Thursday, August 11, 2005

Assyrian Christians

The Assyrian Church of the East (whose official web site is here) dates itself back to the ministry of "Mar Addai," Syriac for Lord (i.e. apostle) Thaddaeus, in Mesopotamia and feels a special kinship with the Assyrians converted under Jonah. The ancient church in India founded by Mar Toma (Apostle Thomas) was also anciently affiliated with this church, although there have been many unions and schisms with RC and Oriental Orthodox churches since then.

Today in Iraq and eastern Syria the Assyrians and the Chaldeans (Assyrians in union with the Roman Catholic Church) are suspended between hope and fear. Twice in the past, under the Mongols and under French/British rule, the Christians of the Middle East were given the hope of no longer being eternally second-class citizens. In both cases, however, the moment passed (the Mongols converted to Islam and the Europeans went home) and the Christian populations were left weaker and more vulnerable than ever. Let’s pray the same thing doesn’t happen again.

Original posting at Here We Stand