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Despite Criticisms of Alienating Christians Iraq Presidency Approves Provincial Election Law
By Amer Hedow :: 130817 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Sulaimaniyah, IRAQ — Today, Iraq's three-member presidency council approved a delayed provincial election law, amidst strong criticism of legally marginalizing Christian representation in the country.  “Again, Iraqi Christians are dealt a devastating blow,” says Issam Najed.  “America’s revolution was ignited over taxation without representation.  In Iraq, Christians are given no representation in the direction of their country.” 

"I think that some political groups are pushing the remaining Christians to leave Iraq," worshipper Afram Razzaq-Allah said after services at a Catholic church in Baghdad. "They want us to feel that we are no longer Iraqis."   Native Americans can empathize with the indigenous people of Iraq.  Iraq's leaders feigned seeking safeguards for small religious communities in this mainly Muslim country as Christians protested parliament's decision for minority representation on provincial councils. 

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Iraq Presidency Agrees on Polls Law
By Amer Hedow :: 102451 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ -Iraq's presidential council has agreed on a law which paves the way for US-backed provincial elections to be held by the end of January, a spokesman said. Al-Ani says the panel led by President Jalal Talabani decided to approve the law on Monday but did not sign it due to Islamic holidays.

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Chaldean Activism Once Again Proves Powerful
By Amer Hedow :: 103568 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ – The outcry of Iraqi, American, and European Chaldeans for fair representation have given Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pause.  The Iraqi Prime Minister openly announced on Sunday that he has sought safeguards for Christians and other minorities who have complained that they have lost guaranteed seats in provincial councils under a new election law.

Chaldeans who took the time to voice their concern may have helped the future of Iraq’s minority population.  “We are grateful to the Chaldeans across the world that sent e-mails, called their representatives, and sent letters to Iraq’s Prime Minister,” says Raad Abdel.  “God will forever bless these wonderful Chaldeans who spoke out against such injustice.”

After Iraqi legislators scrapped a clause known as article 50, that would have guaranteed seats for Christians and other minority sects, online news sites and e-mails quickly covered the expressed outrage.  However, the bill in its current form must be approved by a presidency council consisting of President Jalal Talabani and his two vice presidents before it becomes law. Christian leaders have expressed hope that it can still be amended to guarantee their seats.  “With the help of our Chaldean brothers and sisters reaching out to representatives this may still be possible,” adds Abdel.

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Chrisitan Iraqi's Stripped of Minority Electoral Rights In Order To Keep Them Oppressed
By Amer Hedow :: 104227 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

BAGHDAD — After months of negotiation, Iraq's parliament passed a crucial election law Wednesday, but only by setting aside for future debate the most divisive issues and stripping away most all minority rights. Iraqi Christians protested on Thursday against the absence of a clause determining their quota of provincial coucil seats in a new provincial elections law adopted the day before in the Iraqi parliament

The Students Federation of Chaldean Christians in Iraq objected to the secret removal of a clause in the old law that reserved provincial council’s seats for Christians and other religious minorities.  The new law could clear the way for provincial elections to take place in much of Iraq early next year with no voice for the indigenous people of Iraq.  The deletion of the law now leaves Iraqi Christians 'disenfranchised,' the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency quoted the group as saying.

Iraqi and U.S. officials moved aggressively to get the law passed.  Both U.S. and the U.N. ignored to challenge why minority clauses were stripped by Iraqi parliament, leaving minorities vulnerable to ongoing oppression.   Secretary of the Chaldean National Council, Daiaa Boutros, said that removing the clause was dangerous in an Iraq that was moving towards democracy, as the country had to preserve the rights of minorities.

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Chaldean E-Mails Force the Curtain Back Once More
By Alex Issa :: 77540 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance, Government & Society

California, USA –Chaldean business leaders are fast feeling the pinch as banks are reluctant to even give payroll loans on verified accounts receivables.  With the U.S. Economy on the verge of bankruptcy Chaldeans are still befuddled with how this could be possible. 

Sarmad Khomoro, of Bay Side Liquor in Los Angeles puts it this way, “If one customer asks me to loan him some money and that he will pay me back next month, I can handle it if he doesn’t pay his debt, it’s only one person.  Now, if the city of Los Angeles passes a law that tells me I have to give everyone who asks me a loan and the city will back-me-up if they don’t pay me-back.  I am going to give loans to hundreds of people because I want to get more customers and make them happy.  I don’t care if they can pay it back or not, since the city promised me they would bail me out if there was a problem.”

Khomoro’s example is pretty much exactly what happened on a national level with banks.  Banks were reassured that bad loans would be protected by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  www.CHALDEAN.org Michigan columnist Sam Yousif wrote that the blame lies with Democrats.  The article created a flurry of e-mails.  Over forty-two e-mails were sent asking for more information.  So we put our California business reporter, David Najor on the task.  This is what Najor reports...

It all began with the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) that quickly turned into a thief’s bank in the early 90's.   The Los Angeles Times reported that, starting in 1992, a majority-Democratic Congress "mandated that Fannie and Freddie increase their purchases of mortgages for low-income and medium-income borrowers. Operating under that requirement, Fannie Mae, in particular, has been aggressive and creative in stimulating minority gains."

