| After Attacks On Assyrians, Northern Iraq’s Christian Minority Recommits To A Homeland
| Friday, May 17, 2019
Christians in Iraq continue to be exposed to violent attacks and oppression at the hands of various armed groups. On May 13, assailants broke into an Assyrian Christian home and attacked two elderly women,
a mother and daughter, in the Iraqi town of Bartella.
|Iraqi Christian Assyrians hold the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa)
flag, as they celebrate their New Year (Aketo), in the Kurdish city of
Dohuk, some 430 km (260 miles) northwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad,
on April 1, 2019. (Photo by SAFIN HAMID/AFP/Getty Images)|
The women were
repeatedly stabbed with a knife and their gold and money were stolen.
The two victims were then hospitalized in Mosul. The daughter, who
sustained a violent head injury, remains in critical condition. Two men who were arrested for the crime are from Shabak, a Shia group that is supported by Iran alongside the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia, reported the human rights organization, International Christian Concern (ICC).
is a town in the Nineveh plain in Iraq, the ancient Assyrian heartland,
where Assyrian Christians still constitute a demographic majority and
have for years sought autonomy or self-governance. However, since the
defeat of ISIS, Bartella has been occupied by the Brigade 30 militia
under the Hashd al-Shaabi. And the number of Shia Shabak people is increasing in the southern towns of Nineveh. Susan
Patto, an Assyrian living in Baghdad, told the Daily Caller, “the
attack on those elderly women is not just a crime of theft; it’s a
message to Assyrians that you are not safe in your homes and towns.”
fragile security situation in Nineveh Plain, where different sides
control security, and most of them are not even people of that area, is
creating more problems, and also increasing the fear of people to go
back to their towns,” Patto added. “There is also the problem of rebuilding what was destroyed; it’s not
going as it should be. People are not compensated for what they have
lost, and there are no decent houses to live in, no infrastructure, and
no jobs, and these are massive obstacles for people to go back. So the
most urgent concerns of Christians are security and the rebuilding of
(RELATED: ISIS Destroyed Jonah’s Tomb But Inadvertently Unearthed More Biblical Evidence)
Assyrians, who are the descendants of the original inhabitants of
ancient Assyria, have lived in the Middle East for millennia and are
indigenous to Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey. The Assyrian language they
speak, which is also known as Aramaic, Syriac or Neo-Aramaic, was the mother tongue of Jesus.
Assyrian civilization made an enormous contribution to the history and
culture of the region. For instance, ancient Assyrians developed
mathematical inventions and sophisticated medicine which influenced
science as far away as Greece. Since the rise of Islam in the seventh century, however, Assyrians and other Christians became “dhimmis,”
or second-class subjects.
Yet, there remained sizable Assyrian
communities for centuries afterwards, even under the Ottoman Empire.
This changed dramatically with the Assyrian genocide that took place in
Ottoman Turkey from 1915 to 1923, in which “300,000 Assyrians were
murdered and innumerable women were abducted,” writes the author Mardean Isaac.
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|posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 6:42 PM