Calling Foreign Lands Home

Bishop Sarhad Yawsip Jammo Speaks to Swedish Parliament - Stockholm

On Tuesday morning, His Excellency, Bishop Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo met with certain members of the Swedish Parliament on behalf of Chaldeans. He spoke of the history of the Chaldean people and their struggle in Iraq. Over half a million Chaldeans have been forced to leave their country and call foreign lands their home. It is a tragedy when Christians are persecuted for their faith. When they are forced to give up their language and culture to take on that of their neighbors, this is an injustice. The Chaldeans of Sweden are asking that they be recognized as Chaldeans and not as any other group of people.He finished by encouraging the people of the Swedish Parliament to fight for justice and equality among all peoples.Fr. Noel spoke as well, thanking the citizens of Sweden for all they have done for the Chaldean people. He began his speech with a traditional Chaldean greeting, “Shlama immokhun,” peace be with you. Chaldeans greet one another this way because they love peace. Wherever they go, they seek peace, whether it is in America, Sweden, Ausrtalia or any other country. They are proud of the countries they become citizens of. They become Chaldean Americans, Chaldean Swedes and so on. Their desire is only that they may live in freedom to express their faith, language and culture. Fr. Noel ended his speech by sharing that his vocation as Director of the Chaldean Media Center is to give Chaldeans all around the world a voice.

Afterward, Dr. Noori Barka addressed issues that were presented by the Chaldean Congress of which he is one of the chairmen. One of the many issues presented was the state of many Chaldean refugees who have fled Iraq in the last decade. They live in terrible conditions, having difficulty finding work and decent forms of living, many of the women are forced in prostitution. Yet they believe that they are better off in these conditions than in Iraq and they have every right to think so. Though the Iraqi government boasts of being a democracy, they are not. Dr. Noori thanked the Swedish government for all it has done for the Chaldean people and encouraged them to continue.