Since the advent of Christianity, all the
Christian Churches of the East had been established on the teachings of
the Holy Bible and its laws, with doctrines set out and constituted by the
disciples and apostles themselves. In essence their doctrine was one and
the same. The only difference
from one another was that they retained their own rites and canon law. The
Concept of the Christian Godhead had not yet been fully understood in the
western world. Yet despite its shortcoming, the Roman Church believed that
it was within its right to unite the Christian churches and bring them all
under its wing because of its imperial mentality.
The authority of the Roman Imperial power
of both the state and the church, looked at doctrines of the Christian
churches of the East, which predated the Western Church, as misguided or
in error of the Roman doctrine.
The Roman Church wanted all members of the Council of Churches to
abide by the Roman credo. The
Assyrian church of the East, including other churches that refused to
submit to its doctrinal issues declared by Constantinople, were viewed as
defiant of the Imperial Authority of Rome of both the State and
Churches that refused to acknowledge the
Papal authority of Constantinople were disfavoured. The Roman Church took a
hostile stance against several Asian churches that disagreed with it
straight-out on doctrinal matters. They were anathematized, antagonized
and pressured to submit to the doctrine of the Roman Church or face
retribution and expulsion from their abodes. The Roman Church, relying on the
Imperial power, began dictating its terms on certain Greek, Cypriots and
Eastern Christian communities.
And so, beginning from the 5th
century, disaffection increased between the Eastern and the Western
Churches due to theological disputes. Zealotry intensified the
disputes. The Vatican, having
the upper hand due to its position in Rome, used the Roman state authority
as part of its bullying tactics. The two estranged Churches continued to
live in alienation of each other for over five centuries - until the
mid-11th, when the Western Church officially declared its
separation from the Eastern Church; hence the final separation known as
the Great Schism of 1054.
Churches and Christian communities that
succumbed to the Roman Church were allowed to stay and function under the
full protection of the Roman Imperial power. They submitted to the Papal
authority and affiliated with the Roman Church. Still, other Churches
became Uniate to avoid intimidation or excommunication and even expulsion
from their dwellings. Those that resisted Roman dictates were openly
Certain Churches that differed from the
Doctrine of the Roman Church yet had lived under the rule of the Imperial
power of Rome continued to be bullied, with threats of expulsion from
their habitat. Several church
groups were expelled from their abodes to territories beyond the direct
rule and sphere of influence of the Roman Empire. Their leaders were banished to
outposts of extreme harsh and hostile environment. The Assyrians that had
resisted Roman pressure were forcibly removed from their dwellings and
exiled to Persia. While in
Nisibis, the Assyrians were besmeared with the misnomer "Nestorian". After their exile to Persia, the
Romans labeled the Assyrians "Mesopotamian-Persian".
In about the mid-fifteen century AD
(1445), the Vatican, and for the first time in the history of its church,
used the term "Chaldean" on the Cypriots that reconciled with Rome to
distinguish them from Nestorians proper. Those Nestorian Cypriots that had
submitted to Catholicism and termed
"Chaldean" were not Assyrian in nationality. They were given
protection and allowed to seek asylum in countries under Roman rule and
influence of the Roman Church. The Vatican has since used this delusive
"Chaldean" term on the Assyrian Catholics of Mesopotamia (of present-day
Iraq). The "Chaldean" miscall has no valid relation with the nationality
of the Greek Cypriots or any other Middle Eastern nationality. The term "Chaldean" does not
signify a racial identity.
It is meant to denote a denomination, not a nation; be the person
or church Greek, Cypriot, Assyrian or Arab.
In the case of the Assyrian Christians of
Mesopotamia, they had been falsely accused of being followers of
Nestorius, as if the Assyrians had not had their own Christian church
doctrine. They were forced to
submit to Rome. Those that
succumbed to the Vatican were termed "Chaldean" to distinguish them from
The Assyrians were victimized. They
likened their expulsion from their homes, by the Vatican, to Persia during
the Imperial Roman Rule, to that of the Babylonian Captivity of the
Israelites by the Chaldeans.
Yet, the Assyrians take heart and find solace in Job 14: 7-9 and
Isaiah 19: 23-25.
