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USCIRF - Chaldeans and Other Mideast Native Christians Face Extinction
By Guest Reporter :: 5294 Views :: Article Rating :: World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Leonard Leo’s video interview with Terry Jeffrey at CNSNews.com that despite the long-term U.S. military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, Christianity may well be wiped out in the region because, as CNSNews put it, of "severe and persistent persecution of Christians there" by Muslims.

During the interview Jeffrey asked “We are looking at two different countries where the United States invaded, occupied, changed their governments in the last decade — Iraq and Afghanistan — where it’s possible Christianity might be eradicated in our lifetime?”

Leo responded, “Yes, and, unfortunately, that is sort of the pattern throughout the Middle Eastern region. The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year. It’s a very, very alarming situation.”

The situation for Chaldeans and other Christians throughout the Mideast is worsening.  In its annual report, USCIRF observed:

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Turkish Chaldeans Welcome Back Armenian Faithful
By Amer Hedow :: 15048 Views :: Article Rating :: World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

Turkey, Gavur – Hidden from many is a small town in Turkey of peaceful survivors of Gavur.  Defying all odds these humble groups of villagers have survived the holocaust of WWI and continue to rebuild their lives under ongoing persecution and threat. 

The town’s name alone makes the point.  Gavur is an offensive ethnic slur used by Muslims in Turkey and the Balkans to describe infidels, with particular reference to Christians like Chaldeans, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Serbs and Assyrians. The term is considered highly offensive and meant to say somebody is inferior, an immoral creature, less than human. 

In Turkish history gavur is so deeply rooted in society as an insult. The Ottoman leaders in the First World War were motivating their soldiers by convincing them they were fighting a war against infidels.

Between 1919 and 1923, large number of Christians that lived in Anatolia and surrounding regions were made as scapegoats and targeted for annihilation. 

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Massacre of Martyrs
By Amer Hedow :: 18628 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ – The massacre of Iraqi Christians by Muslim fanatics sent cold shivers of shock across the Western world.  “The heinous killing of women and infants shows what Islam is turning into,” says Fathel Barto, a Chaldean ambulance driver in Iraq through a translator.  “They have become the poison of a snake killing helpless and defenseless women and babies for no reason.  These people do not fight and they do not harm anyone.  These ignorant and barbaric men have sinned against Islam.  Any true believer of Mohammed would be just as mad and openly condemn them and who they are.”

Barto’s assumptions seem to have fallen on deaf ears as Muslim leaders and politicos remain silent and apathetic to what has come to be known as the Massacre of Martyrs.  The attack on the congregation of Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church was the bloodiest single attack on an Iraqi Christian church in recent history. The latest toll now reached nearly a hundred dead and 78 tragically wounded.  Many of the dead and dreadfully wounded were women, toddlers, and small babies attending Sunday services. 

American Chaldeans who have been calling on Washington DC have been turned away with sympathetic nods and comments of condolence.  “They are snakes with forked tongues these politicians.  All they do is talk and write letters showing they share our concern, but do nothing of substantial,” says David Kuza of Rochester, Michigan.  “I voted for Gary Peters and Carl Levin.  People in our community said these politicians can help us.  Instead all they do is write hallmark letters.  If they are serious about helping us let them take a stand by not voting or blocking any new legislation unless serious action is taken to protect Iraqi citizens.”

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Killing of Chaldeans Continue Despite Promises of Added Security
By Amer Hedow :: 22209 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Justice League

Chaldeans grip the cross bars as the roller coaster of their existence takes another steep and deadly plummet.

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.”

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Iraqi Minority Remain Targets Despite Government Claims of Safety
By Sam Yousif :: 22994 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Justice League

Baghdad, IRAQ – Iraqi Christians march in Mosul and Baghdad and hold prayer vigils in Kirkuk to draw attention to unending murders of minorities in Iraq.   In recent weeks alone, minority men, women, and children have been abducted, killed, raped, harrased, and tortured.  Those surviving have returned with ominous messages that Christians are no longer allowed to be in Iraq. 

Mgr Emil Shimoun Nona of Mosul confirmed that hundreds of families have left Mosul in the last few days, about 600 in a community of some 4,000 people, according to a United Nations report.  The prelate said, “about 400 families have escaped.”

Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa of Mosul led over 1,000 Iraqi Catholics in a silent protest on February 28 to demand that the government act to put a stop to violence against Christians there.

The United Nations estimated that 683 Christians fled Mosul between February 20 and February 27. Chaldean Catholic Bishop Emil Shimoun Nona of Mosul estimated that "about 400 families" had left the city's community of 4,000 Christians.

“The daily massacre suffered by the Christian community … is met with indifference from the authorities,” said Archbishop Casmoussa on the eve of the march. “We will be fasting and praying for peace and for the survival of Christians.”

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Iraq’s Holy Innocents
By Guest Reporter :: 19538 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Iraq, Baghdad – National Review Online’s author, John F. Cullinan, calls into light the sorrowful predicament Chaldeans and other Iraqi Christian minorities have been forced to face.  In his compelling article Cullinan highlights how Chaldeans continue to remain a casualty of American foreign policy - both by and under the leadership of then President Bush and equally now by current American President Obama. 

Cullinan writes about how this small faithful group of Iraqi pacifist has greatly contributed to the tapestry of Iraq’s once great success in tolerance, understanding, and diplomacy is facing near extinction. 

The American-led war in Iraq has savaged the native Iraqis.  A group known for centuries as a root of hope for Iraq is being squashed with little or no sympathy or concern by America. 

Iraq’s Holy Innocents  by John F. Cullinan

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Iraqi Police Unable or Unwilling to Stop Christian Attacks
By Amer Hedow :: 21572 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ — Iraqi Chaldeans site that the Najaf local government are playing politics with their lives and livelihood.  “They are telling the people of Najaf that we are not worthy to live in the city, just to win votes,” says Dawood Abdel, a well known Chaldean political commentator in Iraq. 

Local Iraqi authorities have outlawed alcohol in the province of Najaf, home to the holiest Shiite city, saying it contradicts the principles of Islam.  The decision to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol highlights efforts by religious parties to win support with Shiite voters before crucial parliamentary elections this January are causing an alarming spike in attacks against Iraqi Christians.

Alcohol consumption is forbidden under Islam, and liquor stores have often been targeted by both Sunni and Shiite extremists in Iraq.  The stores are widely owned and operated by Iraqi Christians, and the move by the Najaf provincial council is seen as credible proof of the fears among the Christian minority and secular Muslims that religious extremism is growing in the country.

The Najaf provincial council's decision followed a similar measure taken in August by authorities in the southern port city of Basra.  Shortly after the measure in Basra, Christians were targeted and forced to leave the city. 

Khalid al-Jashaami, a Najaf provincial council member says, "In order to protect the holiness of the holy city of Najaf, the provincial council of Najaf decided unanimously to ban the selling and transit of all kinds of alcohol." Al-Jashaami adds that violators will face trial. 

The continual intimidation of Christians grow as Muslim extremist move into government roles, changing laws and justifying the seizure of Christian property.  “They do this slowly and try to hide what they are doing.  They attack any printing house that writes about the laws being written.  They have burned the warehouses and kidnapped the family members.  The police do nothing, but say we are investigating,” says Abdel.

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An AlQosh Man Struggles to Keep a Promise to an Old Friend
By Amer Hedow :: 28447 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Justice League

AlQosh, IRAQ – Abandoned since 1948 by native Iraqi Jews remains the tomb of the Jewish Prophet Nahum, a minor prophet in the Hebrew Bible.  Nahum wrote about the Assyrian Empire and the plains of Ninevah and prophesized the fall of Assyrian Kingdom for failing to turn from their pagan ways. 

Nahum was written after the fall of Israel in 722 BC but before the fall of Ninevah in 612. It is very likely, based upon the description of the relationship between Assyria and Judah, that Nahum prophesied in the early reign of King Josiah. Assyria was in the last days of its great power. They still controlled most of the Middle East. However, Babylon, Persia, and Egypt were all expanding in strength.

Literary enthusiasts would appreciate the irony that the tomb has been gently cared for and preserved by native Iraqi Christians.  After Iraqi Jews were forced to leave their country over half a century ago due to their religious difference with the prevailing Muslims of the region, Sami Jajouhana was asked to be the keeper of Nahum's tomb. He was handed the iron keys and an old leather ledger by his Jewish friend who left al-Qosh in 1948.  Jajouhana promised his dear friend to care for the sacred site for Jews.   

Beneath one of the few remaining standing synagogues in all of Iraq, Nahum's tomb is at risk.  For over half a century, few Jewish pilgrims have journeyed to the site.  Nonetheless, Jajouhana keeps his promise to his old friend, by recording the few who do tour the tomb or visit the synagogue and to care for their holy place.   Jajouhana has handled the landscaping, cleaned the vandalism that often plaques the monument, and managed repairs the best he can with the minuscule resources his family has in honor of his friendship and his friend’s convictions. 

