Author Topic: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!  (Read 3230 times)

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Offline A2raya

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The vatican has stated that an Autonomous Assyrian Christian region will be a trap therefore rejecting it as a solution to the Assyrian crisis


"Blessed are those who are persecuted in Jesus name, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs"           LONG LIVE ASSYRIA!!!!!!

Offline Dino

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2007, 11:05:37 AM »
1) As far as I can see, the Vatican has not stated anything about the Nineveh Plains, only the Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk Louis Sako (see article below)

2) Does anyone else notice the similarity in the language used by Sako and by Yonadem Kanna?


IRAQ
The Plains of Niniveh, a trap for Iraqi Christians!
Louis Sako*
On the eve of the meeting between the Pope and Bush, the Archbishop of Kirkuk analyses the risks of the project to assign Christians an autonomous region in the Plains of Niniveh, a solution already rejected by authoritative figures in the Vatican.


Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - Christians will not be saved by closing them up in a ghetto.  Quite the contrary.  The plan for an autonomous Assyrian zone in Iraq, advanced by politicized circles in the country and abroad, only risks worsening the situation.  Furthermore, there is considerable resistance to the so-called “Nineveh Plains project,” among authoritative figures in the Vatican.  On the eve of the meeting between the Pope and U.S. President George W. Bush, a prominent figure in the Chaldean Church, the Archbishop of Kirkuk, Monsignor Louis Sako, explains in the following article the roots of the Assyrian utopia, as well as the risks that it entails, and sets out the way to deal, in a united fashion, with the problem of Christian persecution.

The Plains of Nineveh contain a series of Christian villages (approximately twenty), in which most people speak the Syriac dialect known as “Sureth.”  The area has always been under the jurisdiction of Mosul – about 30-25 km away – which is the area’s cultural, commercial and ecclesiastic hub.  The Plains are surrounded by Arab, Shedac, Yezidi and Kurdish villages.  Some 120,000 Christians live there.

Having an independent zone has been something of a national dream for the Assyrians dating back to World War I; subsequently, in the 1970s, various Christian politicians and religious leaders called for an autonomous province, but this dream was never achieved!

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime and, above all, in 2006, many Christian nationalists outside and within Iraq, having seen the experience of autonomous Kurdistan, see the Niniveh Plains as a possibility for achieving a safe haven.

Why Niniveh?  Niniveh is historically the capital of ancient Assyria.  The Arabs, in particular the Sunnis, are adamantly against to this solution, just as they are opposed to federalism or to a division of the country on an ethnic or confessional basis.  Several Christian media outlets are conducting a massive campaign to advance the idea that the Plains are the only hope for salvation.  And thus, problems increase: threats, kidnappings, attacks, killings…  The Kurds back this project, perhaps the U.S. too, given the experience in Yugoslavia and the plan for the new Middle East!

But Christians, whose presence in Iraq has been cut in half due to the forced exodus, must abandon this risky ghetto project.  As Christians, we must have a presence everywhere, to witness our identity among others.  Our Church has never been nationalist or closed in an ethnic sense; it instead has always embraced peoples and nations, achieving its apex in Mesopotamia, in the Arab Gulf countries and going even as far as China.

To ensure a better future in Iraq, we must:

1.                  work together, Christians of all rites and denominations, to unite our position and make our political considerations effective in the daily reality.  This means working for the reconciliation of Iraqis, collaborating with religious authorities and with parties.  Dialogue, reconciliation and encouraging a culture of peace: this is our mission today;

2.                  set out the facts on our historical role in the construction of Iraq, our willingness to live and collaborate with everyone for the unity of the country, refusing to be identified with the “invaders.”

3.                  work together as a unified group for amendments to the text of the Iraqi and Kurdish Constitution.

Lastly, the Christian diaspora and all Churches are invited to work not on propaganda but on concretely helping Christians who have emigrated to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and also to created institutions and jobs in the new villages of the north to give hope and a way to make a living to refugee families.

 

* Archbishop of Kirkuk


Offline esz

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2007, 11:05:59 AM »
The vatican has stated that an Autonomous Assyrian Christian region will be a trap therefore rejecting it as a solution to the Assyrian crisis


Here is Archbishop Sako's statement take from Asianews:

"But Christians, whose presence in Iraq has been cut in half due to the forced exodus, must abandon this risky ghetto project.  As Christians, we must have a presence everywhere, to witness our identity among others.  Our Church has never been nationalist or closed in an ethnic sense; it instead has always embraced peoples and nations, achieving its apex in Mesopotamia, in the Arab Gulf countries and going even as far as China.

