DECLARATION OF THE CHALDEAN BISHOPS
ON THE ROLE OF CHALDEANS IN THE NEW IRAQ
3 September 2003
To Mr. Paul Bremer
Civil Administrator of Iraq
The Chaldean Patriarchate sees its duty to declare explicitly its stand in regard to the actual situation in our beloved country, especially in regard to the role of Chaldeans in the now Iraq and their participation in the formation of its institutions. We have already issued a declaration in the name of Patriarchs and Bishops of Iraq, dated 29 April 2, 2003, asking you to guarantee the rights of all Christians of Iraq -- religiously. civilly, socially, and politically -- first among them our Chaldean people.
The Chaldeans are the descendants of ancient inhabitants of Iraq; its land is their country from thousands of years. Their ancestors embraced Christianity since its dawn, an filled the plains and mountains of this country with their towns and villages, their monasteries and churches. In the last decade thousands of them had to leave their land. willingly or forcefully, due to the injustice committed against them; in fact. their towns and villages in the northern region were destroyed as were destroyed those of neighbors, heir schools were nationalized. their culture was supressed [sic], and their resisting children were pursuit [sic].
According to their number and their percentage to the general population. the Chaldeans represent the third ethnic community of Iraq, immediately after the Arabs and Kurds; their presence in the social, professional and administrative field, is evident all over Iraq, particularly in Baghdad and the North. Moreover, since the founding of the state of Iraq, Chaldeans played an active and prominent role in the formation of the State; the Chaldean Patriarch, in fact, has been a Senator in the Iraqi Senate, up to t le establishment of the republic of Iraq. Among Christians, the Chaldeans are approximately 75-80% of the total, though their presence in the cultural life at large is much greater than their number.
Nevertheless, we were and still are mystified that, despite our appeals, your administration ignored, since the beginning up to the present day, these facts. Unfairly, the Temporary Council o Government was formed without any Chaldean presence and the structure and members of the new government have been announced without any participation of Chaldeans in the name of Chaldeans, as well. That is an injustice committed against our people, for which we protest hereby explicitly and insistently.
We hereby, duly request your administration to respect ethnicity of the Chaldean people, and recognize its relevance among the ethnicity's [sic] of contemporary Iraq, and include its children to exercise the role that belongs to them in their land, particularly in the high institutions of the State, moreover to include them in the Commission entrusted with the drafting of the new Constitution, having clearly in mind to mentions the Chaldean ethnicity and its rights, in the due order, among the other ethnicities of the country.
We declare here our solidarity with all Iraqi citizens, Arabs, Kurds and Turkrmens, and all ethnic and religious groups living in peaceful brotherhood, especially with our Christian brethren-- the Assyrians, the Syriacs, the Armenians, and the Latins, for the sake of building a new Democratic, free, and prosperous Iraq.
1. Andre Sana (Kirkuk)
2. Ramzi Carmou (Iran)
3. Thomas Meram (Iran)
4. Petros Hanna Harbuli (Zakho)
5. Michel Kassarji (Lebanon)
6. Micha Pola Maqdassi (Alqosh)
7. Ibrahim Ibrahim (USA)
8. Sarhad Jammo (USA)
9. Andraos Aboona (Baghdad/Auxiliary Bishop)
10. Stephane Babaca (Arbil)
11. Yacoub Dinha Scher (Arbil)
12. Antoine Audo (Syria)
13. Hanna Zora (Canada)
14. Emmanuel Karim Delly (Baghdad/Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus)
15. Shlemon Warduni (Baghdad)
16. Jacques Ishaq (Arbil/Archbishop Emeritus)
17. Djibrail Kassab (Basra)
18. Paulos Faraj Rahho (Mosul)
Name Not Clear, but possible
19. Abdul Ahad Sana (alqosh/Bishop Emeritus)
20. Youssef Ibrahim Sarraf (Egypt)
21. Rabban al-Qas (Amadiya)
22. Paul Karatas (Turkey)