === message truncated ===
      >
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