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Christians Of Iraq


Historical articles

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 Photos of Bombed Churches

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Exodus, Assimilation, Eradication:
Iraq’s minority communities since 2003

A report from Minority Rights Group International.pdf

Translation From English



Who Are Christians of Iraq?

Most people think of the Middle East as mostly Arab and Moslem but it is not the case. Before the seventh century invasion of the Middle East by Moslem Arabs the predominant population of Mesopotamia (today's Iraq), Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt was none Arab Christians. The growth of Islam in these countries was not due to a sudden influx of Arabs but gradual conversion to Islam by the native

population who later were termed Arabs. It was not until the eleventh century when Moslems became a majority in Iraq.

Early Assyrian Churches and Monasteries in northern Iraq

Christians of Iraq trace their ancestry to the ancient Assyrians and Baby- lonians.They are known by various names such as Assyrians, Chaldeans for those whobelong to the Chaldean-Church and Syriacs for the members of the SyrianOrthodox church. There is no specific statistics about the total population of Christians in Iraq but they are estimated to be about one million .

During the relatively tolerant period of the Abassid Caliphate (758-1258) Assyrians scholars of both Nestorian and Jacobite denominations contributed greatly to the advancement of the Islamic civilization by translating the available knowledge form the Syriac and the Greek languages into the Arabic. This usheredan era which is known as the "Golden Age". The first directors of the "House of Wisdom"an institution specifically established by AI-Mamun in 830 AD to translate all the availableexisting knowledge including, medicine

philosophy, mathematics, astronomy and other sciences into the Arabic were Assyrians. To show the extent of the Assyrian contribution to educating the Arabs it suffices to say that from a hundred Galen's treaties ninety six were translated form the Syriac languagethe rest directly from the Greek. Many Greek books no longer existed in their nativelanguage. Yuhanna ibn Masswaya a physician and teacher was the first director of theHouse of Wisdom and the president of the first Arab University. He has been creditedwith having written nearly fifty works. His students were known to be well versed in logic and the writings of Galen. He conducted an assembly in Baghdad on regular basis known as "Majlis" which was a combination of lecture room and consulting hour where he saw patients, lectured his students and discussed scientific topics for the benefit of the general public. One of his most famous students was Hunayn ibn-Isahq who became the second director of the House of the Wisdom.(Arab Civilization to AD 1,500", D. M. Dunlop, New York 1971 p.220)

Hunayn is considered to be the greatest and the most productive translator of all."According to Ibn-abi-Usahbi'ah he was the author of more than one hundred original works, but few of these are extant". (Whiple 27) He translated twenty books of Galen into Syriac, and fourteen treaties into Arabic. He revised sixteen translations made previously by Sergius of Ras al-'Ayn (Rish-Ayna). The Arab translators such as Khwarizmi, al-Kindi and al-l-Hajjaj, the first translator of Euclid's Elements, received their training from Hunayn, and Thabit beit Qurra.

Translation from the Syriac language to Arabic was so widespread that even the Nestorian Patriarch Timothy who was a good friend of al-Mehdi and his sons Musa, Harun and Ali is known to have translated the 'Topics of Aristotle' first from the Syriac in (782-3), later retranslated it from the Greek original with the help of the malikite Patriarch.Christian Doctors were famous for their extensive medical skills.

The Medical training and teaching facilities of Jundi Shapour designed, built, and managed by the Assyrian scholars was transferred to Baghdad. The Jundi Shapour Bimarestan became model for hospitals built in Baghdad, Damascus, Allepo and Cairo. (Whipple 28) The teaching and training of the Physicians was done in the hospital as it is presently the case inthe British Medical Schools. Ahamd Eisa gives a list of twelve physicians from Jundi Shapour practicing in Baghdad. (Whipple p.28)

Members of the Bakht-Eisho family served as court doctors for seven generations. The Beit Qarra family of Harran who were still practicing a corrupted form of the ancient Assyro-Babylonian religion contributed greatly to the Arab Knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. The rise of the Arabic as a language of education contributed to the decline of scholarship in the Syriac language.

The arrival of the Crusaders followed by the Mongols inflamed Moslem passions against the none Moslem communities. Because of continued massacres the Assyrians population gradually declined in number but survived mostly in the plain of Nineveh, Southeast Turkey, Mountains north of Mosul, and and northwest Iran.

