National News [USA, Canada, Europe and Australia]

Conflicts of the Chaldo/Assyrian Case

Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2000 at 07:58 PM CT

[English translation of sections from the article written in Arabic]

The Chaldo/Assyrian Person is Multi Lingual and Cultured
 Chaldean Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim (Orahim)
Chaldean Bishop
Ibrahim Ibrahim

We have heard Ibrahim Ibrahim (pictured left), bishop of the Chaldean denomination in the United States, saying about the project of unifying the two churches:
"We can do nothing without first asking Rome."

There are several factors that obstruct such a unity, such as the sensitivity and negative feelings between the members of the two communities, and especially between the clergy of the two groups, even though it is less now a days than what it used to be before. This sensitivity has been the result of a very long separation and verbal attacks that started as of the split that took place in the Church of the East in 1551 A.D.
 Chaldean Patriarch Polus Sheikho
Chaldean Patriarch
Polus Sheikho

This mentality have been represented in what was reflected by the previous Patriarch of the Chaldean the late Polus Sheikho (pictured right) when he said:
"We prefer to live among the Muslim rather than among the Assyrian."
(this was told to me by a friend of mine that attended one of the meetings held by the Al Hadaf magazine).

Another obstacle for such a unity is the way faith is practiced and the religious teachings.... and the clear variation in the faith laws that have been issued through out history, and the subject of the nature of Christ, is it one nature or two. And the denial of the Nestorian for the nomenclature used for Mary as mother of God.... most of these contradictions appeared after the Ephsis conference, and after part of this population (meaning the Chaldean Church) followed the leadership of the Church of Rome, and the other part of the nation that did not follow, was called Nestorian, as a defamation name.

 Chaldean Patriarch Mar Rafael Beidawid
Chaldean Patriarch
Mar Rafael Beidawid
Chaldean Voice interview

The view and ideology of the current Chaldean Patriarch (pictured left), Mar Rafael Beidawid, who happens to be the strongest personality that is calling for the Chaldo/Assyrian case among all the Syriac speaking churches, ... he had said:
"We are neither Chaldean nor Assyrian, we are Christians."

And in another previous declaration he had said:
"We are Arabs, not in its limited meaning."

If we want to discuss our group's present situation in a practical form, we can say: In our present time there is an ethnic group that belongs to the Chaldean Church, and an ethnic group that belongs to the Assyrian Church. And if the two churches unite, there will be an ethnic group by the name Chaldo/Assyrian of different citizenship and cultures, small in numbers, with different official languages, spread all over the world, lacking the land that would gather it, and this group will belong to the Church of the East.

Several indications show that Chaldo/Assyrian in this stage, is in the count down of it's life... this is realized by those active in our case. Mr. Habib Aphram president of the Syrian Coalition when asked in a press interview that was printed in Al Muntada magazine in August 1998 said: "We are actually in a very real conflict, and as the proverb goes, we are continuing the swallowing of water after drowning".

Our national case in this present day is non existing, and if we empty it of its religious contents, the reality of our groups is nothing more than religious ethnic groups;

  • Assyrian-Nestorian (Nestorian), created in the fifth century.
  • Syrian-Maronite (Maronites), created in the fifth century.
  • Syrian-Orthodox (Jacobites), created in the sixth century.
  • Chaldean-Catholic (Chaldeans), created in the sixteenth century.
  • Syrian-Catholic, created in the seventeenth century.

This case of the Chaldo/Assyrian will stay with us and with our children and grandchildren in the American Diaspora. Therefore we have to keep working hard to unite our two groups in the diaspora and work on bringing our Churches closer to each other and defend our ethnic and religious rights.

Official translation of Al-Zaman article on Chaldean political movements
The American Census Office Admits that the Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac are One Nation
Conflicts of the Chaldo/Assyrian Case
Atour on Census 2000: The Final Analysis

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