Bookmark This Site

Christians Of Iraq
Plight of the Iraq's Christians

US refugee info

Popular articles
Assyrian poetry
Historical articles

Traditional Assyrian Costumes

  Bombed Churches
 Home  Only this link has access to all News articles


Youtube Assyrian Videos2
Assyrian youtube videos 3
Youtube Assyrian Videos (youtube2-b)
new songs Dec. 28, 2010

click below for info about

Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies
A semi-annual publication for modern Assyrian studies
with focus on language, culture, history and civilization.

Translation Translation from English



Restricted Freedoms in the Iraqi Christian Green Zone

By Rhodri Davies

Jan. 7, 2011

The Bishop of the Chaldean Archdiocese of Irbil in northern Iraq denied my request to talk to him about Christians in the country. "You can see the life of the community here," he said, before finishing post-service greetings and embraces with his flock at St Joseph's church in Ainkawa, a Christian suburb of Iraqi Kurdistan's capital. He was right. I had just seen a 500-stong Chaldean congregation - an independent Christian Church that has been in Iraq since the 2nd Century - attend Sunday evening mass.

It appeared to be a resilient and devout community that conveyed buoyancy and longevity. Septuagenarian women in traditional red and black local dress sat alongside teenage girls adorned in perfume. A choir of 30 members sang hymns from a balcony, above families who arrived from the darkness outside to acknowledgements from community members within.

Collection plates were filled and warm interactions conducted post-service. But the bishop was correct in another perhaps unintended sense about the life of Iraq's Christian community. There were also four guards carrying Kalashnikov rifles on the gates to the church compound. This presence at evening time was up from the two armed men that patrolled during the day. The guards were amiable but became anxious when I tried to take photographs of the church. They told me to leave my bag at the gate. Iraqi Kurdistan is supposed to be a redoubt for the persecuted of central and southern Iraq.

This is due to the lack of attacks that have occurred there since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Up to 6,000 Christians -- 1,000 families - are said by the UN refugee agency to have fled here from cities such as Baghdad, the national capital, Mosul and Kirkuk. Fryad Rwanzi, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and former member of parliament in Baghdad, told me that what refuge Iraqi Kurdistan provides for Christians is constrained. "The KRG is doing whatever they can do to create a happy atmosphere for their lives and provide them with houses, apartments and jobs or to transfer their jobs from other areas to Kurdistan,"

Rwanzi said. "And I feel that Christians feel very safe in Kurdistan because Kurdish society is a Muslim society but a very open society and I don't think that religion is a priority in Kurdistan. "At the same time we are worried because of the extremists coming from other parts of Iraq and infiltrating into the area and committing some terrorist activity in Kurdistan. "But fortunately the KRG and security forces are worried, and indeed have put on the table all the things to protect Christians and to make sure that their life is going on like any other person in Kurdistan."

Deadly attacks on Coptic Christians in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on New Year's day and on Christians in Baghdad in November and December show the gruesome threats faced by these communities in their ancestral homelands. More recently, Iranian state media reported that that 60 members of the country's Christian minority had been arrested since Christmas Day for spreading a hard-line version of their faith, allegedly with the support of the UK. Whether that it true or false, it shows the potentially pernicious effects of discrimination, which can lead to both oppression and retribution. Iraq's Christian community numbers between 450,000 and 500,000 today, down from between 800,000 and 1.2 million in 2003, when the US invasion and occupation provided space for groups such as al-Qaeda to attack them.

But even in a relatively safe enclave such as Iraqi Kurdistan, where tolerance and safety might be anticipated, their freedom has a specific delineation. It is one limited to the nature of a persecuted people and defined by the reach of its would-be oppressors. Sadly, that is the life you can see in a Christian community there.


Please feel free to comment pro or con abut the articles on this site, or make constructive suggestions, but be polite.

Please feel free to comment pro or con abut the articles on this site, or make constructive suggestions, but be polite.

To the people who send spam.

Don't send messages with links to other websites. All such messages end up in the spam bin. It is a waste of time.