To ensure a better future in Iraq, we must:

1.                  work together, Christians of all rites and denominations, to unite our position and make our political considerations effective in the daily reality.  This means working for the reconciliation of Iraqis, collaborating with religious authorities and with parties.  Dialogue, reconciliation and encouraging a culture of peace: this is our mission today;

2.                  set out the facts on our historical role in the construction of Iraq, our willingness to live and collaborate with everyone for the unity of the country, refusing to be identified with the “invaders.”

3.                  work together as a unified group for amendments to the text of the Iraqi and Kurdish Constitution.

Lastly, the Christian diaspora and all Churches are invited to work not on propaganda but on concretely helping Christians who have emigrated to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and also to created institutions and jobs in the new villages of the north to give hope and a way to make a living to refugee families."

---

As usual, it seems that our Church leaders are further promulgating the idea that we are Iraqi Christians, no more and no less, and thus do not need or require an autonomous region because that is not the Catholic Church's mission. As a Catholic, to that I say  :ranting:

I am hoping that some of our political figures come out against the Archbishop's statement and put him into his ecclesiastical place. There are going to be difficulties with the autonomous region but they can be overcome. To go out and label the entire region as a future "Assyrian Ghetto" is dishonest at best as most Assyrian political groups see it as an autonomous political region not a massive refugee camp a la the Jewish Ghettos of Europe.

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2007, 11:05:59 AM »

Offline esz

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2007, 05:55:41 PM »
Waleeta,

This is a beautifully written article and one that shows the other side of the argument. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

-
Emil



(AINA) -- An AsiaNews article published on June 6 attacked the idea of establishing a self administered area in north Iraq for Iraq's besieged Christians, half of whom have left the country since 2003 because of violence, murder and Islamic fundamentalism. The article is titled An 'Assyrian ghetto' in the Plains of Niniveh [sic] to save Iraq's Christians and it attempts to dismiss the importance of the sensitive and complicated Assyrian (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) issue in Iraq. In a manner that can only be described as pretzel logic, the article discusses the Nineveh Plains Administrative Unit option for Assyrians in Iraq, and undermines the foundation of the political and humanitarian efforts of Assyrian leaders since the ousting of Saddam in 2003.

The opening paragraph of the article refers to Assyrian Diaspora activists as "highly politicized 'Christians'" who are "exploiting the tragic religious persecution underway in Iraq to accelerate the creation of an Assyrian enclave in the Plains of Niniveh (sic)". The fact that Assyrian expatriates are referred to as highly politicized 'Christians' is a seemingly intentional omission of their ethnic identity. An ethnically-defined Diaspora group involved with supporting policies originating in their homeland does not make a group "highly politicized", it makes them emotionally tied to their homeland, their roots, their families, their friends (and their national aspirations) in their historic lands. The Assyrian Diaspora in the West has the freedom to speak on behalf of their brethren in Iraq, who cannot speak for fear of being killed.

The article also states "...the Nineveh project reduces Christians to an ethnic group." In reality, the exact opposite is true: being called "Iraqi Christians" reduces an ethnic group to a mere religious minority. Are Iraqi Assyrians merely fighting for their rights as Christians? Perhaps the churches in Iraq are -- and they should be, considering their jurisdiction is Christianity and its survival, and it is an important and noble calling. But, in Iraq, Assyrians have spent decades building and running their Assyrian language schools. They salute the Assyrian flags which fly over official and public buildings, and wrap themselves in it in nationalist fervor and defiance. They have built Assyrian civic groups, cultural groups, and student groups to keep the Assyrian identity, culture, and language alive in their Homeland. This isn't a flight of fancy: it is an organized effort to assert their ethnic identity.

In Baghdad in 2003, a conference was held by thousands of Assyrian activists, and Iraqi, U.S. and foreign diplomats to discuss the feasible policy options for Assyrian survival in Iraq. This conference produced the "Nineveh Plains Administrative Unit" option, which guaranteed the rights of the ChaldoAssyrians and other minorities in the area. There are very specific political feasibility reasons that it was created as such, instead of an "Assyrian Autonomous Zone" or "Christian Autonomous Unit", both of which the would likely anger the 50% or so of the non-Christian, non-Assyrian population of the Nineveh Plains -- the largest Assyrian population center in Iraq -- and draw the wrath of the larger religious and ethnic groups which surround them.

