iraqi christian

Iraqi-Assyrian Christians attend Mass inside the Our Lady of Salvation/Deliverance Syriac Catholic Church - Baghdad, Iraq

IRAQ. Baghdad governorate. Karrada. July 9, 2016. Asal Ahmed, 4, is carried by her father at the scene of a massive suicide bomb attack that killed more than 320 people, making it the second most lethal suicide bombing in Iraqi history. Asal and her mother were badly burned as they shopped for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Karrada is one of Baghdad’s most religiously diverse districts, with a Shia majority and a significant Christian population made of various sects. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

Photograph: Hadi Mizban/AP

The 7th Century dramatically changed the Middle East

No matter what your beliefs are, studying history reveals that, had the Persian Zoroastrian Sassanian Empire or the Christian Byzantine Empire defeated the Arab Muslim armies back in the 7th century, the Middle East would have looked a whole lot more different right now. 

Persian Zoroastrians vs. Arab Muslims (633-654), also known as the Arab or Muslim conquest of Iran, led to the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Iran.  Conversion to Islam was gradual. In the process, many acts of violence took place, Zoroastrian scriptures were burnt and many priests executed. Once conquered politically, the Persians began to reassert themselves by maintaining Persian language and culture. Regardless, Islam was adopted by many, for political, socio-cultural or spiritual reasons, or simply by persuasion, and became the dominant religion.

Byzantine Christians vs. Arab Muslims (629-11th century), also known as the Arab-Byzantine wars took a much longer period of time. These were a series of wars between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. The Christians initially lost the southern provinces (Syria and Egypt) to the Muslims. Muslim raids reached a peak in the 9th and early 10th centuries, after their conquest of Malta and parts of modern-day Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, with their fleets reaching the coasts of France.

To think, just a single change in these battles could have drastically changed so much about the Middle East today. The “what ifs?” are endless, and the impact of these conquests and wars has shaped many people’s religious beliefs in the 21st century. As I said, no matter what your beliefs are, these are interesting historical facts to ponder upon

In Baghdad, a Muslim woman, holding a copy of the Quran, stands in solidarity with a Christian woman, holding a copy of the Bible, to show solidarity with the dwindling number of Iraqi Christians and their right to live freely and peacefully side-by-side with the Muslims in their community. A powerful image.

IRAQ. Bashur. Nineveh governorate. Qaraqosh/Bakhdadi. November 28, 2016. Iraq’s Battle to Reclaim Its Cities. Kurdish fighters replace the cross on the dome of the Church of the Immaculate Conception after the city had been retaken from IS.

General News, second prize stories at the 2017 World Press Photo Contest.

Photograph: Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Say a prayer for Coptic Christians being persecuted and executed in Egypt. Say a prayer for Armenian Christians that were persecuted by the Turkish army. Say a prayer for Iraqi Christians being killed or forced to convert to Islam. Say a prayer for Iranian Christians, say a Prayer for Saudi Christians, say a prayer for Kuwaiti Christians, say a prayer for those young Christians. Say a prayer for Christians who pray in hiding. Say a prayer for the thousands of Christians who have been killed, beheaded, raped, and erased. Say a prayer for the thousands of Christians who will perish this year because of their faith. Say a prayer for Christians.

Every time I see some pop linguistic article about Aramaic that’s like “WATCH: Iraqi Christians pray in Aramaic, the language of Jesus” I just imagine some other article like “WATCH: American family converses over dinner in Germanic, the language of Clovis I” because that’s the kind of time depth and distance of relation we’re talking about with the Modern Aramaic languages and the dialect of Aramaic spoken by Jesus, which is extinct and doesn’t have any living descendants, much the same as the dialects of Frankish spoken by the Franks which migrated to Gaul rather than staying in their Low Countries homeland.

@ white Christians

Stop using the ن !! It’s not for you, it does not oppress you and it’s appropriative and hurtful that you would take something that specifically targets MENA Christians and act like you’re part of our suffering too. You’re not the ones who are targeted!! You’re not the ones who were kicked out of your own country and your own church. Leave the use of the symbol to MENA Christians, specifically Iraqi Christians, because we are the ones who are targeted by it

It is often said that resistance to jihadism only increases the recruitment to it. For all I know, this commonplace observation could be true. But, if so, it must cut both ways. How about reminding the Islamists that, by their mad policy in Kashmir and elsewhere, they have made deadly enemies of a billion Indian Hindus? Is there no danger that the massacre of Iraqi and Lebanese Christians, or the threatened murder of all Jews, will cause an equal and opposite response? Most important of all, what will be said and done by those of us who take no side in filthy religious wars? The enemies of intolerance cannot be tolerant, or neutral, without inviting their own suicide. And the advocates and apologists of bigotry and censorship and suicide-assassination cannot be permitted to take shelter any longer under the umbrella of a pluralism that they openly seek to destroy
vimeo

Message To Iraq by Ali Kareem Al-Yasiri

Check out my latest video! A peace and unity message to my beautiful homeland. 

IRAQ. Bashur. Nineveh governorate. Qaraqosh/Bakhdadi. October 31, 2016. A Christian Assyrian soldier attends the first Sunday mass at the Grand Immaculate Church since it was recaptured from ISIS.

Photograph: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Over 5,500 Iraqis have been slaughtered since the invasion of ISIS, with tens of thousands of Christians, Shias and Kurds demonised and forced to flee their homes. The world doesn’t seem to care because Iraq is not in Gaza. For those of you posting about Gaza only, I wish you just make an effort to see what’s been happening in Iraq and stand up to this cancer that’s plaguing both Iraq and Syria… Isn’t it about humanity after all?!

IRAQ. Bashur. Nineveh governorate. Sinjar/Shingal. November 16, 2015. Raid Shamun, 35, a Christian from Sinjar, inspects the damage to his family’s house, burned by retreating Islamic State fighters in a predominantly Christian neighbourhood.

Photograph: Moises Saman/Magnum Photos

youtube

Stories of Christian Persecution | Iraq’s Refugees

This video gives us a glimpse of the shattered lives of persecuted Iraqi Christians who have been displaced by the violence and terrorism in their homeland. Many Christians have had to move to other countries in order to feel safe and secure. May God continue to protect and preserve these persecuted and displaced Iraqi Christian refugees.