The recent attacks on churches in Egypt and Iraq


The recent attacks on churches in Egypt and Iraq appeared to be Christian citizens are facing an uncertain future in the Middle East. In a country is a religion in which an essential component of life components, it seems that the issue of religious violence been marginalized in news coverage of the Arab Spring, despite the critical importance of these attacks, it causes us to question whether the religious conflict has undermined any attempts democracy in its wake. When there is no religious tolerance, there does not become the hope of democracy, but only a conflict of interest. The good relations between religions and beliefs are essential to building a democratic and stable, healthy society, it provided equality before the law and protection from violence caused by tyranny. And most importantly, that every society needs a moral conscience. And whenever there is religious intolerance, the minority communities are suffering most. Unfortunately, decreasing the number of these minorities in the Middle East to become more vulnerable.

This shows that the issue of the Monastery of St. Gabriel in Turkey which was founded in the year 397 AD. Where the monastery is the oldest religious and cultural centers and the most important when the Assyrians, but the future of the monastery quite threatened. In 2004, when the Turkish government offered “a new law for the registration of land ownership”, enabled the three Kurdish villages surrounding the monastery and encourage them to submit the issue of the monastery to the court. In 2008, the monastery village leaders accused of proselytizing because of the acceptance of students can pass them Christian beliefs. They also claimed that there was a mosque before in the convent site, although the monastery was built two decades before the advent of Islam, and called for the division of the land among the villagers. In Resolution 2006, the European Parliament considered the issue a human rights issue. But what appeared to be another “campaign of persecution” against the Assyrian community, it came also to remind them of their past painful.

It is worth mentioning that the number of the population of Assyrians and other Christians living in the Middle East is declining at an accelerated pace. Has diminished the number of Assyrians, who were by the strong and great nation numbering about one million people living in Turkey, and they were pioneers in the period 2400 BC in the fields of medicine, education, law and astronomy. They were eliminated through an infinite number of executions, until it became the number now stands at about 5 thousand people. Before the First World War, Christians make up 33 per cent of the population in Turkey, but they are currently represent about 0.1 percent – the result of massacres that have suffered, migration and immigration compulsory later. Today, Turkey does not recognize Assyrians even as a minority. Many members of that community and feel that they are victims of a circle was aimed at wiping their presence is not only or even their presence in the physical memory. Indeed, in addition to the deprivation of land ownership is mentioned in the books of academics who specialize in the study of genocide, such as the Rafael enabled, as the latest steps genocide.

November 14 (November) 1914, and at the beginning of the First World War, he declared, “Sheikh Al-Islam” a holy war against all Christians in the Ottoman Empire. The Armenian massacre was the result of that call and the famous massacre documented, but little is known about the number of collective massacres of the Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs.
It asserts Professor Richard Hovancian in the book, which includes essays about the Armenian genocide “Anahit Khosroeva” at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, that in the period between 1895 – 1922 in Turkey, and when it was slaughtered about 802.947, has lost about two-thirds of the Assyrian population lives.
This can be explained “chapter Lost” history presumptuously issue of Armenia him and also the existence of a legal ban on talking about the massacres in Turkey in addition to government funding effective historical literature alternative in the United States, Britain and praise of the Ottoman Empire and Tsouriha victim from the premise that the rebels deserve to be punished.

Damage to a Coptic Church in Egypt. AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper
Damage to a Coptic Church in Egypt. AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper
Turkey has attributed the events to “war, civil unrest,” and not collective massacres and used it as an excuse for the absence of formal apology. But witness accounts and certificates of diplomats and envoys that were sent through telegrams, letters and reports that they were raising them to their superiors tell us a different story.
In April 1916, it was to report to the advisor of the German Empire that the Assyrians in the east of the Ottoman Empire were wiped out. In spite of the initial estimates of the number of Assyrians in 1922 indicate that they were about 250 thousand people, modern assessments indicate that the number of Assyrians who were killed amounted to 750 thousand people. Can you explain it really in the context of the effects of the civil war?