Turkey's world war one massacres resulted in the death of 750,000. During Saddam's wars with the Kurds hundreds of Assyrian villages were destroyed their inhabitants were rendered homeless, driven out of their historic homeland, and scattered as refugees in large cities or the neighboring countries. dozens of ancient churches some dating to the early centuries of Christianity were bombed and turned into rubble. The teaching of the Syriac language was prohibited and Assyrians were forced to give their children Arabic names in an effort to undermine their true identity. Those who wished to hold governmental jobs had to sign ethnicity correction papers which declared them arabs.

The fall of Saddam which was hoped to bring peace to Iraq has unleashed religious violence against the Christian community in Iraq. Unless special attention is given to their plight by the US and the Iraqi government this ancient people will continue to suffer grievously as they have in the past.






Who are the Christians of Iraq?

Kanoon II = January

Chaldean Family Caught Crossing US Border Illegall January 31, 07

Kurds seek US protection guarantees January 31, 07

Iraqi Kurds Betray US January 31, 07

Eastern Church Needs Aid From West to Survive January 31, 07

Turkey; don't Involve Iraqi Kurdish Administration in Oil Trade January 29, 07

About the Representative Ana Eshoo's Resolution to Congress January 29, 07

New Book by Rev. Misick on Assyrian Language & Literature January 28, 07

Mothers' Union Forms New Link with Baghdad January 27, 07

Secretary of State Rice and the Kurds January 27, 07

Presidential Hopefuls Express Support For Assyrian Christians! January 26, 07

Dink murder: Religious authorities remain silent, media withholds condemnation
January 26, 07

School preserves ancient culture January 24, 07

Turkey keeps nervous eye on Kirkuk January 23, 07

Tens of Thousands Mourn Turkish-Armenian Editor January 23, 07

What Iraq's Christians Need January 23, 07

Hrant Dink Killing as if Continuation of Armenian Genocide January 22, 07

Christians, Muslims flee Baghdad for Kurdistan January 22, 07

Remember The Church In Iraq January 21, 07

Iraq's Christians Call for Political Autonomy January 21, 07

Interview with Yonadam Kanna, Assyrian member of Iraqi Parliament.
January 20, 07

Congress, White House Flooded With Calls for 'Operation Assyrian Province'
January 20, 07

American Jewish Committee Speaks Up for Iraqi Religious Minorities

January 19, 07

Suffering Binds Iraq and Darfur January 19, 07

Iraqi Christians Lose All Hope with Violence, Anarchy January 19, 07

Iraqi, Afghani War Refugees Need Our Help January 18, 07

Iraq's Kurds Face Mounting Anger From All Sides January 18, 07

Iraq moving towards division, says bishop of Kirkuk January 16, 07

Genocide Discussions and Freedom of Expression in Turkey January 16, 07

An Assyrian Archaeologist's Journey January 15, 07

US Jewish lobby warns : it may not be able to block the Armenian genocide bill
January 15, 07

T.V. Report about the plight of the Assyrians in Iraq January 14, 07

Mehrdad Izady & the History of Kurdish Christianity; Falsification of Facts
January 13, 07

Murders, Abductions, Threats, Everyday Occurrences for Mosul Christians
January 12, 07

