With Mar Dinkha’s passing, Assyrians are at a crossroads

By: Ashur Sada

On March 26, the patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV passed away, leaving his

On March 26, the patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV passed away

On March 26, the patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV passed away

seat empty, waiting for the next successor. A seat he has occupied since 1976.

March had already been a tough month for Assyrians, with the ISIS assault on our artifacts and ancient treasures in Iraq, and the brutal assault on our people in Syria. Mar Dinkha’s passing may complicate things even more. We always looked to his holiness for spiritual and even patriotic guidance, even if only in a symbolic sense.

Now come some difficult questions :

-Who will replace him?
-Will the Assyrian church be in good hands in the future?
-Should the seat of the church go back to its original home in Mesopotamia?

Lots of questions that we can only wait and hope to get some good answers for.

Assyrians today, more than in a long time, are at a crossroads. They have suffered and lost a lot in the last few months alone and they can’t afford to lose more. We can only hope-like in sports-that the law of averages will finally work in our favor and something good happens. We need it.

I actually find it very ironic and disturbing, that on the 100th anniversary of the Assyrian genocide, more genocides and hardships are being suffered by our people.

And that brings me back to the death of his holiness, Mar Dinkha. Some may argue that he couldn’t save our people or influence events to go in our favor lately and that his role was religious or a national spectator at best. I think it is more than just that. He was  a spiritual leader and a father figure to all Assyrians. Though he was a religious leader, he never shied away from advocating for Assyrians and their plight. In fact,  you could have easily mistaken him at times for a national activist, dressed in religious attire. You could even make the case that a lot of Assyrians owe their increased sense of nationalism to his holiness. He made that much of an impact.

Assyrians lost a figure head that meant a lot to them. He was the closest we got to having our own president or national leader.  Of course not all Assyrians are from the Church of the East, but the church is almost synonymous with the Assyrian nation.

The saying ‘when it rains, it pours’ applies perfectly here to Assyrians of late. Hope spring is on its way.

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