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Sour Milk Campaign in California Begins
By Huda Metti :: 87366 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Government & Society

California, USA – “The entire Milk Day movement is based on fallacies, is offensive, and every Chaldean around the world should contact Governor Schwarzenegger and tell him to veto this bill.  Again, they are attempting to shove immorality down our throats,” declares Jonathan Shayota.

Gina Ateek agrees that, “AB 2567 needs to be vetoed.”  The California bill is now awaiting Governor Schwarzenegger’s signature that would designate May 22nd a day to celebrate homosexuality.  “Unless the governor receives 1 million phone calls requesting the bill be vetoed,” says Ateek.  “Everyone with a phone should call 1-916-445-2841, then press 1,2,1,2 to record a no vote for this bill.” 

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Are Those Who Remain Silent and Uninvolved Faithful?
By Amer Hedow :: 157690 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society, Chaldean Churches

Mosul, IRAQ – “If the condemnation by their Imams of the kidnapping and murder of Chaldean Archbishop Rahho was not enough, what will stop them,” says Eddie Gulli.  The Archbishop left big shoes to fill after his disgraceful execution.  “Our people have been able to survive because of faith.  They know this and that is why they attack our church.  They know if you attack our faith you will ultimately kill all of us.”

Gulli’s comments ring true to many Iraqi Christian leaders.  The continuous attacks against the passive church seem to only get worse.  “It seems the more humble and forgiving the church, the angrier these crazy people become,” Gulli comments while shaking his head dumbfounded. 

As soon as a new priest, Fr. Bassman Fatoohey was assigned to replace the Archbishop in Mosul the threats against his life began.  "I recently received a letter at the presbytery. Inside was a bullet. I knew at once what it meant," he says: "I was a marked man,” Fr. Fatoohey tells the Catholic Herald. 

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Chaldeans4Life 40 Days of Prayer Vigil Kick-Off
By Sam Yousif :: 111684 Views :: Article Rating :: Health & Fitness, Living & Lifestyle, Government & Society

Michigan, USA – The Church of Transfiguration in Southfield, formerly St. Michaels hosts the Southfield 40 Days for Life kick-off campaign.  The 40Days for life team invites the public to join the prayer effort as the prayer group gathers at 6:45 p.m. today, Tuesday, September 24th to help put an end to abortion. 

From September 24 - November 2, our community will be one of more than 170 cities in 45 states joining together for the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilization in history -- the 40 Days for Life campaign.

40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of:

40 days of prayer and fasting, 40 days of peaceful vigil, and 40 days of community outreach.  Chaldeans4Life help lead the effort in the Chaldean community.  Group leaders say the are praying that, with God's help, their groundbreaking effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city -- and throughout America.

Chaldeans interested in becoming part of the growing movement are encouraged to take a stand for life. 

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Chaldean Caucus of Michigan to Host Presidential Debate Gathering and Discussion
By Neda Ayar :: 104249 Views :: Article Rating :: Career & Education, Government & Society, Chaldean Caucus

Surrogates from both the McCain and Obama camp have approached Chaldean community leaders hoping to gain their support.  In Michigan, issue advocates like CatholicVote.com have reached out to Chaldeans with a special issue announcement.    

The Chaldean Caucus of Michigan will be hosting the first presidential debate viewing at Mother of God Church Hall in Southfield, Michigan this Friday, September 26th beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Supporters of both candidates are invited to attend.  Refreshments will be served and lively discussion will follow immediately after the debate, moderated by Chaldean Caucus regional leaders. 

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Chaldeans Want to Know Whose To Blame for the Economic Collapse
By Sam Yousif :: 78088 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance, Government & Society

Michigan, USA - “Me and my wife work over seventy hours a week.  We make all our payments and when we can’t afford something we don’t buy it,” says Sam Kalesho.  “Our government is going crazy.  They are stealing from us all.  They want more taxes, charge us more for electricity, and killing America. Whoever’s fault this is should never be in politics again.”

Kalesho is surprised when a customer of his yells out, “Then get the Democrats out of office.”  Trevor Raddison, shopping at Lakeside Liquor blames the Democrats for the economic collapse.  “McCain himself tried to stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2006.  He predicted this tragedy and the Democrats blocked him.  Democrats are bought and sold.  Fannie and Freddie paid millions to the Democrats to protect them while they were cooking the books.  They gave protection paybacks to Obama, Biden, Clinton, and Dodd.  They act like they are for the working man, but they aren’t.  To them it is all a front.  Immigration, not allowing us to drill in America, not allowing people the right to work, Democrats are crooks.  I burnt my democrat card a long time ago.”

Raddison is right that McCain was a leading proponent of the corruption in Fannie Mae and Freedie Mac, that have caused the economic stumble of America.   Congressional record shows that back in 2006 McCain hammers them for falsification of financial records. Ironically the leaders of the corrupt companies, including Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, both worked as advisers to Barack Obama. 

 

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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.