A Biography of Helena Guergis, Canada's Secretary of State January 12, 07

Turkey Shouldnt fear the Assyrian genocide January 11, 07

A Christian Neighborhood in Baghdad January 11, 07

Christians Shut Out Of National Conference In Baghdad January 11, 07

A Christian Exodus From the Arab World January 11, 07

World War One Genocide in Turkey January 10, 07

The Ken Joseph Report “I sat in stunned silence…” January 10, 07

Paris approves Armenian genocide bill January 8, 07

Assyrian Woman Appointed As Secretary of State in Canada January 8, 07

Few Stories of Hope for Iraq's Christians January 7, 07

US must recognize Iraq's humanitarian crisis January 7, 07

Good News For The Christians of Iraq ! January 5, 07

Theological university and seminary moved January 5, 07

If Iraq fragments, what's Plan B? January 4, 07

IRAQ: Minorities tormented under sectarian violence January 4, 07

Christian Assyrians in Iraq January 4, 07

Why Are Iraqi Kurds Furious With the US? January 3, 07

Kholo Malke on the way to Germany January 3, 07

Expansion of The Assyrian Radio program "Qolo" January 3, 07

Assyrians Iraq's Forgotten Minority January 3, 07

Georgia Releases Assyrian General on Bail January 2, 07

Ancient Assyrian Fortress in Iraq to Be Preserved January 2, 07

Kanoon I = December

Exiles joyful, concerned December 31, 06

Killing goes on as Saddam Hussein is executed and churches pray December 30, 06

Iraqi Americans react to death of Saddam Hussein
December 30, 06

Turkey Should not Deny the Turth if it Wants to be Believed December 30, 06

Forgive Saddam Hussein ? December 30, 06

Ancient Assyrians in northwest Iran near Urmia December 26, 06

Assyrian Genocide Claims 'Bogus,' Says Turkish Historian December 26, 06

A Tireless Campaigner for the Assyrian Christians of Iraq December 26, 06

Iraq, Christians Come Out to Worship December 26, 06

Christians Celebrate Christmas in Iran December 26, 06

Iraqi Christians Debate Self-Autonomy to Halt Exodus December 26, 06

Iraq's embattled religious minorities December 26, 06

We Must Not Forget the Plight of Middle Eastern Christians December 23, 06

Avoiding the Final Betrayal: Protecting Iraqi Christians December 23, 06

Nina Shea Testifies Before Congress on Behalf of Iraq's Assyrians
and Other Minorities
December 23, 06

Conference in Sweden Calls for Assyrian Safe-haven in Iraq December 21, 06

Christians thrown to the lions in Iraq December 21, 06

Iraqi refugees - a tragedy stretching beyond Syria December 19, 06

Iraqi Christians under fire December 19, 06

Fleeing Nineveh: Assyrians of Iraq and Self Governance December 18, 06

No Christmas Celebrations in Iraq, Says Chaldean Patriarch December 18, 06

Groups call for relief for Iraqi Christians December 18, 06

Methodists Highlight the Plight of Indigenous Iraqi Christians December 17, 06

Pontiff Appeals for Aid for Iraqi Refugees in Syria December 17, 06

Christmas in Mosul Under Threat of Sharia December 15, 06

Kurds and the Assyrian Homeland December 15, 06

Assyrian National Party rejects Baker-Hamilton's plans December 15, 06

U.S. Iraqi Christian Community Debates How to Help Relatives December 15, 06

Deviousness of the Kurdish officials December 14, 06

Iraq Insurgents Threaten Attacks Against Christian Women December 14, 06

Gifts for the Children of Nineveh December 13, 06

Help Our Assyrian Children December 13, 06

Iraq : Another Pries Feared Kidnapped December 10, 06

Iraq shapes the Assyrian cadet's background, future December 10, 06

Jordan, Syria May Close Borders to Iraqi Refugees December 9, 06

Visitors from Iraq December 8, 06

Assyrian Delegation in the European Parliament December 8, 06

Private Saudis Said to Fund Iraq Insurgents December 7, 06

Terrorists Bomb Church in Iraq December 7, 06

Iraq Is the Fastest-Growing Refugee Crisis in the World December 5, 06

Iraqi Christians plead for help, tell of 'ethnic cleansing' December 5, 06

Assyrian Christians 'Most Vulnerable Population' in Iraq December 5, 06

One Priest Killed in Iraq, another abucted December 5, 06

Comparing the Muslim and Christian Conceptions of God December 4, 06

Assyrian Delegation from Georgia Visits North Iraq December 4, 06

Another clergy murdered in Mosul December 4, 06

Dutch EP Member Inquiry Into Assassination of Assyrian Leader December 3, 06

Assyrians: Iraq's Overlooked Victims December 2, 06

Christians for Assyrians of Iraq Plan Demonstration December 2, 06

Iraq's Vatican Ambassador Seeks More Help December 2, 06

Assyrian Delegation At the European Parliament December 1, 06

Relief Agency Sheltering Iraqi Chaldean Refugees in Turkey December 1, 06

The Turkmen: Eerie Silence in Northern Iraq December 1, 06



December 06- January 07

October, November 06

August, September 06

June, July 06
March April May 06
February 06
December05 Januray 06