Since fragmentation of the Assyrians, they
have been left at the mercy of their enemies. In the ensuing years, as
religious conflicts grew among various creeds, the Assyrian Church of the
East had been marked as heretic and as enemy of the imperial authority of
Rome of both the State and Church.
They were destined to a dire consequence. They were anathematized
and restricted in their movement to within their own confines. Surrounded
by hostile elements, their activities dwindled and came to a halt,
especially during the Islamic occupation in mid-7th AD and
invasion of the Middle East by the Mongols during the latter half of the
In the mid-sixteenth century, the Assyrian
Bishop John Sulaka competed for leadership of the Church of the East. He challenged the headship of the
Church and demanded that the office of the headship for the Patriarch's
chair be elected rather than appointed. The synod of the Church explained
to Bishop Sulaka that since the Assyrians proper have been estranged, with
no permanent abode, in a kind of captivity, it was impractical to call the
fragmented ecclesiastics to assembly for election. Since the fifteen-century, the custom had
arisen of transmitting the office from uncle to nephew, to ensure
continuity, until circumstances improved. The eclectics promised to
reconsider the matter as soon as the situation improved. Bishop Sulaka was
Bishop Sulaka refused to compromise. He
remained adamant. With an avid desire for the high office, he turned to
Rome. He reconciled
himself to submit to the Vatican and affiliate to the Roman Church to gain
bishopric office, rather than listen to reason. He seceded from his
Assyrian Church of the East with avid desire for a patriarchal post. He
professed his faith to Rome and was ordained patriarch. Bishop Sulaka was appointed
patriarch of the Assyrian (Chaldean) Catholics by Pope Julius III in
1551. The Patriarch has since
borne the title "Patriarch-Catholicos of Babylon of the
Vatican for some ambiguous reason refuses to call the "Chaldean" Catholic
by his genuine nationality as "Assyrian Catholic." His breakaway split the Assyrian
nation in two, both, in nationality and sect.
Since creation of Iraq as an Arab Islamic
State in 1921, the central government has stopped calling the Assyrian
Church of the East and its members by their proper name. It uses the term "Nestorian" for
both the Assyrian Church of the East and its members. Instead, the
official term the Iraqi government uses on the Assyrians is the Misnomer
"Nestorian." The long-term
policy of both the Iraqi government of the day and that of the Vatican are
to annul the racial identity of the Assyrian and replace it with either
the fake "Chaldean" or "Nestorian".
During the reign of the Roman Empire,
Uniate Churches in Asia were allowed to function under protection of the
Roman imperial authority. They were allowed freedom of movement, of
running schools and of printing textbooks and other related material.
While Eastern churches that differed in doctrinal issues with the Vatican
were disallowed. They were excommunicated and anathematised. All the Catholic Churches and its
affiliates in Iraq, in particular the so-called "Chaldean" still enjoys
these privileges. The
Assyrian Church of the East does not. It is still denied these
"privileges", until the present day. The Assyrian Church of the East was
accused of Nestorianism.
Several adherents were expelled, in groups, from their abodes en
masse. They were driven out
of their villages and towns, and forced out into hostile territories, many
of them, beyond the Roman realm. The Assyrians were left to fend on their
Contribution of the Church of the East in
the world of evangelism had been most successful. So was its accomplishment in
spreading the Word. It was
immensely successful to the extent that the Assyrian Church of the East
had a hierarchy of twenty-five metropolitans and over two hundred bishops
spread all over Central Asia and the Far East. Such achievements were
reached outside the sphere of influence of the Roman imperial state and
church powers. After the
latter half of the 14th century, the Assyrian Church of the
East (miscalled "Nestorian") suffered terrible losses.
Centuries of oppression under the Islamic
rule of the "millet" policy since (mid-7th AD to the present) has reduced
their number considerably.
Their preaching activity waned and came to a halt. The Assyrians were brought
close on the brink of extinction. Despite all the adversities, both church
and people miraculously survived the onslaught of the Persian
Zoroastrians, the Arab Moslem sword, the Chinese Mongol brutality, the
treacherous Marauder Kurds, the genocide of the Ottoman Turks and last but
not least, the Vatican's bitter opposition of the Assyrian Church of the
East during the whole span of the Roman era, to our own very
As time went on, those Assyrians, who had
adopted the name "Chaldean", are now claiming kinship to being the
contemporary remnants of the ancient Babylonian dynasty. They claim to be
the direct descendents of the high priests and astrologists of the
clan of Kaldu that once inhabited the land of Chaldea, situated in the
wetland of south of Babylonia of present-day marshlands of southern Iraq.