The building is crumbling and in need of major repairs.  Most of the roof’s supporting beams and some stone walls have deteriorated. The Hebrew scripture is unmistakably visible on the interior walls—square, precisely carved, unobtrusive and definitively Hebrew.  All at risk to be forever lost except for this one man on a mission to rebuild. 

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Twin Chaldean Bishops Dedicated Church Spur Twin Mass Celebrations
By Frank Dado :: 30581 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

Thiruvananthapuram, INDIA – The impact of Chaldeans on the world are numerous and diverse.  Following the lead of St. Thomas, Chaldeans travelled the world sharing the miraculous conversion of the human of the psyche and soul. 

Evidence of their impact is being praised in a small church, whose history dates back to 826 AD.  The church originally named after Sapor and Prot, twin Chaldean bishops traveling from Syria, who helped Christians establish themselves on the Kerala coast of India in the ninth Century. 

What is unique about this small Catholic parish is that it is dedicated to the twin brothers and has been attracting scores of twins, including Hindus, for its annual feast.  St. Thomas, a twin himself, helped share the blessings of Christianity throughout the Middle East and Asia, while his brethren St. Peter journeyed to Rome. 

This year's June 19 feast day Mass at the Church in Kerala, southern India, was no different. It was attended by 151 twins and two sets of triplets. The parish church is in Kothanallur village and comes under the Palai diocese.

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Australian Priest Begins Campaign to Help Chaldeans
By Amer Hedow :: 30095 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

Brisbane, AUSTRALIA – In the capital city of Australia, Brisbane priest Fr. Gerry Hefferan has begun a campaign to help the struggling Chaldeans of war-torn Iraq.  Fr. Hefferan recently returned from Kurdistan and has organized a daily prayer roster with parishes from five major dioceses to pray for Chaldeans.  The effort has been welcomed by Australian Catholics as parishioners have already filled the roster until November 2009. 

The prayer roster is not the only effort Fr. Hefferan is undertaken on behalf of Chaldeans.  The Grovely-based priest is also encouraging Catholics to share expertise in education and health with staff at St Peter’s Chaldean Seminary in Iraq which has been relocated from Baghdad to Erbil in the Kurdistan north.

“This is because education and health are two major areas where the Muslim communities recognize Christian expertise,” Fr Hefferan said. “So this is one way to help bring peace to the area – it can help the Christians live more harmoniously with their Muslim neighbors.”

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Chaldean Teacher Namir Gourguis Freed
By Amer Hedow :: 15880 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Kirkuk, IRAQ – The disputed lands of Kirkuk continue to foster hostilities as the three major factions of Iraq pound Christian minorities in order to seize property and lay claim to the oil rich lands.  Although Iraq is the native home to the Chaldean Catholic Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, hundreds of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee since the US-led invasion of March 2003.  “Our people are easy targets.  Iraqi Christians are the Tibetans of the Middle East.  We are peaceful,” says John Anwya.  “These cowards attack Iraq’s native people.”

In northern Iraq a Christian missionary and teacher Namir Nadhim Gourguis, has been freed after just over a week in captivity, according to the Catholic missionary news agency Asia news.

Gourguis was well known in the community and loved.  Mediation by tribal chiefs and local imams led to Gourguis' release just over a week after he was abducted by a gunmen last Thursday at an elementary school near the northern oil city of Kirkuk.

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Chaldeans Worry Over UN Altercation of Iraq Refugee Guidelines
By Huda Metti :: 15565 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) this week revised its guidelines about Iraqi refugees, scaling down the categories of Iraqis that it says should be granted asylum in all cases.  Central Iraq remains unstable, and refugees from those provinces should be granted asylum, the UNHCR said. Those provinces include Baghdad, Diyala and Ninevah.

Andrew Harper, who leads the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees operation in Iraq, says Chaldeans and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq should receive asylum from Western countries. 

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Chaldeans Fighting to Help Refugees Ignored By Government Agencies
By Amer Hedow :: 18896 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Jaramana, SYRIA – The conditions in Iraq are vastly improving, but ignored in the up-beat news of Iraq’s road to recovery is the struggling plight of Iraqi Christians that remain targets and disenfranchised minority.  Iraqi refugees throughout the region have become increasingly desperate. Despite a decline in violence in Iraq, only a small number have gone home, often because their resources are exhausted. Of those who returned to Iraq, many found their property occupied and suffered secondary displacement.

The international community has been largely in denial over the disastrous humanitarian situation in Iraq, and has until recently seen Iraq through the prism of reconstruction and development, and failed to address urgent needs. Only recently has the United Nations issued a common humanitarian appeal for Iraq, recognizing the nature of the situation and the need for all agencies to address humanitarian needs. Nonetheless, the call by the U.N. remains largely ignored.

The vulnerable displaced Iraqis who have fled their homes for safer locations are unable to access their food rations and often unemployed, they live in squalid conditions, have run out of resources and find it extremely difficult to access essential services. “The US, the government of Iraq and the international community must begin to address the consequences of leaving Iraqis’ humanitarian needs unmet,” says Talal Lazar, a Chaldean advisor to the Jordanian embassy on Middle Eastern Christians.  

As a result of the vacuum created by the failure of both the Iraqi Government and the international community to act in a timely and adequate manner, individuals will play a major role in providing assistance to vulnerable Iraqis.

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The Slaughter After The Pull-Out in Vietnam War May Happen To Iraqi Christians
By Sam Yousif :: 17506 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ – What many Chaldeans have feared in the U.S. Presidential debate has come true.  “We know if America leaves they will come and kill us.  They think we have something to do with them and they think we have money.  The Iraqi government is happy if all Christians leave.  They say they want us to stay, but they don’t mean it.  If they mean it, then they would protect us more,” says Masoud Gallozi. 

In the past few days Iraq Christians have been targeted for slaughter.  The murder of four Christians across Iraq in just two days is raising concern among churches there that another round of religious cleansing has begun. 

Chaldean Monsignor Sako warns that US troop pullout is likely to plunge the country in a “civil war.” Between 31 March and 4 April five Christians are murdered in Kirkuk, Baghdad and Mosul. The prelate calls on the faithful to pray during Holy Week so “that the blood of our martyrs may restore peace.”

Chaldeans in America are frustrated over President Obama’s handling of the Middle East issues.  “There were many Chaldeans fooled into believing the new administration would pressure the Iraqi government to get serious about properly protecting Chaldeans.  These Chaldeans sent an e-mail of a letter by Obama and his people showing he was concerned.  It was just another lie from this man.  A lie that is leaving our people vulnerable.  Those who supported him are partly to blame,” a frustrated James Selmu declares. 

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Chaldeans Being Offered $100,000 for Rare Blood Vaccine
By Sue Garmo :: 32391 Views :: Article Rating :: Health & Fitness, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – Chaldean immigrant receives special attention from the U.S. Center for Disease control (CDC) for his blood.  “It is like the movie Arachnophobia where a spider is brought to the U.S., spreads, and creates havoc,” says Dr. Jason Edwin III, Director of Entomology at the CDC.  “We were able to find an Iraqi who has something in his blood that is immune to the spider’s venom and is assisting in treating the infectious bite site of the spider.”

David Abbas of Tel’Kepe, Iraq seems to be immune to the venom of the infamous “Camel Spider” which is identified as the cause of a state-wide outbreak in Nevada.  Abbas was given $100,000 after a sample of his blood proved to contain the necessary antibodies.  The CDC is now asking Chaldeans in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Michigan to be tested.  Those with the rare blood immunity will be offered a $100,000 in order for the CDC to have enough vaccine to stop the epidemic from spreading outside of Nevada.  

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Chaldean Refugees Arrive in Germany
By Sabah Hajjar :: 16777 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

GERMANY - Germany has long fought for the protection of war refugees and has taken their cases to the EU on numerous occasions.  Germany has agreed to resettle 2,500 Iraqi refugees, said the Amman office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday, March 10, adding that 2,000 would come from Syria and 500 from Jordan.
 
The first batch of refugees will be soon leaving Jordan for resettlement in Germany, Dana Bajjali, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR office in Amman told DPA news agency without indicating the precise date of their departure. Around 120 Christian refugees from Iraq arrived in Germany on Thursday in search of a better and safer future away from the turmoil of their home country.
 
Amnesty International's Julia Duchrow explains that the successful asylum applicants have a clean criminal record and can not have been members of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baath party.  Single mothers, those suffering from post-traumatic stress and people with ties to Germany also had a greater chance of having their application for asylum approved, she added. 

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Iraq Becoming Islamic State Hostile to Non-Muslims
By Amer Hedow :: 22536 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

London, UK – Lord Alton called for the government in the north of Iraq to return land that had been seized from minority groups.  "The Kurdish Regional Government needs to ensure a swift and complete return of Christian homes, land and property that has been misappropriated ­ which includes 58 Christian villages taken by Kurds.

