THE PERSIAN NESTORIANS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir,– News will have reached you before this of the very grave situation on the frontier between Turkey and
Persia, which lies nearest to the town of Urmi. Without entering into the question at dispute between these countries, which will doubtless be settled before long, I would venture to make an appeal for help and sympathy for some 2,000 Christian Syrian subjects of Persia, who, having up till now been acknowledged subjects of the Shah, and some of them having been employed in a recent expedition against marauding Kurds, have, as the result of this frontier incident, been driven from house and home and deprived of all their possessions. They were beginning their harvest ; their grain fields are now at the mercy of the Kurds ; their houses have been pillaged, their cattle and sheep robbed, and they are absolutely destitute.
The Russian Consul has come nobly to the rescue and is providing food and shelter at a cost of some £40 a day. But as the great majority of these Nestorian Christians have been for 20 years under the care of the mission of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and as the Russians will not be able to provide sufficient aid to enable them to return to their homes, should negotiation make that possible, I feel that we ought to do something to help them in this time of bitter distress.
A sum of £500 would be required to give adequate assistance. Regard for space prevents me from giving details of the events which led to this blow ; but I feel sure that I shall not be appealing in vain for a people which, since the time of Sir Henry Layard and Bishop French, has always appealed to the sympathy and interest of Englishmen.
I am, Sir your obedient servant,
O. H. PARRY.
English Mission, Urmi, Persia, Aug. 8.
Contributions may be sent to the secretary of the mission, Rev. F. N. Heazell, Church House, West-minster ; or to Mr. A. C. Wratislaw,
Consul-General, Tabriz, Persia.