They have been pressured by the Vatican to remain distant and dissociate
themselves from the Church of the East.
The few but outspoken Assyrian (Chaldean)
Catholics want to replace their Assyrian national identity with the
expired Chaldean one. Just like the Kurds, who distort the nationality of
the indigenous Assyrians by calling them "Christian Kurds"; also like the
Arabs who call the Assyrians: "Christian Arabs." They attempt to blot out the
name "Assyria," and replace it with any term that aims to destroy the
Assyrian link to their homeland. "Chaldeans" are playing the same dirty
game - they want to do away with their racial identity.
Chaldea was no more than a patch-land
bordering the head of the Persian Gulf situated in the southern part of
Mesopotamia of the marshlands of present-day Iraq (referred to earlier, in
their time, as the "Sealand").
Chaldea was a mere dynastic tribe, mentioned in the annals of the
Assyrian history as a group of priests. They were engaged in
trade, hieratical duties and astrology.
In 721 BC, the Chaldean Merodach-baladan,
ruler of Bit-Yakin, a district of Chaldea, rebelled against Assyria. He
seized the Babylonian throne and held it for 11 years. He was ousted in 710 BC. By virtue of being an elite class
of astrologers and priests, the Chaldeans occupied a privileged position
within the bureaucracy of Babylon, the Assyrian southern capital of
Mesopotamia. The Chaldeans
had colluded with the Medians for the demise of the Assyrian Empire. After
the fall of Assyria in 612 BC, the Chaldean dynasty, in collaboration with
the Persians, made Babylon its capital and assumed rulership.
History has never bestowed the title of
Empire on the Chaldeans. They
were mere aperiodic rulers of the Babylonian Empire. Chaldeans were not
the conceivers of the imperial title of the "King of Kings"; the Assyrians
were. The Persians, under Cyrus, attacked and took full and total control
of Babylon, routed out the last Chaldean dynasty and sealed its fate in
539 BC. In the latter years
of the fall of Ninveh, the dynastic rule of the Chaldeans was no more than
eight decades or less (612 to 539 BC).
The Chaldeans usurped the Babylonian
throne, but were never able to usurp its imperial title. The
Chaldeans remained to be known as "Chaldean Rulers" of the Babylonian
Empire, never as the Chaldean Empire. There has never been a Chaldean
Since the deep sectarian schism of 1551
and separation of the two Assyrian Churches, neither one is called by its
genuine identity as Assyrian.
Their nationality has since been dropped. They are called by their religious
sect, "Chaldean" meaning Catholic, affiliated to the Roman Catholic
Church, or "Nestorian" meaning Assyrian proper, member of the Assyrian
Church of the East. Both
terms are misnomers.
Assyrian Catholics who term themselves
"Chaldean" are in fact genuine Assyrians. They were and are the original
dwellers of the Land of Assur, the indigenous people of the North of Bet
Nahrain (Land of the Rivers). Yet, because of their submission to
Catholicism, they were forced to take on the term "Chaldean" in reference
to identifying themselves with the Roman Catholic faith - to distinguish
themselves from the Assyrians proper of the Church of the East.
Because of the defeatism imposed upon them
by the Roman Catholic Church, the Assyrian Catholics accepted the name
change. They hid their genuine Assyrian nationality by being ordered to
adopt the falsified term "Chaldean".
The main reason for accepting this name change was to avoid the
wroth of the Vatican.
When it comes to their national identity,
the "Chaldeans" fail to corroborate authenticity of their claim. Their
claim is a fabrication, based on falsehood. They live in obscurity of
their true identity, in a state of limbo. History relates the ancient
Chaldeans and their origin to desert tribes of southern Mesopotamia. The
Catholic Assyrians of Iraqi origin are desperate in trying to create a
link to the ancient group of astrologers, whose trace was referred to as
'Chaldean' in the south. It is an act of deceit.
So long as the Assyrian Catholics deny
their genuine Assyrian racial identity, disguising their nationality under
the pretentious name of the so-called ancient Chaldeans, their demise is
inevitable. All the Catholic Assyrians of Iraq will eventually be losers.