Divide and conquer

It is known widely that the Turkish Kurds rallied tribes through the use of anti-Christian propaganda in addition to bribery and gun stocks, and the exploitation of divide and conquer theory. In 1955, the Kurdish parliament in exile issued a recognition: “Men Ottoman administration began the extermination of the Armenians, Assyrians policy .. with the help of some Kurdish tribes,” and the result was “killed millions of Armenians and Assyrians.”
In January (January) 1915, and in one county Boormiya, 70 villages were attacked and looted. The Turks and the Kurds, Assyrians massacred in Omadia in May 1915 before transferring their attention to the Chaldeans in Sirte Province. It was also killed in the province next to the Assyrians, Harput, Hosnkev, and Urfa in June. It was forced from did not kill to flee their villages that were destroyed or burned, where they cut a long trip to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and horse-drawn carts and trailers, or on foot, leaving their homes and property. Many of them died during the arduous and long journey.
Perhaps the causes of the massacre are to be Turkish land clearing, fearing Christians cooperate with the Kurdish minority or with Russia in the World War. Some say that it was the Turkish reaction to the Armenian uprising against the occupation of their land aside, despite the fact that those massacres spread to far beyond the armed resistance does not justify the killing of the Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs who did not participate in the uprising. For his part, the historian David Gaunt says that although this is not unfounded, it seems that the Turks fear the outbreak of a Christian revolution was a major cause in those massacres. Regardless of the reason, there is nothing to justify the destruction of villages, and the slaughter of thousands of innocent victims of the young and the elderly, rape, slaughter and abduction of women and children recorded in detail through witnesses as one of the most inhuman acts of cruelty.

I’ve become violent events in 1915 known as the sword, or in the sword inside the Assyrian community has not been ignored. But it represents for them the top of the ongoing massacres committed during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. In just two years, from 1843 – 1845, according to representatives of the British and the sources of Western missions, it was massacred ten thousand Assyrians. Since that time, they were more massacres, but in 1915 it was the most brutal year in terms of the number of victims. It has recognized the “International Association of academics genocide” of the European Parliament as well as the Assyrian genocide, “the Armenian Association of America.” But Turkey still deny the massacre even though officially they had admitted committing massacres in other places, including massacres, which included less than younger victims and groups such as Bosnia and Kosovo in the former Yugoslav federation number.
In 2009, Recep Tayyip Erdogan made, Prime Minister of Turkey so bold statement that the incidents of ethnic cleansing committed by the previous Turkish governments were fascist actions, saying: “For many years, it was carrying different identities are being kicked out of our country.”
A move that came under sharp criticism and rebuttal by the parliament, but welcomed by the minority communities. In any case, there were many reservations on the sincerity, and still did not make a formal apology yet.


In order to find solutions to the current conflicts, we must return to talk of history, and we examine what happened and we show the positive aspects and condemn the negative aspects. Otherwise, we have participated in supporting behaviors fundamentalism and ethnic footprint. When we do not recognize the occurrence of genocide, it creates a feeling in the community that this kind of acts passed without punishment which does not allow the community to develop. Also it contributes to insist on denying the crimes of the Ottoman Empire in the lack of confidence and the continued persecution of its victims until today. According to Sabri Atman, founder Saif Assyrians center in Europe, “the denial, make the situation that existed since 1915 continues through the crimes committed at the moment against the Assyrians in Turkey, Iraq and Iran.” The ball is now in Turkey’s court where they can use the opportunity to provide a good example for other countries. Before that happens, Atman asks: “Should they have to live in accordance with the mentality that prevailed time of the commission of those crimes?”.

For his part, Hannibal Travis, author of “mass slaughter in the Middle East: the Ottoman Empire, Iraq and Sudan,” says that “the implementation of international law might solve the problem,” adding: “International law prohibits the denial of the genocide or crimes against humanity and requires the payment of compensation and guarantees the equality of members of the cultural minorities, religious, ethnic, political and indigenous peoples. ”
Maybe have every member of the Assyrians or Syriacs or Chaldeans person has been killed or kidnapped, or was forced to marry during the events of 1915. But justice may come in different forms, at a time when some fear of a claim of the Assyrian community compensation – as happened in Nazi Germany – each demanded by families of the victims is the Turkish government’s apology, an acknowledgment that what happened was a massacre and it was a one-sided attack on them, the innocent people. Many of them feel that until that happens, the lives of the millions who were killed for no reason can not rest in peace. The society needs to conclusion, because for each of the lost aunt or what or so, in addition to the homeland, the horrific story of the systematic destruction of their own people are still being felt yet and is still very realistic.

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