The indigenous people of Iraq are being exterminated. Like the American Indians during colonization, and the Jews in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, they are facing marginalization, persecution, forced assimilation and resettlement, and genocide. The Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac Christians and other non-Muslim indigenous communities are the ethnic and cultural descendants of the ancient Mesopotamians. The cradle of civilization is their ancestral homeland, and their roots in the country now known as Iraq date back 7,000 years.
Amnesty International condemned as a war crime the October 31st armed attack on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad that left 58 innocent people dead, and many more wounded and traumatized.
“We utterly condemn this shameless targeting of civilians by an armed group in a place of worship. It is nothing less than a war crime to deliberately attack civilians in their place of worship, hold them hostage and kill them.” Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International Director for the Middle East and North Africa
Since 2003, the non-Muslim minority communities of Iraq have been systemically targeted by foreign fundamentalists who poured into the country after the invasion, and this elimination campaign has been enabled by both the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi Government. Prior to the invasion, there were 1.5 million Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac Christians in Iraq, now only 400,000 remain, many of them IDP (Internally Displaced People.) Genocide against Assyrian Christians began a century ago. Churches, villages, homes, and busloads of students have been bombed, and ancient Assyrian historic sites are being vandalized. Murder, rape, and kidnapping are epidemic.
The Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac Christian people of Iraq are the descendants of the first converts to Christianity outside Jerusalem in the 1st century A.D. They still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. The religious traditions and languages of the indigenous Yazidi and the Sabean Mandaeans originated in Mesopotamian times. Iraq is the birthplace of Abraham, the common grandfather of religions that today often forget they are all related. These cultures born in the cradle of civilization are the evidence and affirmation of the shared heritage between Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
Please join us as we embrace justice and human rights and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are being brutalized and persecuted daily in Iraq. We also call upon the Obama Administration, Congress, the government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to ensure that the rights and freedoms of the indigenous minorities in Iraq are honored and protected.
RALLY FOR JUSTICE ON DEC. 4TH IN WASHINGTON DC 12– 3 @ LAFAYETTE PARK
American Mesopotamian Organization
Iraqi Christian Relief Council
Seyfo Center U.S.A.