They will in the course of time end up losing their identity altogether
and become subservient to the Kurds and Arabs.
The Kurds are engrossed in placing the
name "Kurdistan" in place of the land named "Assyria," while the Iraqi
government's policy has always been to Islamise northern Iraq, placing it
under loose Kurdish control.
Islam's feverish attempt is to put an end to Assyrian claim to
Nineveh, finally phase out the term "Assyria" and deny any existence of its
Islam is indulged in nullifying the
Assyrian name in Iraq. Its
objective is to cut it off from the indigenous Assyrian through
name-change. By the same token, the Vatican's ploy is to give precedence
to the name "Chaldean" in a concerted effort to convert the Assyrian of
Iraq to Catholicism. This course of action is already underway, prompted
by both the government of Iraq and the Vatican. They are both bent on phasing out
the name "Assyria" and destroy the Assyrian Church of the East. Their
ultimate aim is to seal the fate of Assyria through this
Furthermore, by modifying the historical
name of the ancient city of "Uruk," in the South, to "Iraq,"
the name Assyria has been dropped.
Islamic regimes have Islamised the whole of Mesopotamia and linked
it to (Dar Al-Silm) Abode of Peace States, considering the whole region
totally Islamic. Assyrians
have been robbed of their home, and for those Assyrians who are of the
Catholic faith; their nationality is being changed to "Chaldean" or Arab.
Chaldeans have signed the death warrant of their own national
Successive Iraqi regimes have always, in
the past and present, schemed to eradicate the ancient capital city of
Assur from existence.
Saddam's previous regime had planned to flood the historic city, by
building a dam and submerging the whole region under water (and in doing
so, adding another erosive force to the Assyrian history). Islam will heave a sigh of relief
by casting-off the whole of the Assyrian legacy to oblivion. The Arab League will smoke the
peace-pipe, jointly with the Iraqi regime of the day and the Vatican, as a
mark of triumph over the "Nestorian" Assyrians for eroding their name and
casting it to oblivion.
Islam's objective is to annul Assyria's
legacy. The Vatican continues
to appease the Government of Iraq in order to secure its presence and
influence over the Assyrian Church in the region. Mesopotamia's lingua
franca was Aramaic during and after the Islamic conquests of
mid-7th century AD.
Why do the "Chaldeans" now deny it, and use the Arabic language
Historically, "Chaldeans" and Kurds are
intruders into Assyria.
Ancient Chaldeans were nomadic tribes of the southern region of
Mesopotamia, indigenous to the south. The Kurds were
mountainous nomadic tribes. They are indigenous to the Asian countries
situated around the Caspian Sea, north and northeast of Assyria. Both groups should go back to
their old settlements and stay whither they came from - the so-called contemporary
"Chaldeans" back to the south, if they wish to pursue their botchy claim
to linking themselves to ancient Chaldea; and return the Kurds to Asia,
beyond the borders of Assyria proper.
The Assyrian Catholics of Iraq are
bringing harm to the whole Assyrian community. They are politicizing their
Catholic Church for their own selfish end. Changing their sect does not
justify the use of the defunct "Chaldean" racial identity in place of
their true one. Qlibayi,
members of the Roman Catholic Church are Assyrian in nationality, an
acceptable segment of the Assyrian Nation.
All "Chaldeans" of northern Mesopotamia
are genuine Assyrians. There
is no historical proof that the bulk of the ancient Chaldeans ever
migrated to the north. Their claim to being "Chaldean" is due to their
conversion to Catholicism, to avoid being branded "Nestorian" and
dispersed as the Vatican did to their brethren earlier, centuries
After the demise of the Ottoman Empire in
the early 20s, Assyrians that had affiliated with the Roman Church in
Persia, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Cyprus are no longer termed
"Chaldean". Only the
Assyrians of Mesopotamia (now confined to Iraq) remain under this curst
"Chaldean" term. God resolved to rout out Babylon/Chaldea. He condemned it to total
destruction and utter ruin - never to rise again. If they are true to God,
upright in their claim, why then, they are defying God. Or are they all following the
example of their past leaders treating non-Catholic Christian flocks as
enemies of the Roman Church?
Or is Rome following the maxim: Succumb or suffer.
the late 20th century, the Vatican in Iraq has used this
"Chaldean" term, exclusively to Assyrian converts to Catholicism.