Considering that the Nineveh Plains plan indeed originated with the Assyrians of Iraq and their political representatives, the idea that it "does not have the support of the Catholics in the country" is off the mark. While not all Catholics in Iraq are Assyrian, and while not all Iraqi Assyrians are involved in politics, the idea that an Assyrian political party would spend years on a policy that didn't have any support is ludicrous and insulting to the political intelligence of Assyrians in Iraq and abroad.

A "Christian zone", as Asia News pointed out, would indeed increase hostility against this ethno-religious minority group, unless, and only unless, the Assyrian Christians receive the same political, financial, and military support which was provided to the Kurds in 1991. And until and only if Iraq actually breaks apart, the Assyrians must work with the goal of attaining their highest possible and politically feasible rights at the highest levels in Iraq, and accept no less. As the only indigenous group in Iraq, they deserve no less.

The largest and the most active Assyrian Diaspora and Iraqi groups -- including the Assyrian American National Federation, the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce, The Assyrian National Council of Illinois, The Chaldean Federation, the Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project, the Assyrian Universal Alliance, the Assyrian Democratic Movement, the Assyrian Democratic Organization are all united under the same fundamental principle: That at the bare minimum, Assyrians in Iraq need a secure area -- however they are able to structure it -- to allow their population, culture, language, and faith to flourish.

These fundamental uniting principles are so uniform -- especially with Assyrian groups on the ground in Iraq -- that even the Kurdish Democratic Party's Assyrian Christian Finance Minister Sarkis Aghajan was forced to toe the line of the majority of Assyrian organizations -- though his intention is to usurp the authority of the legitimate Assyrian representatives. The overarching agreement in the very basic needs of Assyrians across all Assyrian groups is clear. Internal policy debates on what an area should look like may be different, but this is not a pretense to claim "disunity", especially since in Iraq it is a non-issue: in the end, only what is feasible and possible can and will be done.

Waleeta Canon is the Director of the Washington, D.C. based Assyria Foundation. She has published and presented on Assyrian political and human rights issues since 2003.

Offline MikesBike

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 11:14:29 PM »
Honestly, who cares what the Vatican thinks?  The way I see it, Assyrians can be of ANY nationality, as can Christians.  The indigenous heritage that we hold to is one without Christianity, anyways.  I totally agree with that article, 100%
Mike, the bike messenger

Offline Renee

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2007, 12:09:33 AM »
What do you mean by 'Assyrians can be of any nationality'?

Offline Free_Assyria

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2007, 12:19:03 AM »
Honestly, who cares what the Vatican thinks?  The way I see it, Assyrians can be of ANY nationality, as can Christians.  The indigenous heritage that we hold to is one without Christianity, anyways.  I totally agree with that article, 100%

Problem is the majority of Assyrians in Iraq are Catholic.
"The World has no glory without the Assyrians"

Offline MikesBike

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2007, 04:09:28 AM »
Problem is the majority of Assyrians in Iraq are Catholic.

Oh yeah, I totally understand that.  But the distinction between Church and State is a crucial one for us.  It's lead to infighting between us, and now the Pope has to put in his opinion on the matter to complicate things.  While I understand that his primary concern is likely the immediate safety of the citizens of Iraq, autonomy is something we need for our spirit, and from a political standpoint, can feasibly be done in a safe way.  The Pope isn't qualified to measure that feasibility (with all due respect).
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Offline Free_Assyria

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2007, 05:28:20 AM »
this is the 1st time i have agreed with you since the "assyrian church" section was closed. :wavetowel:
"The World has no glory without the Assyrians"

Offline shamirum

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2007, 05:29:46 AM »
:)

Offline GGBW

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2007, 09:55:48 AM »
Waleeta,

This is a beautifully written article and one that shows the other side of the argument. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

-
Emil

Thank you Emil :)  AINA actually edited this version, so I asked them to change back a few things (which I did not write). so it has been changed a little now.  But the concept is the same.

Offline esz

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2007, 08:29:59 PM »
Here's an update about the Vatican's view of all of this. I'm going to reserve my judgment until after President Bush and the Pope discuss this issue.



Troubles after Demands of a Christian Area in Iraq
09.Jun.2007

Today the President of the United States of America, George W Bush, and Pope Benedict XVI are expected to discuss the issue.

