Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Iraq’s Christians
Samer al-Batal writes: So many Iraqi refugees have been pouring into Syria that the increasing strain on the country’s burdened economy and on the Syrians’ patience may very well bring the authorities to close the last open border crossing for refugees at a certain point (they have already tightened restrictions a good deal since early this year in response to the pressure). Inflation now is a chief concern and there are worries about crime. In bearing the burden of what Washington has wrought, we have a crisis on our hands.

Samer asks: Isn’t this the organisation you mentioned many times that is on good terms with the Russian Church?


A final appeal: save Christian Iraq

In Damascus to escape the Iraqi nightmare
In the mass of Iraqis exiled in Syria the Christians – Chaldeans, Syrians, Armenians, Orthodox – are at least forty thousand. The ‘rogue state’, always in the sights of the US administration, is for them a kind of promised land, the best place to run if you are a person who carries the name of Christ. They crowd into the Damascus neighborhoods of Jaramana, of Tabbaleh, of Massaken Barzi or of Dwela. ‘When someone new arrives, the families go up to the sanctuary to thank God and Our Lady for a happy end to the journey’, says Toufic Eid, the parish priest of the church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Maalula, the hill village where they still speak Aramaic, as did Jesus. ‘But then they also ask that their life as refugees be made easy, because easy it isn’t’.

‘Iraqi Christian groups have described the policy of the Bush administration in Iraq as a “perfidious conspiracy”. It is probable that this perfidy will lead to the extinction of one of the most ancient Christian nations in the world in its own motherland.’ So wrote the American political analyst Glenn Chancy as early as April 2004. To judge from the dreams and plans of the Chaldean refugees in Syria, the process of extinction is accelerating.
Syria Comment’s (Joshua Landis’ blog’s) selection of articles on Iraqi refugees (one of the links is now broken)

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