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Killing of Chaldeans Continue Despite Promises of Added Security
By Amer Hedow :: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 :: 132208 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Justice League

Baghdad, IRAQ – Yet another targeted religious execution of Iraqi Christians takes place in northern Iraq.   An armed commando storms the neighborhood of al Saa, near the monastery of the Domincan fathers on a killing rampage killing 55 year old Chaldean businessman, Sabah Yacoub Gurgis.  The well known entrepreneur owned an eyeglass factory, employing many Arabs and minorities in the city near the Tigris River. 

Neighboring Christians are terrified that the killings will continue.   The shooting is just the latest in a long trail of blood that has forced hundreds of Chaldean families to flee the city toward the plain of Nineveh or abroad. A spiral of violence that grew in the months preceding the parliamentary elections of  March 7, so much so that Msgr. Emil Shimoun Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, spoke of an "Endless Via Crucis".

Iraqi Christians continue to escape the country as killings and religious persecutions intensify.  “The election and Easter season has given the crazy killers motivation to wipe out all the Christians in Iraq,” says Husam Ashaki, who barely managed to survive the rampage killing in the city.  “We are all trying to figure out how we can leave.  We are not even safe in north.  They follow us here and are very thirsty for Christian blood.  No mater if it is a man, woman, or child.  They kill even small children and babies if they know they are Christian.”

Between February 14 and 23, eight Christians were killed in and around Mosul, sparking protests in Baghdad and the northern city involving hundreds of Christians, who accused the government and security forces of inaction. 

Iraq has said it will set up an inquiry and boost security in Mosul, but nothing has been done since the annoucement.

In November, New York-based Human Rights Watch warned that minorities in the oil-rich north including Christians were the collateral victims of a conflict between Arabs and Kurds over who controls Iraq's disputed northern provinces.

Ironically, world leaders and their governments move to pass the genocide of Christians during World War I by Islamic Turkey while ignoring the current genocide.  “The current Iraqi Genocide is being ignored, while world leaders debate the 1915 Genocide of Christians by the Ottoman Empire.  These fools are centuries behind.  They think they are driving by looking in their rear view mirrors,” says a frustrated student of history Sali Yohanna.

Both the Sweden Parliament and the US House move to pass resolutions acknowledging and condemning the 1915 Genocide; the first genocide of the 20th century. 

The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted H. Res. 252 recognizing the genocide by the Ottoman Empire despite intervention by both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Turkish government withdrew its ambassador to the US following the vote in protest of the decision.  The parliament of Sweden also passed a resolution acknowledging the Genocide beginning in 1915 after which the government of Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also cancelled his scheduled visit to Stockholm next week for a Sweden-Turkey summit in protest of the parliament’s resolution.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Electoral Commission continues to scrutinize votes with now 80% of the ballots counted. Projections released yesterday shows a head to head between the current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawy, head of the government between May 2004 and April 2005.  Both candidates have promised to provide additional security and justice to Iraqi minorities. 

The projection assigns 87 seats to two lists of candidates, about 310 of which make up the Iraqi parliament. The Iraqi National Alliance, which brings together the Shia religious parties, follows in third place with 67 seats and the list that combines the two major Kurdish parties is at 38 seats. Of the 310, 15 will be reserved for religious minorities in the country, including Christians.

Based on the number of votes obtained, which supports Allawi's secular bloc - the list al-Iraqiya - has collected 2,102,981 votes, with a margin of 8984 votes ahead of the coalition led by al-Maliki, the State of Law (2039 .997). The Shiite religious parties have obtained 1,597,937 votes and the Kurdish bloc 1,132,154.

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.