"How The Kurdish and Iraqi authorities treat their minorities ­ including Christians, Yezidis, and Mandaeans ­ will be a test of their determination to create a tolerant society respectful of difference."

Around 90 people packed into a House of Lords' committee room to attend a hearing about the crisis currently facing minorities in Iraq.

A statement from the Syriac and Chaldean Churches read out at the meeting similarly sounded a note of caution about the direction the country was taking: "It seems that Iraq is one step closer to becoming an Islamic state intolerant to non-Muslims".

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Chaldeans Overwhelmingly Plan to Vote YES on California Prop. 4 & 8 and NO on Michigan 1 & 2
By Sam Yousif :: 16570 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – Chaldeans in California and Michigan are eager to vote on their state ballot initiatives.  In California an effort to prohibit or allow homosexual marriage is on the ballot as proposition 8. In Michigan, the statewide ballot is asking voters to either allow or reject the use of marijuana (proposal1) and embryo research (proposal 2). 

“Chaldeans in California and Michigan should understand that all three of these issues are very important.  The cost to Chaldeans and America is very high if gay marriage is allowed, embryos are killed for research, or drugs are made legal,” says Ann Bodagh, of El Cajon.  “Chaldeans need to work together to prevent America from slipping even further.”

Bodagh’s opinion is the majority, but liberal corporations, like Apple computers and Levi Straus jeans are throwing big money to help fund the passing of proposition 8.  In Michigan, drug companies, the DNC, and Planned Parenthood are hoping marijuana use and embryo research get passed. 

We examine all three propositions.

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Can A Difference Be Made By Chaldeans Calling for Action?
By Mary Esho :: 22115 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

 California, USA – An unlikely duo seem to breaking through the information blackout of Iraq’s desperate situation.  Contrary to news coverage that Iraq is healing, few if any major media outlets are covering Iraq’s minority persecution. 

Chaldean Catholic Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad, Iraq, expressed sadness over what he viewed as a chronic lack of concern and concrete action to stop the violence and protect all of Iraq's citizens.  Greater attention and pressure are needed so that the Iraqi government can "be just and fulfill its duty toward its citizens," he said.

Echoing the Cardinal’s call urging everyone to help call attention to the injustice, Chaldean star rapper Timz, winner of the Hollywood Film Festival's "Video of the Year" and nominee for the MTV Video Music Awards' "Video of the Year," releases another hip-hop masterpiece titled “Do Something.”  A powerful call to action that begins with a hypnotic beat mixed with middle eastern flair beginning with a message from Timz himself to “Change the world, not the channel.”

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Chaldean Protest Raising Awareness
By Amer Hedow :: 15581 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ— Shocking the conscience of anyone who would dare pay a few minutes of attention, Christians are being mowed down in Mosul.  Community activists in Australia, England, US, Denmark, and Germany are begging world governments to do more than talk.  Activists are protesting in front of city halls, holding meetings, getting petitions signed, attempting any and all efforts to raise the awareness and conscience of world leaders, turning a blind eye to the genocide of Iraqi Christians. 

Nearly 10,000 Christians — roughly half the city's Christian population — have fled this month because of organized and targeted threats and attacks, according to Iraqi officials.  Christians in Iraq are fast losing faith and trust with the Iraq government.  Few Iraqi Christians are returning to the restive city of Mosul despite government pledges of financial support and protection, officials said Wednesday.

Attempts to bribe families back into the city have fallen on deaf ears. The prime minister offered every Christian family that returns to Mosul 1 million Iraqi dinars — about $865, said Jawdat Ismaeel, a local migration official.  But less than a handful of Christians have returned, he said.

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Chaldean Scholar Awarded Catholic Woman of the Year
By Rita Abro :: 43027 Views :: Article Rating :: Career & Education, Community & Culture, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

London, UK – Chaldean scholar, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Dr. Suha Rassam was named as one of the four Catholic Women of the Year at a reception in London this past week.  The founder of the charity Iraqi Christians in Need (ICIN) was honored among an assembly of some of the world’s most notable leaders and in the presence of the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Faustino Munoz.

Dr Rassam is originally from Mosul in northern Iraq. She is a medical doctor and professor of Medicine in the University of Baghdad. Arriving to England in 1990 she worked in London hospitals until her retirement when she took an MA in Eastern Christianity at the school of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London.

Dr. Rassam, author of the book 'Christianity in Iraq' set up ICIN  last year with a group of fellow Iraqis, to provide financial and spiritual support to Iraqi Christians both in Iraq and in countries such as Syria and Jordan, where many are now refugees.

Earlier this year, she visited Iraqi refugee families in Syria to assess how best ICIN could help them. In Aleppo, she met with Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo of the Chaldean Catholic Church and Bishop Yuhanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Church.  Since then her impact in helping Iraqi refugee families has been remarkable. 

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Last Safe Haven for Iraqi Christians Taken by Al-Qaeda
By Guest Reporter :: 28778 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Federation of America

Mosul, IRAQ - "Now the last safe haven for Christians is gone," said Canon Andrew White, the vicar of St. George's church in Baghdad. During the past week, twelve Christians have been killed and more than 3,000 have left the city of Mosul, once considered a safe zone for persecuted Iraqi Christians.
 
Mosul, on the plain of Nineveh in northern Iraq, has long been home to one of the largest remaining Christian communities in the nation. Furthermore, in recent years the city has been a destination for persecuted Christians.

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Iraqi Christians in Mosul Victims to Intense Violence
By Amer Hedow :: 22223 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ - Despite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pledge yesterday to protect Christians in Iraq after mass killings in the northern city of Mosul, thousands of Chaldeans flee as Islamic radicals turn-up the violence. 

Proving the weakness of Maliki’s government and the vulnerability of Iraqi Christians, a music store owner was shot to death in the northern city of Mosul.  Police sources said on Monday gunmen entered the store late on Sunday and shot dead the Iraqi Christian store owner and his nephew, who was wounded.

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Kill Christians! Islamic Fundamentalists Chant in Iraq After Murdering Three
By Amer Hedow :: 21172 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ – Another tragic killing of Christians in Mosul today.  Al Qaeda militants gunned down Chaldean Jalal Moussa, 38, and three other Chaldeans in front of their homes in the neighborhood of Noor.  Islamic militants have been terrorizing the city with shouts and nailing posters urging attacks against Christians, threatening more slaughter and violence and urging U.S. military to leave. 

Little has been covered by world media as major news outlets refuse to cover the ongoing Christian attacks.  In less than seven days, nine Christians have been murdered because of their faith.  Asia News reveals an organized campaign is underway to drive Christians out of the region.  The news reports a car with a loudspeaker went around the streets in the neighborhood of Sukkar, ordering the Christians to leave." "Christians out of the city," the people on board were shouting, "otherwise you will be victims of more attacks."

On Monday, October 6, Ziad Kamal, a disabled 25-year-old shopkeeper in the city, was shot to death. The young man's store was in the neighborhood of Karam.  Before him, armed groups assassinated Hazim Thomaso Youssif, age 40. The ambush took place in front of his clothing store in Bab Sarray.  On the same day, 15-year-old Ivan Nuwya, also a Christian, was killed. The young man was shot to death in front of his home in the neighborhood of Tahrir, in front of the local mosque of Alzhara.

The Christian community lives in panic as the slaughter continues "to the indifference" of the media, which "do not even report the crimes that are committed."

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Despite Criticisms of Alienating Christians Iraq Presidency Approves Provincial Election Law
By Amer Hedow :: 25336 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 :: 18903 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 :: 19458 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 :: 19470 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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Iraqi Christians Form Security Patrols to Protect Villages
By Guest Reporter :: 17475 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Tel Asquf, IRAQ - Controversy continues to swirl over the establishment of the first Iraqi Christian Militia enforce.  Frustrated over the lack of protection or justice, Iraqi Christians have decided to protect their town.  With Kalashnikovs slung over their shoulders, members of Iraq's first Christian militia share one simple rule on the border of this little village: "Anyone not from Tel Asquf is banned."

A member of a Christian militia stands guard outside the St. George church in the village of Tel Asquf in northern Iraq's flash-point Nineveh province, which is often targeted by Sunni and Shi'ite fighters. The militia members man checkpoints at the village's four entrances. "If we don't defend ourselves, who will?" asked militia leader Abu Nataq.  "The terrorists want to kill us because we are Christian. If we don't defend ourselves, who will?" Abu Nataq, says.

This village in northern Iraq's flash-point Nineveh province, frequently targeted by Sunni and Shi'ite fighters, has taken security into its own hands with armed patrols and checkpoints at the village's four entrances.