Form by

Designed by



3,700 articles and counting

church on fire







January = Kanoon II

Restricted Freedoms in the Iraqi Christian Green Zone
Jan. 8, 2011

France asks for coordinated European Union response to threats against Christians in Middle East Jan. 5. 2011

Violent attacks against Christians could return in Egypt
Jan. 4. 2011

Egyptian Security Guards Withdrew One Hour Before Church Blast Jan. 2. 2011

We may be witnessing a new age of Christian persecution
Jan. 2. 2011

December = Kanoon I

Christians consider their future after more attacks in Iraq
Dec. 31. 2010

Ancient Tel Aviv Fortress has an Assyrian Origion Dec. 30. 2010

Rare Assyrian artifacts on display in Istanbul Dec. 30. 2010

Ancient Tablets Reveal Mathematical Achievements of Ancient Babylonian Culture Dec. 28. 2010

Christmas and New Year's Greetings 2010

Bipartisan Effort Pressures Obama to Help Iraq's Christians
Dec. 26, 2010

Around "1,100" Christian families have fled to to Kurdish north Dec. 21, 2010

U.N. cites 'a slow but steady exodus' of Iraqi Christians
Dec. 18, 2010

Genocide Film Stirs Emotions Dec, 18, 2010

Assyrians in Iraq face a stark choice: convert, die or leave Dec, 17, 2010

Iraqi Christians Want Their Own Province Dec, 17, 2010

The persecution of Christians in the ‘Muslim world’
Dec, 15, 2010

Is Obama serious about human rights? Dec, 15, 2010

Iraq’s war on Christians Dec, 15, 2010

Appeal for Iraq's Imperiled Religious Communities
Dec, 14, 2010

More Christians Flee Iraq After New Violence Dec, 12, 2010

Assyrians in Iraq's Mosul Living Under Constant Fear
Dec. 11, 2010

Iraq Assyrians Mark 40 Days Since Church Carnage Dec. 10, 2010

Christmas 2005 in Iran (Photos Included) Dec. 6, 2010

Demand For a Province in Kurdistan for Christians Dec. 6, 2010

Assyrian MP Calls on Iraqi Government to Safeguard Churches, Open Investigation Dec. 6, 2010

The Voice of Iraq’s Forgotten Minority crying for help
Dec. 6, 2010

Iraq: Gunmen kill elderly Christian couple inside their Baghdad home Dec. 5, 2010

Assyrian Group Briefs EU Parliament Delegation On Iraq
Dec. 3, 2010

Iraq: Deadly Reminders of Unfinished Business 
Dec. 3, 2010

Protecting Our Christian Neighbours in Iraq Dec. 3, 2010

Catholic Bishops Back House Resolution to Protect Iraq's Christians Dec. 1, 2010

November = Tishreen II

Egypt Security forces use live ammunition and kill unarmed Christian Coptic Protesters Nov. 30, 2010

Western Economic Aid to Muslim Nations Who Hate Non-Muslims Nov. 29, 2010

Formation of Committee to assist Iraqi Christians and other Minorities Nov. 29, 2010


The Baghdad Assyrian Church Massacre: Waiting for Godot! Nov. 27, 2010

Christians in the Middle East essential for the survival of the Arab world Nov. 27, 2010

Australian Conference Calls Attention to Assyrian Genocide in Iraq Nov. 22, 2010

Homes of Christians set on Fire in Egypt Nov. 17, 201

Group will not celebrate Muslim Holiday in solidarity with the victims of the Church Massacre Nov. 17, 201o

Thousands Protest Attacks Against Iraqi Christians Nov. 12, 2010

Memorial Service Held in London for Baghdad Church Massacre Victims Nov. 12, 2010

Fear of jihad driving Christians from Iraq Nov. 10, 2010

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan Nov. 10, 2010

Assyrians Demonstrate Around the World Against Baghdad Church Massacre Nov. 10, 2010

Iraq’s Christians: The Final Push to Drive them Out?
Nov. 10, 2010

3 bombs explode outside Christian homes in Baghdad
Nov. 10, 2010

How an Iraqi Christian school became 82 percent Muslim
Iraq Nov. 10, 2010

Recent attack on church sheds light on Assyrians' plight
Iraq Nov. 9, 2010

Global Demonstrations against the Persecution of Christians of Iraq Nov. 9, 2010

Two Christians killed in Baghdad a week after massacre
Massacre Nov. 8, 2010

Worldwide Assyrian Demonstrations against Baghdad's Church Massacre Nov. 7, 2010

Al-Qaida is turning its focus on Iraq's vulnerable Christians
Nov. 7, 2010

Christians and Muslims issue joint statement condemning Iraqi church attack Nov. 6, 2010