The American President, George W Bush, and Pope Benedict XVI, today will discuss the issue of an own area for the Christians in Iraq, according to Catholic news agency AsiaNews. – And the Vatican does not want to see such a solution. I have heard so from persons in high positions, says father Bernardo Cervella, who is the editor of AsiaNews, to Dagen.

AsiaNews is not an official spokesperson for the Vatican, but normally has credible sources there. Their contacts in Iraq claim that most of the Catholics of the country are not supportive of the desire of creating a separate region for Christians. It is mainly Assyrians, also called Syriacs and Chaldeans, who in exile take advantage of the persecution of Christians in order to pursue their own political agenda, AsiaNews claims. AsiaNews uses strong words such as “Assyrian ghetto” in or der to describe the idea, which they mean will split the Christians of the country. But the question is whether that split not already is a fact. Dagen has previously reported about the plan to give the Christians some form of protectorate in the plains of Ninewe, on the border of the Kurdish ruled area in northern Iraq.

Demonstration in Sweden

Demonstrations in Sweden (among other countries), show that Sweden has a vigorous Assyrian community, and that most of its members would more than anything like to see such a solution. As late as last week, the Swedish Committee for Assyrians demonstrated in order to bring the issue up on the agenda.

1 200 Assyrian leaders and intellectuals met in March in the Iraqi city of Erbil, in order to discuss the issue more deeply. And in October last year, American Catholic bishops brought up the matter in a letter to Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State for the United Sta tes of America.

The Chaldean archbishop in Kirkuk, Louis Sako, says to AsiaNews, that there of course must be an end to the persecution of Christians, but that he is unfamiliar to the idea of a Christian region: – The plains of Ninewe are surrounded by Arabs. Christians would then only act as a vulnerable cushion between Arabs and Kurds. AsiaNews also quote Iraqi priests in Europe, who mean that one would then reduce the Christians into becoming an ethnic group, on the expense of the mission of the church – to bring out the gospel to all nations.

Strong reaction

Assyrians in Sweden react strongly to the interpretation of the situation by AsiaNews, says Margareta Viklund, president of the Swedish Committee for Assyrians. She has met enough Assyrians both in Iraq and Sweden, to not have a doubt that a wish for an area of their own lies deep in the heart of many Christians in the country. &ndas h; The people I have met see it as the only possibility to live and remain in the country which is their own. It is their only dream and hope, and helps them endure their current situation.

Sensitive issue

The sensitivity of the issue is illustrated by the fact that several people Dagen has spoken to, only want to analyze the question ”off the record”. It is a question of power. Bernardo Cervellera states:- According to our sources in Iraq, most of the people who advocate this solution live abroad. It is a campaign, driven mostly by Evangelical groups in the USA, some Iraqi Christians – both Protestants and Catholics – and Iraqi Catholics in the USA. But most Catholics in Iraq are against this idea. They will never move from their homes. They are traumatized, but do not see this as a solution. Their tradition has been co-existence between Christians and Muslims.

But we have sour ces who claim that there is such a wish among Assyrians in Iraq:

- There are groups in Iraq who work for this idea, sure. But these are not the thoughts of the Catholic Church. And most people do not want to move from the places they have lived all their lives.

You sit in Rome, how many contacts in Iraq do you have, in order to draw these conclusions?

- We have almost daily contact with at least twelve people in Iraq, all over the country. These individuals in turn of course have broad circles of contacts. Furthermore, we have contact with Iraqis in France, Italy and the USA.

Dagen has previously spoken to analysts, who have said that a Christian area in Iraq is not very probable. On the other hand, one can ask himself, how many people would a few years back have imagined that the Pope and George W Bush would discuss this issue at all.

Source: Dagen
Reporter: Anders Gustafsson
Date of publishing: June 8th, 2007.

Offline Enki

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2007, 12:15:15 AM »
Ok we need to start breaking the legs of any member of any church that trys to play politics. Leave the politics to the politicians. You guys worry about leading your flock to Christ.

Politicians lie, cheat, and sometimes have to kill for what they believe in. All of these are sins in Christianity. Which is why priests and bishops should have no say in our political affairs. We're not a church state. We're a secular nation!
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Offline Free_Assyria

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2007, 02:49:11 AM »
Ok we need to start breaking the legs of any member of any church that trys to play politics. Leave the politics to the politicians. You guys worry about leading your flock to Christ.