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More Iraqi Christians Killed by Religious Fundamentalists
By Amer Hedow :: 18893 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ - The Chaldean community in Iraq remain vulnerable victims of kidnap, torture, and murder by  Islamic fundamentalists twisted by hatred.  News of the torturous death of a 65-year-old doctor, Tariq Qattan, kidnapped recently by a terrorist group is being released by AsiaNews.   “The family paid a $20,000 ransom, but it was not enough to free Tariq,” say sources. 

Tariq Qattan is one of the many Iraqi Christians kidnapped by fundamentalists for extortion.  For the family of Nafi Haddad the outcome is just as unbearable.  Haddad was also kidnapped and killed.

Despite assurances by the Iraqi government Christians remain vulnerable targets.  “Iraqi police continue to ignore investigating or prosecuting those involved,” says relatives of the Haddad family close to the matter.  

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Controversy over Coptic Priest and Muslims in Michigan Sparks Freedom of Speech Issues
By Amer Hedow :: 18640 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA - Refusing to submit, Egyptian Coptic Father Zakaria Botros tells listeners he will,” stop revealing the truth about Islam when my ten demands are met.”  The Coptic Priest is named Islam’s “Public Enemy #1” by the Arabic newspaper, al-Insan al-Jadid.  He has famously made of Islam “ten demands” whose radical nature he uses to highlight Islam’s own radical demands on non-Muslims.

The internationally renowned Coptic priest along with Muslim converts minces no words when addressing controversial topics of theological significance and touches on little-known but embarrassing aspects of Islamic law and tradition.  With rewards for his murder the priest fearlessly continues.  He has become a thorn in the side of Islamic leaders throughout the Middle East and now in the United States. 

Tensions in Dearborn, Michigan rise as Fr. Botros continues to challenge Islamic teachings.  Dearborn’s Arab American newspaper reports that local Imams have been fuming over the Coptic priest’s ongoing revelations of Islam. Fearing anger will turn to violence; Deaborn’s Imams have called on Birach Broadcast owner demanding changes be made.  The Imams have also appealed to Chaldean and other Middle Eastern Christian leaders requesting interfaith efforts to create the change they seek. 

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Are Politicians Undermining Iraq Reconstruction Efforts?
By Sabah Hajjar :: 13729 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

 

Michigan, USA  –  Michigan Senator Carl Levin (D), chairman and of the Senate Armed Services Committee, requested a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding Iraq’s financial ability to fund their own reconstruction. 

The GAO made their report public yesterday prompting renewed calls from Democrats and few Republicans that Baghdad pay more of the bill for its own reconstruction.   The Iraqi government could end the year with a small budget surplus reveals the GAO report.   Iraq’s budget surplus has been building due to increased oil production, stability in the region, and the government’s unwillingness to spend money, the report continues. 

“Although America has broken it, they don’t want to buy it,” says Kevin Jammo.  “Democrats want to undermine the progress being made in the country.  They diminish the success of the surge and all the other progress taking place.  It is too soon to force Iraq to spend its meager money on a war waged against them.  This is an election year and these heartless politicians are playing games with a nation trying to stand-up.  As soon as Iraq starts to get their footing, Democrats want to foot-sweep them back to the ground.” 

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Only 27 out of 140 Chaldean Iraqis Receive Visas for WYD
By Rita Abro :: 27324 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

Catholic News Agency reports that the Australian Embassy in Amman, Jordan has issued 27 visas which will allow some young Iraqis to participate in World Youth Day.  Initially 170 Chaldeans applied for Visas to participate in the largest gathering of world youth Christians in history.  True to their faith, the Chaldeans still expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the Australian government for allowing 27 delegates.

“I would like to thank the Australian government for everything they have been able to do and also the Australian embassy to the Holy See which has contributed to this positive ending,” Father Philip Najim, Chaldean Prosecutor to the Holy See, said.  “Many in Iraq were waiting for this.  It is a symbolic number of visas but our youngsters will be in Sydney too and that’s what counts.”

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Iraqi Christians Targeted In Order to Keep Them Oppressed
By Sabah Hajjar :: 13673 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ – Christian churches in Iraq continue to receive threatening notices foreshadowing potentially violent attacks against the non-Muslim religious centers.  In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul parishioners fear the worst after a letters were received asking them not to cooperate with US forces. 

“We don’t cooperate with anyone.  They use this as an excuse to attack, torture, hold for ransom, and kill innocent people,” says Khalid Bunni, a parishioner in the region.  

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Iraq's Persecution of Christians Continues to Spiral out of Control
By Sabah Hajjar :: 20017 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ - Senior research fellow, Brian J. Grim, paints a harrowing picture of the ongoing persecution of Iraqi Christians.  The research expert on religion and world affairs with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in Washington, D.C. reports that the situation for Christians in Iraq is worsening. 

“It is no small irony, of course, that the Shiite majority that's now a leading force in Iraq was brutalized and suppressed under Saddam, who extensively curbed the Shiites' religious freedoms. A State Department report in 2002 said Saddam's government ‘severely restricts or bans outright many Shiite religious practices.’ One might think that those fresh memories would be enough to ensure liberties for Iraq's religious minorities today. Yet that appears not to be the case,” writes Grim in his report. 

Iraqi Christians are part of historic indigenous communities that have been in what is now Iraq nearly since the time of Christ, several centuries before Islam came to the region. The majority of them are Chaldean Christians, an ancient religious group affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

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English Catholics to hold Mass to show solidarity with Iraqi Christians
By Guest Reporter :: 19103 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

London, UK - The Lord's Prayer will be read in Aramaic at a special Mass celebrated by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor at Westminster Cathedral next week in support of Iraqi Christians.

At a time when many of Iraq’s Christians have been forced to flee the volatile situation in their homeland, the Mass at 5:30pm on June 16 will offer an opportunity for bishops and worshippers to come together and stand in solidarity with the country’s Christian community.

In addition to the Lord’s Prayer being read in Aramaic – the language closest to Christ’s dialect – the Gospel will be sung in Arabic. The Mass will also allow people to pray for peace in Iraq and also for Iraqi communities here in England and Wales.

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The ‘Rizza Maraka’ Shortage Explained
By Neda Ayar :: 19414 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – “No Riza Maraka!  Who do I blame,” says Anthony Matti of Chula Vista, California.  Amid growing concerns of global rice shortage two of America’s biggest retailers place a limit on rice purchases.  Wal-Mart's warehouse chain Sam's Club, the largest warehouse and food grocery retailer in the US is limiting bulk purchases of rice this week, citing "recent supply and demand trends".  Seattle-based Costco Wholesale Corporation has also imposed limits in some stores on bulk rice purchases.

“I bet the limits are in Michigan, Chicago, Arizona, and here,” says Matti with a sly smile.  “It is no coincidence Chaldeans live mostly in those regions.  Chaldeans are eating too much rizza maraka (rice and stew) and we are causing a rice shortage.  What do you expect?  Chaldeans are not going to eat that fast food poison or restaurant filth.”

Chuckling over his own sense of humor, Matti does have a serious side.  The undergraduate student just submitted his final exam paper titled the Economic Food Web.

Matti says that world rice prices have more than doubled in the past year as demand has outstripped supply.  “The culprits include the drought-ravaged rice crop shortage, alternative fuel technologies, global population growth, speculation on food prices, and rise in traditional fuel prices.” 

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Iraqi Christians Demonstrate Democracy in Week-Long March for Justice
By Amer Hedow :: 15195 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Ninevah, IRAQ - It would seem Iraqi Christians are able to embrace the democratic principles of petitioning government, free speech, and the right to assemble.  For most of the week, peaceful marches have been held by Iraqi Christians in hopes of drawing attention to the injustice and persecution Christians face.  The silent marches send reverberating waves throughout the country as other Iraqis look on in interest. 

Each day hundreds of Chaldeans and other Christians march down streets holding photos of Christian Martyrs.   Loud in action and small in talk the Iraqi Christians call for justice.  The council of Nineveh bishops, which include the community and religious leaders of all Christian communities in the Ninevah region of Iraq support the marches.

Men, women, and children march holding pictures of Archbishop Rahho to Fr Ragheed and Fr Paul Iskandar, all victims killed by radical Islamist hoping to drive Christians out of their land.  Marchers also carried hundreds of pictures of Christian family members who have been killed for their faith, resisting kidnapping attempts, refusal to convert, or because they owned shops that sold alcoholic beverages (banned by Islam).  The protestors walked through the streets of Bartella, Karamles, Qaraqosh, al Qosh.

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Germany May Accept 30,000 Christians Who Fled Iraq
By Huda Metti :: 18010 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Berlin, GERMANY - Germany is mulling calls for it to take in up to 30,000 Christians who have fled intimidation and violence in Iraq, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said Saturday, confirming an account in the news magazine Der Spiegel.

Iraq's Christians, who have lived in Mesopotamia since before the advent of Islam, have fled en masse to refugee camps in Jordan and Syria and say the reduction in fighting between Shiites and Sunnis has not benefited them, with killings of Christians continuing.

