France Pledges 1 Billion Euros in Aid to Rebuild Iraq

(AP) -- France is committing $1 billion euros ($1.15 billion) to help Iraq rebuild after its war against the Islamic State group, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday. Le Drian was in Baghdad on a busy day that also saw Iraq's top officials receiving King Abdullah II of Jordan. The French diplomat said the aid would go to rebuilding Iraq's most devastated areas.

US Starts Pulling Troops Out of Syria, Talks With Turkey to Continue

The United States has started the "deliberate withdrawal" process of its forces from Syria, US military officials confirmed on Friday, but they refused to provide any details on exactly what troops and equipment were being moved. "Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements," military spokesman Sean Ryan said in a statement.

Is Sisi Good for Egypt's Christians?

By Marlo Safi

On Thursday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the recently opened Coptic Cathedral of the Nativity, not far from Cairo. "It is a very special thing to have this in the heart of the Middle East, this enormous cathedral where people can come worship in Egypt," he told the press. "It's a land of religious freedom and opportunity. It's remarkable.

Iraq Deploys Special Forces to Kirkuk in Flag Dispute

(AFP) -- Iraqi special forces deployed Thursday in Kirkuk after the raising of the Kurdish flag over a political party headquarters revived tensions more than a year after Baghdad seized the disputed northern city.

Chaldean Priest: a New Year of Rebirth for Mosul

If 2014 was "the black year" with the flight of the bishop, priests and faithful following the rise of the Islamic State (IS, ex Isis), then 2019 will be the year "of our rebirth, of pastoral and social challenges, of the return of the refugees," says Fr. Paul Thabit Mekko, the head of the Christian community in Karamles, on the Nineveh plain, in northern Iraq.

Assyrian Community Thrives Again in Southeastern Turkey

The Assyrian community, a Christian group concentrated in southeastern Turkey, has seen its numbers rise again in recent years with those who emigrated to other cities and countries returning. In Mardin, the centuries-old hometown of the ancient community, those who left years ago amid lack of security and economic prospects have started returning home in the past fifteen years.

Construction of New Assyrian Church in Istanbul to Begin in February

By Berk Ozkan

Construction of the first-ever church built in Republican-era Turkey will begin at the end of the February, said an official in Turkey's largest metropolis on Tuesday. The paperwork has been done and a permit issued, Bulent Kerimoglu, the mayor of Istanbul's Bakirkoy municipality, told reporters while meeting with Yusuf Cetin, the Syriac Orthodox Church's metropolitan for Istanbul and the capital...

Churches for Sale in Iraq Spark Fears Over 'Buried Christian History'

In a move described as an insult to Iraq's history, several churches have been put up for sale to be converted into commercial or residential units. Joseph Saliwa, a Christian who formerly served in parliament, accused the Christian clergy of being complicit in the "sale and destruction of churches in Iraq.

Children 'Still Being Tortured to Confess to ISIS Links' By Kurdish Security Forces

Kurdish security forces in Erbil are continuing to torture children to confess their involvement with Islamic State, according to allegations in a report released by Human Rights Watch. According to the organisation, which first raised the alarm about the mistreatment of child detainees by Kurdish security forces nearly two years ago, it has collected claims of the continued regular use of...

Christians Concerned About Religious Freedom If Turkey Enters Syria

By Dale Gavlak

AMMAN -- Growing numbers of Christians in North America and Europe are joining Christians in Syria's northeast in expressing concern for the future of religious minorities and Kurds in that region should the U.S. give Turkey the "green light" to take over the fight against Islamic State.

Turkey Accused of Recruiting Ex-Isis Fighters in Their Thousands to Attack Kurds in Syria

By Patrick Cockburn

Turkey is recruiting and retraining Isis fighters to lead its invasion of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, according to an ex-Isis source. "Most of those who are fighting in Afrin against the YPG [People's Protection Units] are Isis, though Turkey has trained them to change their assault tactics," said Faraj, a former Isis fighter from north-east Syria who remains in close touch...

News

France Pledges 1 Billion Euros in Aid to Rebuild Iraq
Trump Threatens to 'Devastate Turkey Economically' If it Attacks Kurds in Syria
US Starts Pulling Troops Out of Syria, Talks With Turkey to Continue
Is Sisi Good for Egypt's Christians?
Iraq Deploys Special Forces to Kirkuk in Flag Dispute
Chaldean Priest: a New Year of Rebirth for Mosul
Assyrian Community Thrives Again in Southeastern Turkey
Construction of New Assyrian Church in Istanbul to Begin in February
Churches for Sale in Iraq Spark Fears Over 'Buried Christian History'
Children 'Still Being Tortured to Confess to ISIS Links' By Kurdish Security Forces

Reports

•  Iraq’s Stolen Election: How Assyrian Representation Became Assyrian Repression
•  Brutality Against Christian Clerics in Syria
•  Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2015–17
•  Erasing Assyrians: Kurdish Abuses of Human Rights
•  Assyrians and Yazidis in Northern Iraq 2017
•  Understanding Recent Movements of Christians from Syria and Iraq
•  The Hopes And Fears Of Religious Minorities In Northern Iraq
•  Assyrians Under Kurdish Rule: The Situation in Northeastern Syria
•  Untying the Knots of Religious Diversity in Iraqi Kurdistan
•  The Protection Needs Of Minorities From Syria and Iraq
•  ISIS Genocide of Middle Eastern Christians and Its Jizya Propaganda Ploy
•  Impact and Significance of the Christian Presence in Syria and Iraq during the Current Crisis

