THE CHALDEAN CHURCH
IN THE IRAQI TEMPEST
Bishop Sarhad Yawsip Jammo
The Chaldean Church of the East, with her Assyrian segment
as well, has seen all kinds of hardship through her
millennial history. This is the only apostolic church that
has never had a Christian king or ruler and never was within
the boundaries of a Christian Empire or state. Nevertheless,
she survived with unique spiritual splendor and achievement.
In the present era, she is facing brutal attacks and
pressures of the worst kind, which she experiences while
living as a flock of sheep between the wolves of this
What is being done today to her could be likened to what
happened during the years of the Persian persecution (A.D.
340-379). At that historical junction, fundamentalist
Zoroastrians chastised Christians--flock and
leaders--burning churches, executing faithful, and imposing
additional taxes. At the present time, fundamentalist
Muslims are pursuing similar policies and deeds in Iraq.
But humanity at our age cannot pretend to ignore or stand
idle in view of a systematic cleansing of the Christian
people, who have every right to enjoy living in their
ancestral land and who, despite all the hardship that they
endured for many centuries under Moslem rulers in Iraq, were
always and consistently loyal to their country and state. Is
what happened in Iraq in the past few decades, particularly
lately, an issue that can be ignored by the civilized world?
At this point, impressions and attitudes of good-will cannot
suffice. Already half of Baghdad’s Christian communities
have fled the capital; Basra is almost emptied of an ancient
vibrant Christian presence; already, eight priests have been
kidnapped. Except Kurdistan and the adjacent plain of
Nineveh, nowhere is safe for Christians to be in Iraq. Time
is past due for concrete measures.
In the fourth century, a lenient king and an international
intervention brought peace and justice to the Church of the
East. Most of all, in our opinion, Chaldean Church hierarchy
and the civil representatives of its people must formulate
their proposals for a viable solution in regard to the
prospect of a peaceful and prosperous future for their
people and Church.
Convocation of a Holy
Beatitude Mar Emmanuel III Delly convoked a Synod of the
Chaldean Church from June 1-7, 2007 in the North of Iraq.
Our Bishop, Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo, left the Diocese to
attend the meeting of the Chaldean Hierarchs at this
critical moment in the history of our Church and people. May
our prayers be with him and all the other hierarchs.