Interior Ministry experts in Berlin were studying suggestions from the Catholic and Lutheran churches that Germany declare a quota for resettlement by Iraqi Christian refugees, Der Spiegel said.

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Muslim Conversions Spike as Memorials for Iraqi Archbishop Are Held
By Sabah Hajjar :: 16137 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Saskatchewan, CANADA - Pope Benedict celebrated a special memorial Mass in the Vatican chapel in honor of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho. Pope Benedict has called Rahho's death an "inhuman act of violence" that offended human dignity.  In his homily Monday, the Pope called Archbishop Rahho a man of peace and dialogue who paid particular attention to the poor and handicapped in his flock.

"Let his example support all Iraqis of good will — Christians and Muslims — to work for a peaceful coexistence, founded on human brotherhood and reciprocal respect," Pope Benedict said.  Most every other country followed the Pope’s lead in condemning the torture and murder and calling on the Iraqi government to be more vigilant in protecting the rights of its citizens. 

For Chaldean tween, Joseph Markos' leap-year birthday was celebrated this year amid grief in his Iraqi-born family.  "I was kind of sad because it was the same day the archbishop was kidnapped," said the 12-year-old at a news conference in Saskatoon, concerning the death of the Iraqi archbishop.  For teenager Mohammed Abeed Kahoury and his parents the memorial of the Archbishop helped them make their decision to enroll in catechism classes to learn more about Christianity.  

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Tariq Aziz and His Family Plea for Mercy
By Amer Hedow :: 18 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ - Tariq Aziz, the public face of Saddam Hussein's regime who has been held for nearly five years without charge, is now so ill that he will probably die before he is tried.

Saddam's urbane, cigar-smoking Deputy Prime Minister has lung disease and it is unlikely that his case will ever reach court, sources have said.

Mr Aziz's son, Ziad, said that he was unaware of his father's condition because his lawyer had been unable to visit him recently because of security concerns. But he understood that his father had been moved into a shared cell at Camp Cropper, part of the huge US base surrounding Baghdad airport, so a fellow detainee could monitor him.

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Royal Society of Medicine honors Chaldean Billionaire Nadhmi Auchi
By David Najor :: 16 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

London, UK- Britain’s Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) had organised a ceremony in honour of Chaldean businessman Nadhmi Auchi, Chairman of General Mediterranean Holding (GMH), and President of the Anglo Arab Organisation (AAO).  The ceremony, which took place at the RSM building in London, was in appreciation of Auchi’s efforts in supporting the cause of medicine in the United Kingdom, which included funding medical research projects and sponsorships.

Present at the ceremony were a number of Arab Ambassadors, British Lords and MPs, and prominent figures in the medical profession. As a token of gratitude, the RSM has named the main hall in his name “The Nadhmi Auchi Foyer".

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A Bereaved Community Mourns At The News
By Huda Metti :: 21300 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ – The Chaldean community around the world stand numb and in disbelief as news of Archbishop Bishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul is dead.

Outcry from world leaders swayed no influence as fanatical terrorists proved once more that no women, children, medical providers, and now spiritual leaders are safe from their killing spree.  “These are innocent people that want to help bring peace.  They kill them, because they are filled with hate.  These barbarians have no faith in anything, but their own rise to power,” said Omar Touma, a recent refugee and Chaldean parishioner of the Good Shepherd Chaldean Church in Canada.   

Text of the news, mournful cries, and prayer messages quickly traveled via e-mail and phone messaging reporting the sorrowful news.  Our Bishop is dead, decried one message as images of weeping families huddled together comforting one another. 

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Chaldean Archibishop Paulos Faraj Rahho Kidnapped and Parishioners Murdered
By Huda Metti :: 36746 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

Mosul, Iraq - Gunmen have kidnapped the archbishop of the Chaldean Catholic Church in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and murdered three of his aides.  The 65 year old archbishop was ordained in 2001.  Archibishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was ambushed as he left a church in the eastern al-Nour district, immediately after he finished celebrating the rite of the Via Crucis at a local church and shared consoling words of hope and peace.

Eyewitnesses said that a group of armed men attacked Archbishop Rahho’s vehicle.  The gunmen opened fire on the car, killing the three aides, before kidnapping the archbishop.  There is no further information of Rahho's whereabouts or his condition.  An aide to Iraq's Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, leader of the church, said he did not know who was behind the kidnapping of the 65-year-old archbishop.

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi Christians have been targeted by Islamic extremists who label them "crusaders" loyal to U.S. troops.  Fanatic Muslims  are using this strategy in order to recruit other extremists, raise terror funds, and force Christians to flee the country forfeiting their homes and property to extremists.  Property is then sold or used to fund insurgency strikes against coalition forces. 

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Iraqi Christians Hope to Inspire Peace via Diplomacy and Dialogue
By Huda Metti :: 28333 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

Kirkuk, IRAQ - Chaldean Archbishop Sako has been elected interim chairman of the Iraqi Council of Christians.  A newly formed body that works to broker peace in Iraq and help communicate the importance of Christians in the Middle East.  The Archbishop explains that the goal is to create a single unit to engage with the authorities and Christians’ Muslim brothers, but not to be a political party.

The idea developed after a series of deadly coordinated attacks against Christian early this year across Iraq.  Iraqi Christians remain at risk and weakened by persecution and continual harassment.  Mass emigration and without proper political representation the indigenous people of Iraq are fast faltering.  Working at first at the local level the Christian Council is hoping to create a unified voice that will work to promote peace and solidarity among all Iraqis. 

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Baghdad Santa Returns to visit the kids in one Small Town in Iraq
By Guest Reporter :: 14288 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ - Here's what Karrar Haider, a 10-year-old Shi'ite boy at a school in eastern Baghdad, told Santa he wants this year for the holidays:  "I have one wish to ask Santa Claus. Please bring peace to my country. Stop the bombs so I can play with my friends again."

Santa - who spends the rest of the year disguised as a 48-year-old Chaldean Christian monastery administrator named Jalal Hourmoz - said he was delighted to spread joy after two years when sectarian violence made a merry Christmas impossible.

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Pope Appoints Chaldean Patriarch as Cardinal
By Huda Metti :: 27658 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Vatican City – Hundreds and hundreds of Chaldeans traveled across the world to Rome to witness the appointment of the Chaldean Patriarch to a Vatican Cardinal.  Chaldeans across the globe glued to Nour Sat and EWTN to watch the world televised ceremony.

When Pope Benedict XVI placed a red hat on Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad during a Nov. 24 consistory in St. Peter's Basilica, he was honoring not just the patriarch of the Chaldean church, but was elevating the plight of Iraqi Christians to the world's attention.

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Chaldean Bishop Says Education in Democracy Key to Enduring Peace in Iraq
By Rita Abro :: 13539 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Washington DC, USA - While Iraq’s most dreadful year of 2006 is still comparably safer than some of America’s most popular cities the Democratic leaders in congress still wish to surrender the conflict.   Petraeus demonstrated a significant drop in violence since 2006 and still the Democratic leaders remained unconvinced of the need to stay in Iraq. 

Mgr Rabban al-Qas, Chaldean bishop of Ahmadiya, in Northern Iraq, speaking a day after the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, began presenting his report to the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees of the US Congress on the impact of the recent surge of US troops in Iraq says progress has been made, but “A concrete solution to the Iraqi crisis must come from the people themselves, not from the barrel of the gun.”

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Chaldean Patriarch Encourages French World Leaders to Guide Peace Efforts
By Rita Abro :: 12 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Paris, FRANCE - After years of shunning involvement in a war it said was wrong, France now says it may help to bring peace in Iraq, proposing itself as an "honest broker" between the Sunni, Shi'ite, and Kurdish factions.

After meeting with the influential Chaldean Patriarch, Emmanuel III Delly, French world leaders talk of more active role in bringing peace to the war torn region.  The persuasive and passionate Patriarch urged world leaders to assist in ending the ongoing violence in Iraq.

The world renowned Catholic leader is known for his diplomacy in Islamic and Christian affairs, as well as his understanding and leadership in Middle Eastern and Western cultural differences. 

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Chaldeans Forced to Flee Ancient Roots
By Rita Abro :: 24142 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Jdeide, LEBANON- One-way exodus for Iraqi Christian families resigned to never returning to land of their ancestors.

Reduced to sneaking in the night across borders to escape and then moonlighting to survive, most Iraqi Christian families are resigned to never returning to the land of their ancestors.

"Under Saddam we lived in safety. At least we had our dignity and a decent life," said Duleir Nuri Sleiman, father of three girls, referring to Iraq's executed leader Saddam Hussein who ruled with an iron fist.

With his eyes on Europe or the United States for resettlement, Sleiman has reached the transit stop of Lebanon, filled with worries about health care, schooling and avoiding detention by immigration authorities.

