CHRISTIANS

Assyrians

 

Christians in need of support

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Middle Eastern Christians are mostly Assyrians. They adopted Christianity in 2nd century A. D. They live in modern Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey (sharing most of these territories with Kurds). For over a thousand years they have tried to coexist with Islam. At the beginning of 20th century, there was as much as 2,5 million of them living in Iraq. Within the last 13 years their number has decreased from 1,5 million to about 400 000. This depopulation (reaching 75 percent) is the effect of wars, persecution and forced migration. Most of them belong to Chaldean Catholic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac Catholic Church. Some are followers of Protestant and Roman Catholic Church.

Assyrians speak a language referred to as Neo-Aramaic (Syriac). They are an ethnic group characterized by a strong sense of distinctiveness and historical roots. In the middle of Irbil, the capital of Kurdistan, stands an Assyrian citadel that is believed to be 6000 years old. They lived mostly in the Nineveh Plain, which is currently under ISIS (Daesh) occupation. Now they are being thrown out of their land and persecuted by Islamist extremists.

Within the last 13 years the number of Christians in Iraq has decreased from 1,5 million to about 400.000. This depopulation (reaching 75 percent) is the effect of wars, persecution and forced migration. Many of them are now IDP (Internally Displaced Person). They await help that will allow them to return to their homeland. Currently legal christian detachments are being formed both in Kurdistan and Iraq. Their task will be to protect civilians from the attacks of Muslim terrorists. Nevertheless no material help follows forming these units forcing the refugee-soldiers to buy equipment by their own financial means. They hope for victory over ISIS and return to their homes. Still, having defeated the terrorists they will need their own soldiers to protect the population.

Żołnierz z rodziną 1500x1000 Assyrian soldier with his family

 

Officers of Christian unit in the devastated church

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