• Written by:

Untitled-1An Umbrella of American Middle East Christian Community Organizations in the United States of America
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW in Washington, D.C.
December 30, 2014
Dear President Obama,
As people all across the world prepare their many new year’s resolutions for 2015, the Iraqi Christians will have only one: to survive. They will be huddled in refugee camps remembering the preceding year, where Mosul, Iraq and its surrounding villages known as Nineveh–their home of over 2,000 years–was emptied of Christians and Christianity.

The world was silent for weeks and months as the Iraqi Christians faced a wave of ethnic cleansing, religious intolerance, and civic and civil rights violations. It was only until the tragedy struck the Yazidis that the United States and others’ conscience arose. Since then, the Iraqi Christians in particular and the Middle East Christians in general have been bewildered by the United States Government’s inaction or lukewarm reaction to ISIS or its supporters.

The United States, the champion and guardian of human rights, religious freedom, and signator of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, seems to selectively pick and choose who it wishes to safeguard militarily, politically, and through other means. This time, the Iraqi Christians were less fortunate.

It is strange that members of Congress in their sessions regarding the plight of the Middle East Christians are almost oblivious or ignorant to this calamity, where an area inhabited for over 2,000 years, which people recognize as the cradle of civilization, and which the Bible refers to over and over again since even the days of Abraham, was pillaged. As Patriarch Joseph III Younan of Antioch and All the East remarked in Paris on December 3, 2014, “The international policy makers have other policies when it comes to minorities, who have neither the numbers, nor riches to make them attractive.” It is unfortunately true that the Iraqi Christians do not have the oil, lobbying stronghold, or resources to offer any economic advantages.

What is sadder is that the tragedy of the Middle East Christians is not new. Over the centuries, the Middle East has been slowly emptying its inhabitants of Christianity, either by slow systemic events or by large-scale genocide, such as the Armenian and Assyrian genocides of the last century.

The United States and its allies cannot wash their hands of what is happening to the Iraqi Christians today and blame it on ethnic or religious centuries-old strife. The fact is that since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the country has lost two-thirds of its Christians. Even more Christians in the Middle East have faced similar fate since the so-called Arab Spring of 2010.

In 2015, the United States must make its new year’s resolution more than just political speeches, declarations, and handouts. It must do what it has done in past similar conflicts–to use all its military, political, and humanitarian aid so that the Iraqi Christians can return to their homes, villages, and cities and celebrate this new year the way they have celebrated the past 2,000. Only then can we say that our government is truly the standard for justice, freedom of religion, and humanity.
Dr. Ramsay F. Dass, MD
President, American Middle East Christians Congress
Director, Iraq American Christians Endowment Center or
24601 Coolidge Highway
Oak Park, MI 48237
Office: (248) 546-9100
Cell: (248) 763-6006