The Chaldean family lives five to a spartan room above a barber's shop in the Christian suburb of Jdeide on the outskirts of Beirut, relying on his modest income as a painter and decorator.

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Chaldean Families in Iraq Targeted for Their Beliefs
By Guest Reporter :: 19573 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Georgina, CAN - A Georgina man is in a desperate race against time to rescue his sister and her family from Baghdad, Iraq.

Described as the most dangerous city on Earth, Baghdad is torn apart by sectarian violence amid a wider civil war.

It is a city where how you worship God can literally get you killed.

Sam Taan, who operates the Daisy Mart in Sutton, said the urgency to get his sister, Ban, her husband Raad (their last names are withheld over safety concerns) and their two young sons, grew last month when Raad's brother Fatah was murdered by one of the many Islamic militias that prowl the city.

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Chaldeans Go on High-Alert as 'Ethnic Cleansing' Efforts in Iraq Begin
By Huda Metti :: 20130 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ - Chaldeans in Iraq go on high-alert as word spreads that Islamic terrorists groups are aggressively targeting non-muslims in Iraq.  The religious genocide by Islamic fanatics has taken a horrific and dreadful turn as over 500 Yazidi villagers were massacred this past week.  Islamic leaders and followers in Iraq and around the world continue to remain silent, and by doing so send a message of approval. 

The Tuesday bomb attack near Mosul is the latest in an onslaught of targeted killings against non-Muslims.  Provincial authorities in Nineveh province fear that in addition to those already accounted for, another 200 people might still be buried in the rubbles left by the devastating truck bombings. Sources in Iraq warn that the multiple attacks are part of a wider plan that is likely to target Christian villages in the historically Christian Nineveh plain very soon.

The bombings are the deadliest since the war began in 2003. The coordinated operation involved five trucks filled with explosives that killed indiscriminately as body parts of men, women, and children were torn apart and shredded across the streets in a ghastly portrayal of Islam gone awry.  

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Chaldean Exodus Remains Unnoticed and Ignored
By Rita Abro :: 18 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Goettingen, Gergmany — While Iraq is constantly in world news reports the plight of Iraqi Christians goes mostly unnoticed. According to the Society for Threatened People in Goettingen, Germany, Iraq currently experiences the biggest persecution of Christians of our time.

In fear of murders, bomb-attacks, kidnappings, and torture  Christians have been fleeing the country by the thousands.

Approximately 75 percent of the 650,000 Christians in Iraq have been driven from their homes. They have fled mainly to neighboring Syria or Lebanon.

A Christian community with a history of 2,000 years is in danger of becoming extinct, according to the human rights organization.

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Stop the Persecution of Iraqi Christians
By Ann Bahri :: 18045 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA - The Chaldean Committe for the the Human Rights of the Christians of Iraq will be holding a peace rally on Friday, June 15, 2007, in front of the federal building at 880 Front St., San Diego between 12 noon - 2:00 p.m.

The rally hopes to bring to the world’s attention the continuous oppression, inhumane and brutal treatment of Iraqi Christians. The Iraqi Christians are a daily target for kidnapping, bombing, assassination and other acts of violence because of their religion.

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Will The World Continue to Remain Indifferent as Chaldeans Are Massacred?
By Sam Yousif :: 21996 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, Iraq - Another Chaldean Catholic priest and three church deacons were gunned down in Mosul, Iraq, on Sunday, June 3rd.  Father Ragheed Ganni and three deacons from his parish-- Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho, Gassan Isam Bidawed-- were slain after celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy on Sunday.

Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly referred to the attack as “a crime against God.”

As the young priest and three deacons left the church their car was stopped by group of armed gunmen.  Pointing their weapons in the car they slaughtered the four Catholics then rigged the car to explode should anyone attempt to remove the dead bodies.   The horrific site remained for several hours until a police bomb-squad defused the devices. 

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George and Baida Survive the Christian Exodus as the Genocide of Iraq Continues
By Guest Reporter :: 34 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Texas, USA - San Anonio reporter Todd Bensman produces a stunning account of the tenuous journey of one Chaldean family forced to leave Iraq under Islamist threats of beheading.  The horrific tale of a young Chaldean family forced to abandon everything and to wander the world in fear with an infant and toddler.  The Genocide of Christians in Iraq continues to fall on deaf ears as the world plays politics and abandons the peaceful native Iraqi Christians.  Iraqi Christians are left to be slaughtered by Islamists or tortured for ransom money to fuel their insurgency.    

The journey north from Guatemala through Mexico to the Texas border lasted 17 days.  Finally, on the evening of Feb. 26, 2006, the young family of four saw the river come into view.  Weary and beaten, with the baby starting to fuss, they drove right up to the Rio Grande.

George and his wife, Baida, were Iraq refugees. They fled their homeland for Detroit because Muslim extremists had made two things very clear: They didn't like the family's Christian faith, for one. But what was worse, to the Islamic gunmen prowling the neighborhood, were the sons' names, George and Toni, which seemed to lionize U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The decision to hire a smuggler to get them to the United States was clinched after militants told George Sr., a milk delivery man, that he was next on the beheading list for being an "infidel Christian," and the people running the nursery that cared for the couple's two children while Baida, a hair stylist, was working became untrustworthy.

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Minority Rights Group International Ranks Iraq Second in Persecution
By Rita Abro :: 18407 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends
Baghdad, IRAQ - Minority Rights Group International (MRG) releases their State of the World’s Minority’s 2007 report was released last week.  The report highlights  minority groups in Iraq, including Christians and women, as among the most vulnerable in the world.

Iraq is home to a shrinking indigenous population of Christian groups with Chaldeans composing only three percent of the 26 million people in the country.

The minority report cited the September-October UNAMI (United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq) report that noted a spike in violence against all Christians in Iraq, including churches and convents being attacked by rocket and gunfire and religious leaders being kidnapped and beheaded in October.
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Islamic Terrorist Begin to Target Women and Children Along With Christians
By Sam Yousif :: 34 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, World News & Odds 'N' Ends
Baghdad, IRAQ — Frustrated Islamic radical insurgents are beginning to change strategies as attacks on Christians, women, and children increase.  During the most holy week for Christians around the world, those in Iraq are praying to stay alive as Islamic terrorists ramp up their campaign of death and carnage.  Two elderly sisters beaten to death, a 14-year-old boy, nailed to a cross, another child toddler beheaded because parents were unable to raise ransom money, and now a suicide truck bomber with his payload hidden in flour kills 15 including a newborn girl and wounds nearly 200 people in Kirkuk. 
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Elderly Chaldean Sisters Beaten to Death
By Ziad Bitti :: 25 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, World News & Odds 'N' Ends


BAGHDAD, IRAQ - There was growing concern about spreading anti-Christian violence in Iraq after church officials confirmed two elderly women of the Catholic Chaldean community were beaten to death.

Fadila Naoum, 85, and her 79-year-old bed-ridden sister Margaret were killed Monday, March 26, 2007 in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, said Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk.
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Chaldean Refugees of Lebanon in Need of Aid
By Guest Reporter :: 14 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends


Beirut, LEBANON - Its procession of frond-waving believers, the singing and chanting, and the proud parents snapping photos of their princess-garbed daughters made the Palm Sunday celebration in the Beirut suburb of al-Fanar look like any of the hundreds occurring all over Lebanon. But after the service, the conversations among parishioners revealed the special nature of this community. Many of them spoke Arabic with heavy Iraqi accents — al-Fanar has become a magnet for Christian refugees from Iraq.
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Rebuilding of Iraq Offers Hope and Peace
By Sabah Hajjar :: 12940 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Fallujah, IRAQ - Chaldeans are taking an active role in rebuilding Iraq.  Although Chaldeans have been shut-out of the Iraqi government, that hasn’t stopped courageous Chaldeans from finding ways to rebuild the land they love.  “This land is our father and mother.  We were born from this ground.  We have a bond with this land.  We are the native people of this land for nearly ten thousand years,” says Ibtissam Halibu. 

Halibu’s husband currently serves in the Iraqi government as a field engineer and is one of the nearly thousands of Chaldeans serving Iraq.  Chaldeans are helping the U.S. Military and the Iraqi police bring peace to a nation torn by insurgents bent on creating instability and chaos.

Even though the U.S. Military receives little recognition for the redevelopment effort in Iraq, American Soldiers and Marines continue to risk their lives improving the quality of life for all Iraqi’s.  “I have seen first hand of new schools, health clinics, and police stations being built everyday,” says Walid Poules, an engineer and construction contractor.

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Chaldeans React to World Youth Day
By Evon Elias :: 27457 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA – In the hours before dawn stirs, a “youth” of the world is waking up to say a prayer, only to see that every way he turns, on the cold ground with sleeping bags and blankets, scores of his own peers are wrapped up tightly and are entranced in a dream which has arisen in their minds. And as he quietly turns to face the church and kneel, he allows his fingers to softly intertwine, securing faith, hope and love between the smoothes of his palms. He then gently lifts his head to look upon the rock of his faith, and smiles as his heart says its prayer.

