Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd (right), and Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen (left) meet with Assyrian Community leaders to discuss the current situation in Iraq at the Assyrian Cultural centre, Fairfield. Photo: Nick Andrean.
Rudd pledges aid to persecuted Iraq Christians by Brian Karlovsky. Fairfield Advance, November 16, 2011.
Australia — FOREIGN Minister Kevin Rudd has made a rare appearance at Fairfield Heights to allay community concerns over the security of persecuted Christian minorities in Iraq.
The former prime minister, along with his “longstanding friend”, McMahon MP Chris Bowen, met with leaders of the Assyrian, Caldean and Mandaean communities, at the Assyrian Sports and Culture Club last week.
During the meeting, community leaders called for a “radical solution” to resolve the increasingly dangerous situation Christians now face in Iraq.
Dr Amad Mtashar, of the Mandaean Australian Community Culture Club, said there was no security and that the government had a moral responsibility to act.
“Things are getting worse, not getting better,” Mr Mtashar said.
Mr Rudd said he understood the challenges and would look at using Australian aid to support health services, education and employment in Iraq. He also promised to raise the issue with Iraqi leaders.
“I’ll be looking carefully at what can we do to ensure proper aid gets to these communities,” he said.
He said Mr Bowen had been a strong supporter of Christian minorities in Iraq.
“Chris is a long standing friend of mine,’’ he said. `` Because of that friendship he talks to me on a regular basis about the challenges faced by the Assyrian, Caldean and Mandaean communities.
“He is a very strong and continuing voice about the challenges you face.’’
Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd (center), and Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen (right) meet with Assyrian Community leaders to discuss the current situation in Iraq at the Assyrian Cultural centre, Fairfield. Photo: Nick Andrean.
Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd, and Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen meet with Assyrian Community leaders to discuss the current situation in Iraq at the Assyrian Cultural centre, Fairfield. Photo: Nick Andrean.
Mr Bowen said he would take up the matter with the UNHCR.
“These issues go to the security and safety of Christians and Assyrians in Iraq,’’ he said.
“Kevin was interested to hear the views of the community and he has undertaken to raise the matter when he is next in cabinet and I will also take to the UNHCR all the that came out of the meeting.’’
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
2: a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern
Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of
its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender
4: a democratic state that believes in the freedom of
religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the
principles of the United Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle
ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding
hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the
East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.
These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the
Christian Era. No one can coherently understand the Assyrians
as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church
from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly
difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for
in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control,
religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a
criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean,
Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu,
Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye,
Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. —
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.