Nov 7, 2012

INTRODUCING: Assyrian Christianity


As I have been witnessing to Muslims here in Arizona, I have been coming across more of my brothers and sisters from the Middle East in the process. Some Arabic, some Persian, some North African (I know that's not the 'Middle East' really but you know what I mean), and others Assyrian. I have been attempting to learn more about Assyrian Christianity. I want to help the global church learn more about the history and identity of the Assyrian Evangelical Church. A great place to start is Nineveh On Line at www.nineveh.com ( founded in 1995, it was the first Assyrian registered domain in the world).

I recently spoke to a member of the Assyrian Evangelical Church in Turlock California. He told me how Assyrians have suffered over the past few decades. There have been many massacres and genocides at the hands of Muslims (Turks, Persians and Arab). On June 9, 1919, there was a brutal massacre of 7-10 thousand Assyrians - only eight hundred survived by seeking refuge at the American mission compound.

The American Presbyterian and Evangelical Churches have rescued some Assyrians in Persia and Iraq in the past. For example, Dr. Harry P. Packard, the doctor of the missionary station at Urumiah of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, risked his life in a successful effort to prevent a frightful massacre.
 
A lot of the Assyrian Church has historically been Eastern Orthodox or Chaldean. I don't want them getting slaughtered at the the hands of Muslims but I still resonate much more with the Evangelicals. Of course, there aren't too many of them and it seems hardly ANY ONE knows anything about them.


I mean, Assyria is in the Bible! This region used to be largely Christian. These folks have been killed for centuries and still are. UnfortunateLy, they have also suffered division in the Churches. This weakened their nation and made them more vulnerable. If you want to know more about Assyrian Christianity, please check out this amazing web site as well:

http://www.thecrossoverproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=336&Itemid=134

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:07 AM

    While on my Mormon mission in northern Germany in the mid 1990s, a red-headed man with blue eyes and freckles talked to me at a streetcar stop. He didn't speak German, but his English was decent. He told me he was an Iraqi Christian (he had refugee status, which was why he was in Germany). According to him, Christianity had been brought to modern-day Iraq by Thomas the Apostle, and I have heard this from other sources as well. Armenian Christians also claim that Thomas brought the gospel there, and I think Foxe's Book of Martyr's has Thomas being killed in India.

    --- McKay V. Jones

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  2. Man, McKay ... you know everyone! Again, I'm jealous =) But here are a few good sites I found on this topic which may help people interested in this topic -

    http://www.assyrianchristians.com/
    http://www.aina.org/

    Hope to see you soon!
    vm

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