Archive for Chaldeans

Another Surge Needed

Posted in Iraq with tags , , , , on June 24, 2008 by Mike

Robin Harris at National Review Online has an excellent article about the imminent extinction of the Christian Church in Iraq.

Members of all religions have been affected by the violence since the toppling of Saddam Hussein. But Christians are in a worse position since they suffer directly because of their Christian faith. Targeted by Islamist extremists, they are confronted by demands to convert, death threats, looting of their homes and businesses, systematic intimidation, abductions for ransom, bombings, and frequently murder. Because Christians are known to be weak they and their property are also prey to gangsterism. Churches and church leaders are particular targets for Islamists. The 65-year-old Chaldean archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul was abducted and murdered in March. Numerous priests and deacons have been tortured and shot or beheaded. At least 40 churches have been burnt.

The Iraqi Christian community has disappeared altogether from many areas of the country. Baghdad is rapidly emptying of its once flourishing Christian community, whose members have fled north to the traditional Christian homeland in the towns and villages of the plains of Nineveh. But here too they are hugely vulnerable. The regionally dominant Kurds, with whom relations have historically been bad and occasionally bloody, have little interest in offering protection. The Shia-dominated government in Baghdad is distant, unsympathetic, and has its own interests and problems. Even the relative success of the U.S. surge strategy has brought difficulties for the Christians, because the struggle with al-Qaeda is now focused on the regional centre Mosul, where Christians had hoped to find security. The Christian population itself is unused to bearing arms. It has no militia to defend it. It has no regional protectors. It is subject to pressures of illegal land confiscation and annexation, aimed at pushing it out of its last refuge.

Iraqi PM vows to protect Christians

Posted in Overseas with tags , , , , , on October 29, 2007 by Mike

In an AP report, Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, pledged to defend the country’s small contingent of Christians, mainly Chaldeans, in an effort to stop the Christians’ mass exodus from Iraq.

The Christian community here, about 3 percent of the country’s 26 million people, is particularly vulnerable, and has little political or military clout to defend itself.

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi Christians, who are mostly Chaldeans, have been targeted by Islamic extremists who label them “crusaders” loyal to U.S. troops.

Churches, priests and business owned by Christians have been attacked by Islamic militants.