The Christians in Iraq
By Geoffrey Cook, MMNS
Berkeley–In Iraq we are seeing the tragic aftermath of the conflict â€“ one side basically Christian and the other largely Muslims. According to the CIA (the US.â€™ Central Intelligenceâ€™s) World Fact Book, the country was 3% Christian. In estimates, in the American press, the numbers range from 200,000 to 720,000. In Mesopotamia most Christians are of the dominant Chaldean domination but also the Syrian, Latin, and Armenian Catholics, and members of a various Orthodox sects. Their numbers have fallen from more than a million during the past 20 years, as emigration has taken its toll. In the Arab News, one of the most trusted news services in the Arab-speaking areas of the Middle East, a story appeared — dated September 17th 2010 — from Baghdad on the River itself, they reported that nearly half of the Christians had fled their ancient natal land since the American invasion of 2003. The U.N. (United Nations) approximates the true figure within the capital alone to have 1.5 million residing within the capital alone. A Christian countryman in exile in London declaimed, â€œThe Majority of Christians [have] left Iraq because of religious persecution by [by the Right-wing â€œIslamicâ€ — mainly foreign â€“ mainly the foreign mercenaries–extremists [i.e., violent Jihadi],â€ for, within the land of the two Rivers the Christians, being a People of the Book, were a (legally) active and accepted members of society and even involved in politics (i.e., most notably Tariq Aziz Husseinâ€™s last Deputy Prime Minister is a (Christian) Chaldean Catholic. Incidentally, at the time of this writing, he has been condemned to be executed, but the present President Jalal has refused the death warrant.) Currently, the afore-quoted Arab News stated that there are less than 500,000 Christians left.
Why should American Muslims care about Iraqi Christians? For one thing, the American media has found much propaganda value in the calamity upon this minority who has been native to the land longer than the Muslims. In fact, most Muslims there today were very likely past converts from Christian families in residing in the Eastern Roman Empireâ€™s Diocese (with which the Roman bureaucrats came to call their province) of the East after (Emperor) â€œSaintâ€ Constantineâ€™s conversion to Christianity. From 636 C.E. (the Common Era), the Islamic Arabs have been dominated the population in Baghdadâ€™s and its hinterlands. Although after often found themselves to be provinces within the forthcoming Empires.
Al Qaeda in Iraqâ€™s wholesale murder of Christians and the burning of churches and the brutal mass murder within their ancient houses of worship is intended to bring reignite the hostility of the West against Iraqi people and, especially, the new government of Iraq in their devilish â€œpolicyâ€ to prolong the War. This violent persecution along with their attack upon the majority, and the Shia the subsequent massacres of Kurds which have encouraged the Sunni to reply in kind. This has intended to encourage a devastating civil war. This senseless violent campaign in post-War Iraq is to campaign would discourage the re-construction from the War with America. Historically, Islamic citizens, for the most part, were able to get along on a personally with Christians (and even with the Iraqi Jews â€“ due to the persecution of the Baathist Party of [i.e. Arab Socialism) Saddam in the response of a hostile Israeli State although the political fractures during the Saddam regime were strained on both sectarian and ethnic lines.
In a future article your author would like to write up a primary literary source, an interview, your writer did with a Jesuit, Father Pierre de Charenteney, S.J. (the Society of Jesus of Jesus), the most intellectual of the (Christian) Roman Catholic religious (monastic) order who had just returned (in 2008) as a member of a delegation to determine the state of the Christians in Iraq. Your journalist does not believe Father deChartenayâ€™s perceptions will be obnoxious to Islam, but will provide those who are living outside the non-Muslim (majority) States, the knowledge and the arguments to hysteric anti- Islamic narrative that the major media outlets in North America and Europe have created and the ignorance of our political and religious Right-wings. I shall proceed with this project with you, and, also, with your essayists Kashmir project I began last week.