In an act of defiance, it continues to use this dubious term.
Following the 1045 schism, the Vatican accused the Assyrian Church
of the East with heresy, and labelled it with the misnomer
in 1445, and for the first time in the history of the Roman Catholic
Church, the Vatican officially adopted the term "Chaldean" and used it
on the Greek Cypriots that submitted to Catholicism, and termed the
Assyrian Church of the East "Nestorian."
Using an expired term such as "Chaldean"
for the specific purpose of distancing the Assyrian Catholic from the
Assyrian proper is unjust. This denigrating act is a distortion of the true national identity
of the Assyrian Catholic. It
splits the Assyrian Nation into two separate nationalities. It is a recipe for disaster, a
prelude to head-on collision between the two Assyrian sects. Assyrian aim
is to move forward in a united way to achieve their common objective and
live as one people, under one name, one banner.
Changing the Chaldean sect into a
nationality does grievous harm to the Assyrian nation as a whole. Why should an Assyrian carry
an additional false nationality to his actual Assyrian one? This imposition of name change,
from Assyrian to "Chaldean" is a fraud, perpetrated by the Roman Catholic
Church. It is an ill-gotten stratagem to get at the Assyrian Church of the
East and discredit the Assyrian national legacy.
Members of the Assyrian Church of the East
and Assyrian Catholics are the same in racial identity. They are both Assyrian. The Roman Church has created
a profound misunderstanding for the Assyrian Catholics, who have had their
national identity suppressed, in order to dissociate themselves from their
kinfolk and reduce the chances of rapprochement with the Assyrian Church
of the East.
The mother tongue of the Assyrian Catholic
is becoming much more like the Kurdish language, a mixture of their
neighboring countries. The
stifling control of the Roman Catholic Church and influence of Arab rule
have pressured a significant proportion of the Assyrian Catholic
(Chaldeans) to adopt the Arabic language and identify closely with the
Arab nationality, even with their liturgical services. It is a mixture of Aramaic, Latin
and Arabic. The movement to
change their language into Arabic is the result of a well-planned plot to
do away with the Assyrian language altogether. Many "Chaldeans" can hardly
speak the language anymore. Though meaning well, they babble.
Assyrians of the Church of the East
profess their faith without ambiguity. They also declare their Assyrian
nationality without reservation, and speak their mother tongue with
eloquence. While Catholic
Assyrians feel embarrassed and instead, call themselves "Chaldean". They
deny their Assyrian nationality, because they had at some point in time
abandoned their racial identity and some of their traditional attributes
and become "QLIBAYI" - yet still clinging to a thread of hope that they
might someday find a way out of their torment - a beaten soul, lost in the wilderness -
their mind on Babylon, south; their heart in Assyria, north and their soul
far away at the Vatican, Rome - a shattered being, living in semblance of
their true selves.
The "Chaldeans" dissent, abandon their
traditional church, adopt a falsified racial name for a sect, and brand
the Assyrian Church of the East with the misnomer "Nestorian." They forsake their Church and
abandon their nationality.
They are in disarray!
They are a misfit and an embarrassment to the world of academia.
They defame the Assyrian Church, calling it heretic. They have hijacked
the Assyrian legacy and besmeared it with the Chaldean dynasty of
witchery. Though they are
Catholic, they are Assyrians - a segment of the Assyrian Nation. Their claim to being
racially different is as far away from decency and truth, as is earth from
heaven. Camouflaging their true Assyrian identity under the falsified
"Chaldean" nationality is an illusion.
From the time of accepting Christianity,
the Church of the East prospered, and sent out missionaries as far as
India and China (no small feat at the time) - and the Indian branch of the
church is still around. Yet,
under the oppressive rule of the Persians, Arabs, Mongols, Ottomans and
currently Arabs, the Assyrian faith has been tested in the furnace for
some 2,000 years. Nations
rise and fall; yet the bulk of its people survive, and it is through their
Christian faith that the Assyrian identity has been kept from
Assyrians appreciate all Christian
churches that accept them and recognize them as Assyrian in
nationality. It is incorrect
and inappropriate for a church to miscall an Assyrian either "Chaldean" or
by any other name such as "Arab," or "Kurd", when such a church member is
truly Assyrian. It is unchristian and insulting.