Politicians lie, cheat, and sometimes have to kill for what they believe in. All of these are sins in Christianity. Which is why priests and bishops should have no say in our political affairs. We're not a church state. We're a secular nation!

yes there are many within the church who get involved with politics but I think a good point to be made here is lets not forget that the process of separating church and state is not only the responsibility of those who are in the church but also those who are in politics we all know there are certain people within political organizations who get involved in church issues.
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Offline Enki

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2007, 02:54:45 AM »
Totally agree with you Assyriska. There are many players in the political field that play the religious card....*cough* His Holyness, Our New Lord, Sarkis Aghajan *cough*

In any event, it should be up to us as members of this community to step up and denouce these actions by our church. We need to stand strong with our beliefs. We follow blindly and never wish to lead. If only we had the same mentality as many youth in Syria do (I haven't been to Iraq so I'm not sure what they say).
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Offline KhIgGaAaAaAa

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2007, 12:53:28 PM »
i agree with all these opinions of seperating church and state, i've said this for so many years.  We need to learn how to get along with Assyrians from every church and recognize that while our religion is different, our oumta is one and the same.

The scary thing about the pope putting in his 2 cents is that now again we are re-affirming our ties to christianity and western christinaity at that, which will make more muslims hate us.  The pope saying anything about the PEOPLE, he can speak of the church but he has no right to speak on behalf of the Assyrians in Iraq, this just makes us look more like western sympathizers, which ain't good. 
Hooooy nazeh, nazeh, nazeh
hoooy nazeh shqilteyt libbee
la hoya shumthut libbee
dowkhineh qatekh khubee

Hooooy nazeh, nazeh, nazeh
hoooy nazeh bratit thoora
la daryet libbee noora
bit hawin qatekh khowra

Hooooy nazeh, nazeh, nazeh
hoooy nazeh bratit shara
belbooseyt mekh doh sahra
khazinekh b zreqtit bahra

Offline shamirum

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2007, 10:49:13 PM »
Who cares what the vatican says! They just a bunch of jerk off Italians with about as much politic power as my dog.

 :blink:

Please, show some respect to all of our varying religious institutions and leaders, if not for their sake, then at least for the sake of AVN members who can surely be offended by such comments.

Thank you.

-S

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2007, 11:08:10 PM »
Who cares what the vatican says! They just a bunch of jerk off Italians with about as much politic power as my dog.

Yes please, that is very uncalled for. I don't agree with their stance on this, but still.

Ahhhh I miss moderating :lol:


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Offline shamirum

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2007, 11:11:18 PM »
Yes please, that is very uncalled for. I don't agree with their stance on this, but still.

Ahhhh I miss moderating :lol:


ASHOOR

You mean you miss Ms. Moderator...  :lol:

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2007, 11:14:17 PM »
Totally agree with you Assyriska. There are many players in the political field that play the religious card....*cough* His Holyness, Our New Lord, Sarkis Aghajan *cough*

In any event, it should be up to us as members of this community to step up and denouce these actions by our church. We need to stand strong with our beliefs. We follow blindly and never wish to lead. If only we had the same mentality as many youth in Syria do (I haven't been to Iraq so I'm not sure what they say).


 :loool:

I completely and totally agree with you, and have been saying this for years.  I just hope your generation, having seen the damage that mixing politics and religion can do, will be able to mend our poor nation.

And speaking of Syria......where is that report?!  :ranting:
"January 2010, the nail in the coffin, the day Zowaa will die." Hilarious prediction posted by "chaldean."
March 2010: Zowaa wins 3 out of 5 seats in the Iraqi Parliament!

Offline ASHOOR

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Re: VATICAN REJECTS ASSYRIAN REGION, CALLING IT A TRAP TO CHRISTIANS!!!
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2007, 11:17:53 PM »
You mean you miss Ms. Moderator...  :lol:

lech you are such a mind-reader.......... ;)

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by assyriansoldier
Templates: 4: index (default), Ads (default), Display (default), SimTopics (default).
Sub templates: 12: init, html_above, adsheaders_above, body_above, adsindex_above, simtopics_above, main, simtopics_below, adsindex_below, body_below, adsheaders_below, html_below.
Language files: 4: index+Modifications.english (default), markItUp.english (default), SimTopics.english (default), Ads.english (default).
Style sheets: 0: .
Files included: 25 - 865KB. (show)
Queries used: 24.

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