Good News For The Christians of Iraq !
By Ken Joseph Jr.
WASHINGTON, DC (ANS) — Amidst a rash of bad news for the Christian community in Iraq – the descendents of the first Nation to accept Christianity – finally there is some good news!
Passing the milestone of half of the community having left Iraq – most to neighboring Jordan and Syria , the community has a bit of hope.
The Iraqi Government, responding to the “brain drain” of the Iraqi elite has asked the community of Assyrian Christians to formally request one province in Iraq .
Alarmed by the dramatic flood of refugees leaving the country, the Iraqi Foreign Minister said “According to the Constitution the Assyrian Christians as the original people of Iraq are entitled under the constitution to a Province of their own. The Kurds have Kurdistan – the Assyrians should have their own.”
Seen as the only way to persuade the community to return, the offer is seen as a major development.
“If this request can be implemented, we should be able to see a dramatic return of the community from the neighboring countries where they are currently refugees,” said one expert.
In response to the offer from the Iraqi Government the Formal Request for an Assyrian Province was officially presented to the Iraqi Government recently.
The US Ambassador to Iraq , Zalmay Khalilzad, welcomed the request, saying, “Good news – I will assign one of my staff to see this request through.”
The Iraqi Ambassador to the US , Samir Shakir al-Sumaydi said, “Good Job! The request from the Assyrians was the talk of the Iraqi Delegation.”
Currently the Formal Request is being processed by the Iraqi Government and will be followed later by a Congressional Resolution and a similar Resolution by the European Community.
Having suffered during the time of Saddam this community is key to the success of Iraq as all Iraqi institutions are always staffed by Assyrian Christians in key positions, so valued are they for their honesty.
With all the current confusion in the Iraqi Government, Assyrian Christian leaders are calling for requests to be made to Congressmen and Members of the European Parliament to pass the Resolution and use their private contacts to ensure the implementation of the Formal Request.
The Assyrian Province , currently Nineveh Province in Northeast Iraq is the historical area of the Assyrian Empire and is the site of the biblical Nineveh .
All Iraqi provinces will be redrawn in two years and the community is planning for an expansion of the Province to the former boundaries of Assyria later on.
Currently a proposal for the administration of the province is being completed and when the province is officially granted, a transparent administration is being planned which will serve as an example to the rest of Iraq and the Middle East .
In addition to border security, internal security, medical and educational faculties the Province will be an oasis of stability and normalcy in Iraq .
Much of the Iraqi government is seen as corrupt and infiltrated by Islamic radicals as was seen in the hanging of Saddam Hussein.
The hanging was seen by many as simply retribution by radical Islamists, showing the true face of the Islamic Sharia Law.
The Assyrian province, with its freedom of religion, rule of law and security is seen by many as a way for at least part of Iraq to rise above the Islamic nightmare embodied in the sentence toward Saddam Hussein.
The community has established a website to chronicle the progress towards the implementation of the province at www.assyrianchristians.com.
When the Province will become a reality, and to what degree it will be able to be successfully implemented, according to the Assyrian Christian community, rests on the International Community and their support of the Formal Request.
An Assyrian Christian representative said, “We are calling on all in the International Communities to contact their representatives and the Iraqi Government and request the Formal Request for an Assyrian Province to be processed as soon as possible so the nearly 500,000 refugees can return home to freedom and security.”