Saturday, January 23, 2021
St. Joseph News & Information
Latest News & Information

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Chaldean Travel Spot Under Threat Because of Christian Cross
By Sam Yousif :: Monday, June 16, 2008 :: 54324 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Michigan, USA – Many would say it is a rite of passage for Michigan Chaldeans to visit Frankenmuth.  The Bavarian village, dubbed “Michigan’s Little Bavaria” has rich cultural and historical significance and is one of the largest tourist attractions in Michigan.  The small town is now facing legal pressure to strip all religious symbols from their village.  The legal threats hope to end the all-year Christmas displays, removal of the Cross from the town shield, and the destruction of the Cross in the city park.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has taken steps to challenge the city for its use of religions symbols. In response, the City Council of Frankenmuth unanimously voted to retain the Thomas More Law Center to defend its unique historical and cultural heritage.  

Christian persecution in America is not necessarily physical abuse says David Haddad, a student of world history.  He asserts that it is more psychological and systematic intimidation that will eventually lead to physical abuse.  “When a Chaldean thinks of ‘persecution’ our minds turn to the humiliating and horrible conditions we faced as a people or the holocaust our people suffered during World War I,” Haddad adds. 

“Others may think of the holocausts of the 20th century and those brutal dictators responsible for murdering millions. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot come to mind as well as Idi Amin (Uganda), Omar al-Bashir (Sudan), to name a few.  America is moving down the same path.  Oppress psychologically, then legally, then by force.”

Haddad sees the United States of America as a growing and fomenting caldron of Christian persecution.  “They try to shame you if what you believe is counter to what they want you to believe, then they get activist judges to defy the will of the people, and finally use the police to force you to abide by their standards.”

Minority groups such as Catholics, African-Americans, and Native Americans could attest to American persecution.  Regardless of their behavior, these groups were forced to suffer and even killed simply because their right of equality was not protected.  They were treated as second-class citizens and in many cases continue to be oppressed. 

Haddad says groups like the ACLU, Freedom From Religion Foundation, The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), NARAL, NOW, Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Tax Force, AFL-CIO, Unions, International Socialist Organization, People For the American Way, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Alliance for Justice, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and many other “nice sounding names” attack Christians. 

It is not only Haddad who thinks such groups are attacking Christians.  A number of groups have recently formed to counter the anti-Christian rise in America.  Groups like the Thomas More Law Center headquartered in Michigan who have taken a principled stand to defend the constitution and targeted Christian groups. 

The Thomas More Law Center website states that the group defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through education, litigation, and related activities.  The center boasts that it does not charge for its services and is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations.

German cultural heritage of Frankenmuth extends as far back as 1845.  The Thomas More Law Center says that the history of Frankenmuth serve to link and promote the city’s unique origins and history which are secular purposes.  Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center commented, “We need not purge all historical references to religion merely to satisfy militant atheists.”

Thomas continued saying that the council’s unanimous vote to retain the Thomas More Law Center in the face of a previous attempt to remove the small cross from its city shield and now the more recent focus on the cross in Cross Park by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State reflects a deep commitment on the part of the council to defend these symbols of the city’s unique history and culture.

 

 

 

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.