Assyrian National Congress: Press Release
THE ASSYRIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
“Let Us Unite And Gather The Fragments That met Nothing Be Lost”
[ P.O. Box 3539 Modesto, California 95352 USA ]
The Assyrian National Congress, and its affiliated organizations in California, are organizing a demonstration in front of the Federal Courthouse Building in the city of Frezno (1130 0 Street), California to protest last year's decision of the U.S. Bureau of the Census to change the "Assyrian Category" of 1980 and 1990 to a new "Assyrian/Chaldian/Syriac" category. The ANC, being true to its name and objectives, filed a law suit against the Bureau on March 3, 2000 in an effort to stop it from using the new designation. The first hearing on this law suit will be held at the Federal Courthouse in Frezno at 1:00 PM on Monday July 24, 2000.
The slashing formula, "Assyrian/Chaldian/Syriac", masks the true and historical identity of Our nation. It goes against the national and political name of the Assyrian people. Following the policy of "Divide and Rule", the Iraqi regime adopted a similar formula in 1972 against the Assyrians. In the past, the Assyrian people had offered supreme sacrifices and displayed outstanding acts of heroism in confronting plots and treachery committed against them. The battles fought by our people were neither easy nor short, but they were capable of waging it and surviving all calamities. “To be defeated and not to surrender, that is victory."
The Assyrian national cause in Iraq is founded on the fact that the Assyrians are direct descendants of the ancient Assyrians, which automatically ties them to the land of Bet Nahrain, present day Iraq. Agreeing to be labeled as Chaldean (a religious name) and Syriac (a linguistic name) automatically declares that the Assyrians identity is questionable, therefore, weakening and even destroying any rights Assyrians had/have/could have in the homeland.
Chaldean was a name branded on a segment of the Assyrian people who joined the Roman Catholic Church in 1551. Syriac is the name of our ancient Aramaic language spoken by Jesus and his disciples. Thousands of our martyrs died for the Assyrian name. They did not die for denominations or a language designation. They died for their Assyrian identity.
Let us not be silent. Let us remember that damaging decisions made today will effect our future.
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