Articles

•  The Assyrian Genocide As A Part Of The Christian Genocide In The Ottoman Empire
•  Demographic and Climatic Factors in the Decline of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
•  The U.S. Legal Regime Governing Iraqi Refugee Resettlement
•  Theater, Language and Inter-Ethnic Exchange: Assyrian Performance Before WWI
•  Assyrians In Iraq
•  Description and Significance of the Nestorian Stele in China
•  The Cross and the Lotus

All Things Assyrian

In Search of a Martyred Assyrian Ancestor
Assyrian Monastery in Iraq Dates Back to 400 AD
The 12 Wise Men
Master of Extinct Languages
The Heavenly History of Angels in Art
The First Christian King
Saint Jacques of Assyria
Japanese Museum Finds Rare Scroll From Country's Early Christians
The Assyrian Women Traders of Ancient Anatolia
It's Assyria. With an A.
Brief History of Assyrians Assyrians: Frequently Asked Questions The Assyrian Genocide Attacks on Assyrians in Syria Timeline of ISIS in Iraq Incipient Genocide: The Ethnic Cleansing of the Assyrians of Iraq Assyrian Holocausts

Letter Signed By 59 Iraqi MPs Alarms Assyrians in the Nineveh Plain

The Assyrian Policy Institute has obtained a letter dated December 22, 2018 signed by Shabak MP Qusay Abbas Mohammed which calls for the distribution of public lands in Hamdaniya District in the Nineveh Plain to Shabak families. The letter was signed by an additional 58 members of parliament and has alarmed members of the local Assyrian community who fear demographic change in the region.

AINA News

Assyrian Refugees From Iraq Celebrate Orthodox Christmas in Beirut
Letter Signed By 59 Iraqi MPs Alarms Assyrians in the Nineveh Plain
Ongoing Hostilities Threaten Assyrian Areas in Northern Iraq
Patriarchs of Syriac Churches Meet Austrian Cancellor
Assyrian Youth Federation Established in the U.S.
Documentary Chronicling the Assyrian Identity Post-Empire Will Be 'First of Its Kind'
Iraqi Shabak Security Forces Block Assyrian Church, Threaten Pastor
Iraq's Stolen Election: How Assyrian Representation Became Assyrian Repression
European Assyrians Condemn Illegal Occupation of Assyrian Homes in Iraq
The Assyrians of Turkey
Syriac Orthodox Church Opens University in Syria
Society for Threatened Peoples Urges Kurdish Government to Respect Assyrian Rights in Iraq
Assyrian Priest Paints Grim Picture After Visit to Iraq
Kurdish Parties in Iraq Have Hijacked Quota Seats for Assyrians and Yazidis
Kurds in Turkey Have Occupied Assyrian Monastery's Land for 40 Years

The Unethical Prosecution of an Assyrian Attorney

On January 2, 2018, Judge Goldsmith from the federal court in Michigan ordered the release of Assyrian (also known as Chaldean or Syriac) Christian detainees who had been held for deportation. In his decision, the judge cited that the country conditions in Iraq precluded the possibility of returning the refugees to their homes safely.

Editorials

The Unethical Prosecution of an Assyrian Attorney
German Recognition of Armenian, Assyrian Genocide: History and Politics
Senator McCain Sends Letter on Assyrians to Kurdish President
Turkey Attempted to Stop Broadcast of Assyrian Genocide Documentary
Australia's Assyrians in Focus
US Government Must Designate ISIS Attacks As Genocide for All Groups
Assyrians Should Leave the Middle East
Reflections on the Assyrian Genocide and the Next 100 Years
Teaching People to Commit Genocide
'Don't Cry, Sandra' -- Immortal Words of Faith and Hope From an Assyrian Refugee Girl

Turkey's Violation of Human Rights Must Be Challenged

By Sabri Atman

(AINA) -- When speaking about the Ottoman Empire and Turkey today, it is not their contribution to civilization that comes to mind. Instead it is human rights violations, confiscation of land and property, genocide and genocide denials that are most frequently discussed in the public discourse. Today's Turkey is still far from being ruled by democratic principles.

EU Conference on Nineveh Plains Favors Kurds, Marginalizes Assyrians

By Max Joseph

(AINA) -- Much has been swirling around on social media about an EU Conference (AINA 2017-06-24) organized by Swedish MEP Lars Adaktusson alongside sponsors such as Demand For Action. No sooner had I heard about it did I also see that it had been boycotted by the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) and the Chaldean Church, together with various other Assyrian parties and organizations, including...

Opinion Editorials

Turkey's Violation of Human Rights Must Be Challenged
EU Conference on Nineveh Plains Favors Kurds, Marginalizes Assyrians
Trump's Immigration Order and Christianity
The Winds of Change Are Blowing in Europe
Erdoğan's Gambit for Mosul
The Genocide of Assyrians and Yazidis and the Next American President
Is Obama Fast-tracking Mosul Offensive to Save His Legacy?
Why France? It's in the Math
Terrorist Strikes and the Blame Game
Refugees, Radicals and the Assaults on German Women

In Search of a Martyred Assyrian Ancestor

(BBC) -- Eastern Turkey had a large and thriving community of Christians a little over 100 years ago, but since then most have been dispersed or killed. The BBC's Eli Melki went to look for traces of a relative, who was martyred at the age of 33. One evening in June, I sat in the sunset among the Roman ruins of Zirzawan hill, in south-east Turkey.

Assyrian Monastery in Iraq Dates Back to 400 AD

By A.C. Robinson

Dere, North Iraq -- Mar Odisho Monastery, dating back to the fourth century, still serves the Assyrian community in the tiny village of Dere just four kilometers east of the ancient town of Amedi in Duhok province. Father Elias Daud, born in Dere in 1935 but raised in Baghdad, returned to the village in 1973. He's been leading services and taking care of the monastery for the past 30 years.

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