While many Catholic youths across the globe gather for events, prayers, and other such occasions in their towns, for five days every two to three years, the youthful believers of Catholicism make their way to one special spot in the world to unite with the Holy Father and other religious leaders. As Pope John Paul II stated in his letter to Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio on the event of the seminar on World Youth Days organized in Czestochowa, a city in southern Poland, this is done “ to consolidate the ordinary youth ministry by offering new encouragement for commitment, objectives which foster ever greater involvement and participation.”

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Chaldean Refugees Trapped in Mexico & U.N. Calling for Aid
By Rita Abro :: 21 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends
Monterrey, MEXICO – Chaldeans forced to leave Iraq have few choices.  As Christians in a country that continues to embrace radical Islam Chaldeans are fleeing by the hundred thousands.  Rafid Bedou, frustrated and angry says, “What choices do we have?  If we stay in Iraq they rape and torture our daughters and kill our sons.  Iraq is turning into a living hell.” 
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Tariq Aziz Begs To Live in Rome
By Rita Abro :: 24 Views :: Article Rating :: World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Rome, ITALY - Tariq Aziz, who served as deputy prime minister of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, has issued a plea to the Italian government and the Vatican for permission to live in Rome while he awaits trial on human-rights charges.

Giovanni DiStefano, an Italian lawyer for the former Iraqi official, explained that his client would like the Italian government and/or the Vatican to guarantee that he will appear to appear when his case is ready for trial. DiStefano said that he is asking the Iraqi court to release Aziz on bail.

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Chaldean Seminary and Theological University Moved and Inaugurated
By Ziad Bitti :: 23 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Ankawa, IRAQ– A century old seminary has been forced to leave Baghdad.  Under pressure of violence and continual attacks the Chaldean Seminary and Theological University was forced to close.  Baghdad stands as the center of the civil strife in Iraq between violent Muslim Shi’ite and Sunni groups.  Christians in the region have been forced to leave Baghdad after numerous killings, kidnappings, and torture of community leaders.  As the capital of Iraq is being emptied of its Christians, property and land is being stolen by Sunni and Shi’ite militias.

Erbil’s Chaldean bishop, Mgr Rabban al-Qas, said that the doors to the Chaldean Major Seminary and Babel College, Iraq’s only theological faculty run by the Chaldean Church, have reopened in Kurdistan after shutting down because of the growing insecurity in the Iraq. The two institutions were in fact officially inaugurated last Thursday after moving from Baghdad to Ankawa, near Erbil, in Kurdistan.

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US Criticized for Continuing to Abandon Iraqi Refugees
By Rita Abro :: 19 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA - The United States continues to come under criticism by humanitarian groups for ignoring their responsibility in providing for up to 3 million Iraqis displaced from their homes.  American reputation and leadership continues to plummet among international leaders after continuing allegations of an illegal war against Iraq and ignoring the humanitarian crisis aftermath. 

Echoing former US president Fords implication that the US may be liable for taking unfounded preemptive military action against Iraq, calls for a war tribunal against the US increases across the globe

Aid organizations report a rapidly mounting crisis of refugees inside Iraq and in neighboring countries as thousands flee sectarian violence every day. The United Nations estimates that there are more than 1.5 million Iraqis displaced within the country and a similar number living as refugees in Jordan, Syria and elsewhere.

The Michigan based Chaldean Federation of America (CFA) has been working tirelessly with US legislators to bring to light the crisis and need for support.  The CFA has expressed positive working relations with legislatures like Democrat Senator Carl Levin but continues to run into obstacle after obstacle dealing with the State Department or White House administration. 

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Spiraling Sectarian Violence in Irqq - Not Random
By Ziad Bitti :: 11 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Like other minority members in Iraq, Mardon Matrood, a 44-year-old Assyrian shopkeeper in Baghdad, has had enough of the country's sectarian violence.

"Minorities in Iraq are targeted by insurgents and militias, who want us out of the country as they promote what they call the 'cleansing of Iraq, of non-Muslim communities'," said Matrood who is living with his family of six in an abandoned government building.

Four months ago Matrood's family failed to pay a ransom of US $50,000 to kidnappers who had abducted his nephew. The nephew was later found dead.

"We are a poor family.  We couldn't pay [the ransom money] and after two weeks we were informed that the police had found his body near a mosque in Adhamiyah district (northern Baghdad). It was totally mangled, burned and tortured," Matrood said.

Spiraling sectarian violence has threatened the decades-long peaceful coexistence in Iraq between members of different religions, sects and tribes. Now Sunni and Shi'ite extremists are targeting minorities in a bid to force them out of the country.

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Chaldean Leaders of Iraq Forced to Call off Public Displays of Christmas for Safety Sake
By Sam Yousif :: 8 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, Iraq – Continual pleas for neutrality and safety by the indigenous people of Iraq have fallen on deaf ears.  The Chaldean minorities remains targets by insurgents bent on destabilizing Iraq and turn the modern nation into a fanatic Islamic regime.   Chaldeans are not only the targets of Islamic fundamentalist but also Kurdish, Shia, and Sunni militias that pick apart the minority group in order to claim their land or raise ransom money to fund their military groups. 

“We have become pawns in this deadly game of chess that threatens to wipe out a people who have remained in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) for over ten-thousand years,” says Yousif Kanno a Chaldean antiquity historian.

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Red Cross Emblem Proliferation Becomes A Concern
By Rita Abro :: 8 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghadad, Iraq - Former medical volunteer in Iraq, Ramy Bakko shrugs and nods his head in confusion over the proliferation of the Red Cross emblem.   “Evil works in small ways.  Evil works to divide and conquer.  These new Muslim Iraqi people want to take over our country.”   Ramy Bakko was attacked for using Red Cross equipment in a Muslim country.  “They say I should be a Red Crescent. I tell them I am, I show them my shirt and badge, they call me a spy and that I am to be killed.  If not by God’s grace I would have been killed if one of the men did not recognize me for helping his child.  They let me go free and say if I use a Red Cross they will spill my red blood.”

The Chaldean medical doctor serves for the international aid society that provides humanitarian aid during times of war.  Often protected under the Red Cross or Red Crescent societies volunteers are called to help the injured.  “I have no job so I try to help those who are hurt.  I don’t care if they are Christian, Muslim, or Jew.  I try to save a life.  Because as you can see, my reward is one day my life will be saved.”

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Saddam Sentenced To Death By Hanging
By Guest Reporter :: 13 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's High Tribunal on Sunday found Saddam Hussein guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to hang for the 1982 killing of 148 Shiites in the city of Dujail. The visibly shaken former leader shouted "God is great!"

Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of the former Revolutionary Court, were sentenced to join Saddam on the gallows for the Dujail killings after an unsuccessful assassination attempt during a Saddam visit to the city 35 miles north of Baghdad.

The death sentences automatically go to a nine-judge appeals panel which has unlimited time to review the case. If the verdicts and sentences are upheld, the executions must be carried out within 30 days.

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Pope and Chaldean Patriarch Meet
By Ziad Bitti :: 24 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Castelgandolofo, Italy - Pope Benedict said on Sunday he hoped Iraq's Christian minority could continue to live in peace with the Muslim majority in a country where people of both religions faced tragedy on a daily basis.

The Pontiff, who has been trying to patch up relations with Muslims after a controversial speech last month, said Iraq had traditionally been a place of harmony between Muslims and Christians.

Benedict said the leader of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church visited him on Friday and told him of the "tragic reality faced every day by the dear population of Iraq where Christians and Muslims have lived together for 14 centuries as children of the same land.

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Can We Talk? Hosni Mubarak should call Benedict XVI
By Guest Reporter :: 17 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Guest reporter DANIEL HENNINGER of the Wall Street Journal reports:

Who says the world lacks leaders? After again expressing his "respect" for Islam, Pope Benedict XVI at his weekly Vatican audience two days ago moved one of his knights forward on the global chessboard of Islamic politics.

Amid amped-up security in St. Peter's Square, the pope said: "I trust that after the initial reaction, my words at the University of Regensburg can constitute an impulse and encouragement toward positive, even self-critical dialogue both among religions and between modern reason and Christian faith."

Setting aside the impeccable understatement of "the initial reaction"--churches torched world-wide--it is close to thrilling in a world of persistent confusion about the intentions of contemporary Islam to see the pope step forward, not back, and speak without apology on behalf of "modern reason."

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Freedom of Expression in Turkey Spared This Time
By Rita Abro :: 10 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

ISTANBUL, Turkey - A Turkish court has acquitted a prize-winning author of charges of insulting the nation in a book about the massacres of Armenians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans during World War I, saving the government from a fresh embarrassment in its bid to join the European Union.