Assyrians being in affiliation with other
churches should not lead to suppression of their national identity. Their
nationality should continue to be recognized as Assyrian and remain
so. Assyrian Catholics are
forced to differ, under the pretentious "Chaldeans" bogey name. They have been the product of
Vatican "flock stealing" from their traditional Assyrian Church of the
The "Chaldeans" have been deceived into
adopting a fake national name for a sect. They loom upon the Assyrian
Church of the East with contempt. The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic
Church and a few prominent "Chaldean" leaders continue to pose as
archrivals of the Assyrians. They stand in opposition to the national
aspiration of the two groups, not allowing them to unite as one people
under their one Assyrian national name. Catholic Assyrians have
simply been beguiled into forsaking their Assyrian Church and abandoning
their kinfolk and true racial identity.
The "Chaldean" Qlibayi do not dare admit
the truth and reveal their true Assyrian heritage, for fear of being
discriminated against by the Roman Catholic Church. They are pawns in the hands of
their clergy, unable to associate freely with their Assyrian
continue to call themselves "Chaldeans". The Catholic Church is
engrossed in highjacking the Assyrian legacy, claiming pre-eminence to
deny the Assyrians legitimacy over their traditional homeland up
Religion is not a race. Calling a Catholic "Chaldean" is
untrue. A person may change his religion and pursue any creed, but cannot
change his racial identity.
Whether the Church membership is affiliated with the Roman Papal
Church, the Orthodox Church, or other various sects of the Protestant
Church, an Assyrian remains an Assyrian in his national identity - not
so-called Chaldean, Kurdish, or Arab. A person may change his
nationality by immigration and by acquiring a new citizenship. But his racial identity will
forever remain with him. It
is in his genes, it is his biological signature.
Even today, there are many Assyrians who
are members of the Papal Church of Rome. They have adopted the name
"Chaldean" due to marriage or conversion. Many Assyrian families have
members belonging to different sects - Church of the East, Orthodox,
Protestant etc., but are biologically relatives. They are all
Assyrian. Sect does not
change ones nationality. They
have been duped into believing that "Chaldean" is a nationality and not a
dynastic clan of Assyrian ancestry.
At 18 years of age, I recall my uncle
Nathaniel relating to me the story of his escape, with his mother and
sister, from Iran to the city of Mosul, Mesopotamia (now Iraq) during
WWI. The Kurds killed his
father, Reverend Gabriel, a priest of the Assyrian Church of the East,
during their escape. My uncle with his mother and sister ended up in
Assyrian villages, in northern Mosul. All three were rescued by Assyrian
villagers and cared for by their old kinfolk until they were able to
manage on their own and went their separate ways.
My uncle was only a child when he was
orphaned, and so was my aunt.
He was cared for by the Catholic Church and raised in a Catholic
orphanage, and married in the Catholic Church and lived by its creed. My aunt was placed with an
Assyrian foster family, member of the Assyrian Church of the East. She married in the Assyrian Church
of the East and lived by its creed.
My uncle was registered as member of the Catholic Church by the
local registrar, and my aunt as member of the Assyrian Church of the
In the nosecount, my uncle was
classified "Chaldean" by the
Iraqi Government of the day.
My aunt, being member of the Assyrian Church of the East, was
classified "Nestorian." They
were enumerated on two separate tally sheets: my uncle as "Chaldean" and
my aunt as "Nestorian". Neither one of them was registered, on the
official tally sheets, as "Assyrian" in nationality. Their Assyrian racial identity was
denied. It was deliberately
Changing the Assyrian nationality to the
millet sect of "Chaldean" or "Nestorian" is a conspiracy. It is being carried out by the
Iraqi government, in collusion with the Roman Catholic Church to drop the
Assyrian name from future censuses. Their ultimate objective is
to stop the Assyrians from using it, and phase out their identity
altogether to discourage them from demanding their basic human rights.
Worse still, this action prevents the true-blue Assyrians from claiming
their right to their homeland up north.
If the so-called Chaldean leaders wish to
launch their own campaign, under the pretentious name of Chaldea, then
they should turn their focus on the south. They should move down to the
marshlands of modern Iraq.
Only then, they will realize how wrong they were and that Chaldea
has, forever, been lost in the fold of history.
