A Messageto the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East

 ܩܕܝܫܘܬܗ ܕܡܪܢ ܡܪܝ ܒܢܝܕܝܟܬ
ܛܘܒܬܢܘܬܗܘܢ ܕܟܘܡܪ̈ܐ ܟܪ̈ܕܝܢܠܐ ܘܦܛܪ̈ܝܪܟܐ
ܡܥܠܝܘܬܗܘܢ ܕܐܒܗ̈ܬܐ ܡܝܛܪ̈ܦܘܠܝܛܐ ܚܣ̈ܝܐ ܘܐܦܣܩܘܦ̈ܐ
Your Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Your Beatitudes Cardinals and Patriarchs
Your Excellencies Episcopal Bishops, Metropolitans, Priests and Monks
Distinguished participants in the Synod.

We sincerely thank you for calling this Synod of Bishops for the Middle East. It reflects your genuine interest in the fate of Christians in the Middle East, the place that witnessed the launch of the first steps of Christianity. It is important to emphasize on the survival of the Christians and strengthen their presence in their home countries.

The Assyrian Chaldean Syriac people, like the majority of Christians in the Middle East, are living in difficult and dangerous circumstances in Iraq. They are also suffering from discrimination, marginalization, and denial of national and humanitarian rights in many countries across the Middle East.

Unfortunately, the conditions increasingly worsened after the US-Led invasion in 2003. The Christian pacifists have become an easy target for multiple forms of terrorism such as murdering, kidnapping, assaulting on the properties, and bombing of their churches; all of which taking place at the hands of terror groups. This led to a wave of deportation and widely forced migration, internally and externally. As a result, the Christian presence continues to decline in Iraq.

This is due to economical and political reasons related to the absence of freedoms, lack of stability, and the escalation of extremist Islamic groups. Add to that, most importantly, the continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, has exhausted the energies of the people in the region, supplied many forms of extremism and intolerance, and hindered all developmental plans and democratic process in the region.

We hope from this Synod to work to:

– Urge the Iraqi Government to provide the needed aid to the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac people and to support all Iraqi refugees in Diaspora, as well as, to ensure the safe and dignified return to their homeland.

– Demand the Iraqi Government to perform its political and legal responsibility by providing security and stability for our people, their churches, and their properties in their villages and towns.

– Call on the Iraqi Government to recognize the constitutional rights of our people, including our right to establish an autonomous region within the framework of a Federal Iraq; and to ensure for our children their rights to continue living in their historical homeland and protecting their cultural heritage and living in freedom in cooperation with their partners in the country.

– Concentrate on what has remained of our people in the Tur-Abdin Region (Southeast Turkey), which has become nearly empty of its indigenous population since the Genocide (Seyfo), suffered by our people along with Armenians in 1915. As well as, demanding the Turkish Government to end the trials and harassments against our historical monasteries in Turkey.

– Urge the governments and countries of the Middle East to remove all forms of discrimination and exclusion against Christians, and to build secular democratic systems that respect human rights, and ensure justice and equality for all citizens.

– Promote the spirit of brotherhood, unity and solidarity among all the Churches of theMiddle East.

– Encourage the Eastern Churches to preserve their culture and identity by increasing the interest in their mother language, Syriac (Aramaic), the language of Jesus Christ.

Our future is closely linked with our survival in our homeland, and that cannot be achieved without living in freedom and a dignified life. It is important to promote coexistence based on full partnership with all of our partners from various nationalities and religions in our homeland.

Sincerely your,
Gabriel MUSHE
Chairman of the Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO)

Syria – October 10, 2010