Iraq: Saddam's words are equivalent to Jesus Christ's
Baghdad – Iraq (January 20, 2002) In a sign reflecting the level of pressure and humiliation that Iraqi Christian churches are facing under the regime of President Saddam Hussein, the Year 2002 Calendar of the Chaldean Patriarchy of Babylon, featured sayings of the Iraqi president side by side to those of Jesus Christ. The Chaldean Church of the East, a Catholic denomination, is the largest Christian church in Iraq with membership of close to 80% of all Iraqi Christians.
With this act, Mr. Hussein is proving that his egotism knows no bounds, for the Iraqi President’s fondness in comparing himself to the founders of major religions is not anew.
Mr. Hussein, and for the past few years, has demanded that the mere mention of his name be treated with similar (albeit not exact) religious quotations as those afforded to the Muslims’ Prophet Muhammad. That is, under Islamic tradition, and whenever Prophet Muhammad’s name is invoked it has to be followed by religious wordings, the most common of is “May the blessing and the peace of Allah be upon him”. Today, the Iraqi official media treats the invocation of Saddam’s name with similar religious importance by adding the words “May Allah protect and care for him”!
Religious freedom in Iraq faces the same restrictions and control by security forces as those of other aspects of Iraqi civil and political activities. As is the case with political dissidents, several religious figures in Iraq have been executed. Shia religious figures like Imam alSader, Ayatallah alHakim as well as many others were executed at Saddam’s orders.
Mr. Hussein’s treatment of Iraqi Christians figures has yet to reach “execution status”. So far, those figures are known to have been acquiescent to a series of Iraqi security demands and interference in their church affairs. As part of Saddam’s Arabization campaign, most of the Chaldean church masses in Iraq are currently conducted in Arabic.
“The Babylon College of Liturgy and Philosophy” that’s being run by the Chaldean church is known to have all of its material taught in Arabic and hardly any Aramaic, the language of the Chaldeans, is being taught there.
New Chaldean priests are graduating from that school with minimum knowledge and proficiency of Aramaic, the liturgical language of their own church. Facing the alternative of death, several Chaldean priests have submitted to the pressure of Iraqi security in its attempt to further its control and agenda inside the church.
With the act of demanding that his words be treated with the same importance as those of Jesus Christ, Saddam would have “covered” the two major religions in Iraq.
Today, Iraqi Muslims must treat his name with similar reverence, as that afforded to their Prophet Muhammad, while Iraqi Christians must take his words as equivalent to those of Jesus Christ.
For a sample of the Year 2002 Calendar of the Chaldean Patriarchy of Babylon, please, click on this link:
Year 2002 Calendar of Chaldean Patriarchy of Babylon
Chaldeans, are descendents of all the native people of Mesopotamia, whether Chaldeans/Babylonians, Assyrians, Arameans, Akkadians, Sumerians ..etc. They’re a living 7000 years old nation that has contributed tremendously to the civilization of Mankind. The homeland of this ancient Christian nation that speaks Aramaic (the language spoken by Christ) is spread between Arab and non-Arab countries. Chaldeans could be found in Arab countries like Iraq (where they make up the third largest ethnic group after the Arabs and Kurds), Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, as well as in non-Arab countries like Turkey, Iran, Georgia, and Armenia. Today, large concentrations of the Chaldeans could be found in many countries, notably the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and many other European countries.
For more information about the Chaldeans, please, visit “Chaldeans On Line” website (http://www.chaldeansonline.org).
Chaldean News Agency
Chaldean News Agency