By Jack Montgomery
Turkey's Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian Christians, which predominated in the region before its colonisation by Turkic Muslims, were subjected to a "staggered campaign of genocide" from 1894 to 1924, which reduced them from 20 per cent of the population to less than 2 per cent, according to Israeli researchers.
By Dean Kalimniou
Approximately 300,000 Armenian and 25,000 Assyrian subjects of the Ottoman Empire were killed during the Hamidian massacres of 1895. It is estimated that 100,000 "Greeks" were also killed, although this may mainly refer to Armenian, Assyrian and Arabic members of the Greek Orthodox church rather than just ethnic Greeks per se.
Archbishop Bashar Warda, one of the leading voices on behalf of persecuted and displaced Christians in Iraq, released today an urgent statement regarding the retreat of U.S. personnel from key areas in the country. "We are gravely concerned regarding the recent draw down of the U.S. presence in Iraq," the archbishop said.
By Uzay Bulut
Christians in Iraq continue to be exposed to violent attacks and oppression at the hands of various armed groups. On May 13, assailants broke into an Assyrian Christian home and attacked two elderly women, a mother and daughter, in the Iraqi town of Bartella. The women were repeatedly stabbed with a knife and their gold and money were stolen. The two victims were then hospitalized in Mosul.
Baghdad -- Iraqi leaders and the powers-that-be must "put their political differences aside, and be the voice of moderation, national sovereignty and tolerance," writes Patriarch Card Louis Raphael Sako in a message on "minorities and migrations" sent to AsiaNews.
By Amy Austin Holmes
The borderlands between Turkey and Syria are dotted with small Syriac Christian churches. Last fall, bullets penetrated the wall of a church in the village of Tel Jihan in northeastern Syria, just four-hundred-fifty meters from the Turkish border. Locals told me it was not an isolated incident. Syriac Christians refer to themselves as "descendants of survivors.