The Vatican, in agreement with the Islamic
Central Government of Iraq, in post World War I, had sponsored this name
change. Their aim is to
substitute the name "Chaldea" for "Assyria" so that neither group,
Assyrian or so-called Chaldean, would have a leg to stand on, when
launching their campaign for restoration of their national rights. Although the "Chaldeans" have, at
times, been spared the Islamic sword for compromising their Assyrian
nationality, they have not always escaped the sword. They have suffered, too, at
the hands of the oppressive Islamic regimes, forcing them to assimilate
with the Arab mass. Many
'Chaldeans' have adopted Arab characteristics. And many are seen wearing
the Arab long flowing garment - dish-da-sha. Many carry Arab names such as,
Ali, Tariq, Karim, Hassan etc. Since they have denied their roots,
"Chaldeans" will eventually end up terming themselves Arab. Where do they
stand in regard to defending their genuine nationality if they have a
false one? They would accept an Arab or a Kurdish one. It would not matter
to them anymore, would it?
Since they had been knowingly carrying a false national identity,
they would not mind exchanging it for a more convenient one.
The so-called Chaldeans need to decide to
either return to the fold as Assyrians, or go it alone under the misnomer
"Chaldean". Both the Vatican and the Assyrian Church of the East need to
take up the matter and discuss it seriously to narrow the wide gap and
patiently heal the rift. They
need to unite the two communities by abrogating the unjust misnomers,
namely, "Nestorian" and "Chaldean". Whatever their denomination, they are
of Assyrian nationality and Christian faith. They need to be called by
their proper Assyrian national name, even though they may be of different
Assyrians belong to various denominations
of the Christian religion, spread all over the world. Yet, both community members of the
Assyrian Church of the East and that of the Papal Church of Iraq are of
the same race. They
live together. They intermarry.
They worship the same God.
They honour the same saints. They even share the BA'OTA
D'NINWAYI. If members of the "Chaldean" sect are not truly Assyrians, then
why celebrate this three-day fasting with the Assyrians? Yahweh sent the
Prophet Jonah to bring the message to Ninveh, to the Ninvite Assyrians up
north, not to the Chaldeans, down south. Yet, the hierarchy pressure
the two groups to keep them apart and remain distant, a product of the
Church hierarchy, colluding against their integration, keeping the two
brotherly groups separate.
It is up to the Assyrian Papal brothers
and sisters to declare decisively and openly, without fear of reprisal
from their Papal Church, which road they wish to take. They need to communicate with
their elders of their desired wish to identify themselves racially as
Assyrians. They have the
right to express themselves without fear or backlash from their Catholic
hierarchy. The Assyrians
henceforth should, with all due respect, identify and call the "Chaldeans"
by their proper name as Catholic Assyrians - not by the pretentious and
tawdry "Chaldean" name. Assyrians should not be coerced by the Roman
Catholic Church to falsify their genuine nationality to
We have and shall always accept and
welcome our Papal brothers and sisters, with open arms and sincerity. We encourage them to hold on to
their Assyrian nationality and protect it, be proud of their Assyrian
Nation as being once the cradle of civilization. They have the right to identify
themselves with the Vatican Church, as "Catholic," in affiliation with the
Roman Catholic Church, but not as "Chaldean."
Our hearts and Church, our schools and
learning centers are open to all. The Catholic Assyrians of Iraq should
not cower. In the world of the 21st century, there are enough
counter-balancing political forces to allow the people of a nation to
speak about their identity and assert themselves as the true children of
Baluch, Muhammad Sardar Khan (1965) The Great Baluch. Lion Art
Press (Karachi), Karachi.
Benjamin, Yoab (2002) 'Our Roots are Still Alive' and 'Thou Shalt
Not Tread on History' in Yoab Benjamin's Studies in Language and
Literature. Mall Publishing Company, Illinois.
Bettenson, Henry (1988) Documents of the Christian Church (2nd
Edition). Oxford University Press, New York.
Cureton, W. (1864) Ancient Syriac Documents (Relative to The
Earliest Establishment of Christianity in Edessa and the neighbouring
countries from the year after our Lord's Ascension to the beginning of the
fourth century). Williams and Norgate, London.
Douglas, JD et al (1987) New Bible Dictionary (2nd
Edition). Inter-Varsity Press, Illinois.