THE NESTORIAN CHRISTIANS IN KURDISTAN
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir,–May I ask you kindly to give publicity to the following statement ?
Six years ago, at the instance of Archbishop Tait, a work of a somewhat experimented character was set on foot among the Assyrian or Chaldean
Christians in Kurdistan. The object in view has not been to bring over these Nestorian Christians to the communion of the English Church, but rather to strengthen and encourage them in bettering their religious condition.
It is reported by those who have recently visited them that they do not now attach an unorthodox meaning to their ancient formularies. They are an isolated, much oppressed, earnest race, possessed by a strong desire for instruction and very great regard and affection for England and the English Church. Their position may one day give importance to this fact. The present work was undertaken in answer to repeated and earnest appeals on the part of their bishops and clergy for aid and guidance in the work of self-reformation. They are much afraid of connecting themselves with any ecclesiastical organization which would absorb them into itself. In the existing condition and development of the mission, it is impossible to remain stationary ; the work must either advance and extend itself, or the position already occupied must be given up.
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts voted an annual grant, from 1878 to the present year inclusive, of £ £250 ; the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge has given help to the same amount, and will, it is under-stood, continue its grant of £250 a year for the present. It is now desired to carry on and extend the work by sending out two English clergymen and a schoolmaster.
To effect what is really needed for the duo carrying on of the work of the mission an income of at least £1,000 a year must be raised or guaranteed for a number of years to come, and a sum of £1,000 is required in order to build schools. To provide for these wants I plead very earnestly for contributions towards this very interesting work.
At my request the Rev. R. Milburn Blakiston, of 2, Dean's-yard, Westminster, S.W., has consented to act as an hon. secretary of the committee ; and contributions may be sent to him or to the Rev. H. W. Tucker, secretary of the S.P.G., 19, Delahay-street, S.W.
I am, yours very faithfully,
Lambeth Palace,Jane 26.