Christian Massacre Spurs Assyrian-American Rally Nov. 6, 2010

Christians ‘on verge of extinction’ in Iraq, Muslim leader warns
Nov. 5, 2010

UNSC to discuss the security situation in Iraq Tuesday
Nov. 5, 2010

Islamic chauvinism drives Christians out Nov. 5, 2010

bloody, ruthless attack on landmark church in Iraq Nov. 3, 2010

Videos of the Attack on the Assyrian church on October 31-2010

Assyrians Should Be Granted Indigenous Group Status and Rights in Iraq Nov. 3, 2010

Operation Iraqi freedom and Christians in Iraq Nov. 1, 2010

Protest and demonstration in Ankawa against the murder of Christian worshipers in Baghdad Nov. 2, 2010

CNN update; include video- Death toll rises to 58 in Iraq church
Nov. 1. 2010

Death Toll Rises to 58 in Iraq Church Standoff Nov. 1. 2010

Baghdad attack a new low in Christian onslaught in Iraq
Nov. 1. 2010

Pictures of surviving Christians ater the killing in Iraq Nov. 1. 2010

Deadly Baghdad church siege highlights threat to Iraqi Christians
Nov. 1. 2010

Priests among 46 Christians killed in Iraq
Nov. 1. 2010 8:00 AM

Priests among 37 Christians killed in Iraq hostage drama
Nov. 1. 2010 1:00 AM

Iraqi worshipers, troops killed in church takeover
Nov. 1. 2010

October = Tishreen I

My Take on Tearing down the walls 30, 2010

swedishimmigration-policyon-iraqirefugees October 29, 2010

Ancient Winemaking Makes Resurgence in Southeast Turkey
October 29, 2010

Arabs and Turcomans Speak out Against Kurdish Demands in Kirkuk October 17, 2010

The Cost Of Moslem Intolerance October 6, 2010

2,700-year-old royal loyalty oath discovered in Turkey 15 October 2010

Muslim scholars address synod, say Middle East needs Christians Oct. 16, 2010

Christian Hymns of the church of the East in Assyrian aramaic by Reverend Genard Lazar
aug. 26, 2010

Eilul = September

The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia August 26, 2010

Assyrian Politician Attacked in Sweden Future 0f Democracy in the West 26, 2010

Vatican should prevent the exodus of Christians from the Middle East 26, 2010

Assyrian speech at the International Genocide Conference In Greece. Sept. 24, 2010

Egyptian Coptic Church Accused of Stockpiling Weapons
Sept. 22, 2010

Priceless Assyrian historic site Used as Kurdish resort Sept. 22, 2010

Poverty and unemployment among northern Christians sept. 21, 2010

Imam Khamenei: US and Zionism, Not Christianity, Responsible for Anti-Islamism Sep. 17, 2010

Iraq's top Shiite cleric urges tolerance towards Christians
Sep. 10, 2010

Assyrian Representative in the Iranian Parliament condemned the burning of the Koran in the U.S. Sep. 16, 2010

Christian Community of Iraq Halved in Seven Years 16, 2010

Why People worldwide lose Respect for Islam 16, 2010

The Assyrian Genocide and the Turkish Ambassador sept. 13, 2010

Dubakh = August

Religious Freedom and a Mosque August 30, 2010

Kidnapped Assyrian killed in Iraq despite ransom paid August 27, 2010

Why did the Golden Age of Islam come to an end? August 23, 2010

Iraqi asylum seekers struggle to survive in Sweden August 14, 2010

Monument in memory of massacred Assyrians is ready to be unvailed in Australia August 4, 2010

Speaking the language of Jesus August 3, 2010

U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq Does Not End Humanitarian Obligation

August 1. 2010

Tammuz = July

Baghdad Bishop Dies After Lifetime of Serving the Church July 28, 2010

Islam needs more tolerance, not more mosques July 27, 2010