 The acquittal of Elif Shafak came in the opening hearing of her trial Thursday, held in a cramped courtroom in central Istanbul under tight security in case of violence by nationalist protestors.

The judges based their decision on a lack of evidence to prove that Shafak, 35, "denigrated the Turkish national identity" in remarks by fictional Armenian characters in her best-selling novel "The Bastard of Istanbul" or "Baba ve Pic" (The Father and the Bastard) in Turkish.

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Chaldean Leaders Call For Calm and Reason
By Rita Abro :: 15 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA  -- "Poor uneducated Muslims are led blindly into ongoing violence and outrage is coached by irresponsible leaders," says Bashar Sitto.  “Moderate and modern Muslims seem to have lost control to the radical fundamentalists who have hijacked Islam.” 

For the oppressed minority Christians in the Muslim dominated governments, like the Chaldeans of Iraq, fear runs high as they remain vulnerable to potential acts of violence of fanatical Muslims stirred to act with hatred.

Supported by irresponsible media bent on sensationalizing the news and highlighting a Muslim-Christian divide even where one does not exist, only contribute to the grave state of sectarian relations in Iraq today.

The world remains stunned at the easy manipulation and hypersensitivity of Muslims, who refuse to accept the Pope’s academic discussion and focus on a quote taken out of context.  Iraqi religious scholar Abdel Hussam Hussain feels the Islamic governments are at risk as more fanatical elements gain control of interpreting Islam.  Hussain feels the threat of an eventual overthrow of current Islamic are in grave danger.

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Abductions of Iraqi Christians Hit Close to Home
By Rita Abro :: 21 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Guest reporter Kelly Thornton of the Union-Tribune reports:

 

California, USA -- B.E. was hoping for a call about a house-painting job. Instead, the Iraqi immigrant living in El Cajon heard his sister's voice, with terrible news from Baghdad.

A family member had been abducted by masked gunmen demanding a $30,000 ransom.

Kidnapping is nothing new in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, but lately there's a new twist: Some of the targets are Iraqi Christians likely to have family members in the United States or Europe who can pay to save them.

B.E. – who insists on anonymity because of concern for his family – began frantically seeking help from relatives and friends in El Cajon. Family members in Chicago, Detroit and Europe did the same

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Iraqi Ambassador Meets With Chaldean Community Leaders in the U.S.
By Sam Yousif :: 12 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA -- Iraq's U.S. Ambassador Meets With U.S. Chaldean Community Leaders

Iraq's Ambassador to the U.S. is meeting with Chaldeans and other Iraqi-Americans in metro Detroit, urging them to support U.S. efforts in Iraq.

"It's important to persuade the American public and American government not to abandon Iraq at this stage," Ambassador Samir Sumadaie said in an interview Friday at the Westin Hotel in Southfield. "Abandoning it would turn it into a failed state and create a huge amount of terrorism and destruction in Iraq."

Sumadaie, a Sunni Muslim, met with Chaldeans, Iraqi Catholics, at a church in Southfield on Friday, and is expected to meet with Iraqi Shiite Muslims in Dearborn on Saturday.

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Chaldean Priest Kidnapped in Baghdad Released
By Rita Abro :: 25 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, Iraq – Sources close to www.CHALDEAN.org have confirmed the release of a Chaldean priest Fr. Saad Sirop.    The priest was kidnapped nearly a month ago.  The Chaldean Patriarch had held recent meetings with the president of Iraq.  Rome had also sent numerous appeals to Iraq requesting increased efforts to free the priest.  

Fr Saad Hanna Sirop, 34 years, was kidnapped by a gang of criminals shortly after Vespers Mass on 15 August. The young priest, ordained in Rome in 2001, is in charge of the theological department of Babel College, the country’s only university of Christian religious studies, in Baghdad.

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Destruction of Iraqi Antiquities Draws International Concern
By Rita Abro :: 9 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Iraq, Baghdad  — There is mounting international concern among historical and antiquity scholars that Iraq ministers may try to change their history.  The “cradle of civilization” has been a fountain of information to the world, divulging archaeological secrets going as far back as ten thousand years. 

Scholars are worried that the appointment of religiously conservative Shiite Muslims throughout Iraq’s traditionally secular archaeological institutions will threaten the preservation of the country’s pre-Islamic history.

Sumerian, Akkadian, Chaldean, Assyrian, Babylonian, Parthian, Sassanian and a lineage of other civilizations are at threat to be lost forever. Ongoing looting, and what some fear to be intended efforts to remove pre-Islamic history, continues at archaeological sites throughout Iraq.

Dr. Donny George’s recent departure as chairman of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, and his flight to Syria with his family, is among the latest results of a transformation that began in December when a Shiite-dominated government was elected in Baghdad.

Indicative of the Taliban regime destroying historic antiquities in Afghanistan many scholars fear that Iraqi fundamentalist Islamists plan to do the same. “They are bringing their family and their tribes and giving them high jobs.  They are not qualified.  They are not trained or believe in what they do or what is right for Iraqi history,” says Selwa Marpouls, a Chaldean archeologist who has worked for the former ministry. “This is very bad.  Iraqi history will be changed forever if something is not done.”

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Chaldean Patriarch and Iraqi President Meet
By Rita Abro :: 13 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, Iraq - “The Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, welcomed Patriarch Emanuel Delly III and Bishop Afock Asardoryan on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 to discuss the recent kidnapping of Fr. Saad Sirop. 

Efforts by the Chaldean eparchy have been tireless in lobbying the Iraqi government to provide protection to the Christian minorities in Iraq.  The recent kidnapping of Fr. Saad has only underscored the contestant threat and vulnerability the native inhabitants of Iraq continue to face. 

Fr. Saad Sirop, a Catholic priest at St. Jacob in Dora, Baghdad was kidnapped, tortured, and is being held for ransom. 

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Pregnant Author Called to Stand Trial for Offending Turkishness
By Rita Abro :: 7 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Armenians have long called for Turkey to accept responsibility for the slaughter of minorities.  Unprotected and left ravaged by the Turks over a million were murdered. 

Turkey has stubbornly refused to participate in any investigation or address concerns by the European Union regarding the genocide.  Turkey, a Western ally and NATO member has long moved counter to inherent democratic principals.  Now Turkey has turned to trample on the inherent freedoms of expression by putting on trial one of Turkey’s leading authors who boldly calls for the Turkish government to reveal the truth. 

Elif Shafak, one of Turkey's leading authors, is about to have a baby — and go on trial.  The reason for this strange conjunction of joy and foreboding is her new novel, which has exposed her to a charge of "insulting Turkishness" because it touches on one of the most disputed episodes of her country's history — the massacres of Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

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Chaldeans Applaud Euro MPs New Turkey Demands
By Rita Abro :: 7 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

London, UK - “Would Europe allow a country to join the union if it stubbornly denies the facts of a Jewish Holocaust,” says Suhala Yohannan, a Chaldean activist fighting to educate Europe of the atrocities and danger of Turkey’s denial.  “For healing to take place, for the sake of understanding, the EU must reject Turkey’s bid if they continue to hide and deceive.  They refuse to be true partners and embrace core democratic principals.” 

Turkey continues to snub Europe and their calls for reform.  European MPs have criticized Turkey's slow pace of reform and said it should recognize the massacre of Armenians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans in 1915 as genocide before joining the EU.

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Head of U.S. Chaldean group presses government, U.N. on Iraqi exiles
By Guest Reporter :: 15 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Guest Reporter Mark Pattison of the Catholic News Service (CNS) reports:

Virgina, USA -  Joseph Kassab, head of the Chaldean Federation of America, met Aug. 25 for the sixth time this year with officials from the State Department to press the case to allow Chaldeans -- Iraqi Christians -- fleeing their homeland to emigrate to the United States.

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Chaldean Priest Remains Missing, Community Leaders Fear the Worse
By Sam Yousif :: 22 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, Iraq – Chaldeans around the world remained stunned at the escalating violence in Iraq and the boldness of kidnappers to take hostage Chaldean priest, Rev. Hanna Saad Sirop.  Christians continue to remain targets as Muslim groups hope to drive the minority population out of the region.  

The Rev. Hanna Saad Sirop, who is director of the Theology Department at Babel College, was abducted Aug. 15 as he left Mass celebrating the Assumption holiday.

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The Hospital Killing Fields
By Rita Abro :: 10040 Views :: Article Rating :: World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, Iraq - Chaldeans have long fought to bring attention to the chaos and vulnerability citizens face between warring groups of Muslim Imams fighting for dominance in Iraq.   In a city with few real refuges from sectarian violence -- not government offices, not military bases, not even mosques, and for sure not churches -- one place was considered a safe haven: hospitals.  Not anymore!

Chaldeans often relied on themselves for healthcare due to their third-class status in Iraq.  Now Muslim Neighbors are turning to their Christian neighbors for aid as Iraqi hospitals become battle grounds between Shiite and Sunni. 

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