Voices from Russia

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Iraqi Christians Face “Death Sentence” as Trump Prepares Mass Deportations

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Editor:

The stupidity of this is mindboggling. The silence of so-called “conservatives” should give you the measure of this godless and demonic movement. They support this and they support Trump in doing this to Christians. All those who voted for Trump are patsies… he’s handing over US foreign policy to Israel and the KSA. He’s also enabling every Russophobe in creation. All Orthodox who voted for this man are partially responsible for this and for the present campaign against the Rodina. It gives you the measure of Dreher and Potapov, doesn’t it (Whiteford is too stupid to garner blame for his rightwing rants… he’s merely an ignorant Yahoo… not calculating and mendacious like Dreher or Potapov).

This is evil. Note well that the “conservatives” are silent about this. Where is Fox News? Where is Sean Hannity? Where is the National Review? May God curse their movement.

Interestingly, I think that Trump himself isn’t that stupid. However, Netanyahu and Prince Mohammed bin Salman are that hateful and they forced Trump’s hand (both have an irrational hate of Iran and its allies). If this doesn’t prove to you that US foreign policy in the Middle East comes from Tel Aviv and Riyadh, nothing will. Strange bedfellows, the KSA and Israel, wot? It proves that hatred can make the most bitter opponents collude together to harm a third-party. God do help the USA and Middle Eastern Christians.

BMD

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A large roundup of Iraqi Christians by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sparked off widespread criticism of President Donald Trump, who previously pledged to protect such communities from persecution in the Middle East. Over the weekend, the ICE seized dozens of Iraqi Christians and other immigrants a series of ICE raids, many of which took place in Michigan, a state known for its large Middle Eastern population. Those arrested face risk of deportation back to their home countries, some of which Trump previously criticised as being hostile toward Christians. CNN reported that many of the detained face years-old charges, with some having not committed any crimes in the past two or three decades. Activists such as Steve Oshana, the Assyrian Christian executive director of A Demand for Action, a non-profit that assists at-risk religious and ethnic communities in the Middle East, attacked Trump for allowing authorities to send Christians back to places like Iraq, where the USA said that a “genocide” against the faith was occurring. On Monday, Oshana, who claimed that some of those arrested hadn’t committed any crimes at all, told Catholic news outlet EWTN:

Someone like the President of the United States has to step in, he promised in the past that he was going to protect our community, but the people who are being sent back now are being sent back as a direct deal between the USA and the Iraqi government to accept these people.

Lavrena Kenawa, an American Chaldean Catholic, cried as she thought about her uncle, seized Sunday by ICE agents during a rally outside the Mother of God Catholic Chaldean Church in Southfield MI on 12 June 2017. A number of protesters gathered to criticise President Trump’s authorisation of raids targeting Iraqi Christians (amongst other groups the President once pledged to protect from persecution in the Middle East). ICE stated that the raids were “consistent with the routine targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis”. According to Michigan’s Local 4 News, however, scenes of chaos reportedly broke out near Detroit’s ICE office as busses removed the suspects. Protestors claiming that ICE apprehended as many as 80 people in the area assembled outside the detention centres, shouting slogans that accused ICE of racism, and attempted to block the buses from departing. On Sunday, local lawyer Wisam Naoum said that ICE officers deliberately waited to take action when the local Chaldean Catholic Assyrian community gathered for Mass. On a Facebook post, Naoum said:

This is a deliberate attack on the Chaldean Catholic Assyrian community of Detroit by the Administration. They waited until Sunday when our community would be going to church and gathering with their families and have rounded up to 40-60 community members.

Naoum said he’d heard reports of the authorities sending suspects to prisons as far away as Ohio and that some final orders to deport individuals to Mosul were received. Mosul is the former Iraqi stronghold of the Islamic State (ISIS) that now serves as a venue for a violent showdown between the jihadists and an Iraqi government-led offensive. ISIS had its origins in Iraq’s Sunni Muslim jihadist movement and the militant group took control of up to 45 percent of the country in 2014, subjecting Shiite Muslims, Christians, and ethnic minorities to mass torture, enslavement, and executions. Despite sweeping victories by Iraqi forces against ISIS in Iraq, Christian protesters claimed being sent back to the country amidst the current instability would effectively constitute a “death sentence”. In January, Trump tweeted:

Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers. We can’t allow this horror to continue!

Shortly after Trump took office earlier this year, ISIS’s infiltration of Iraq led Trump to add the war-torn nation to a list of countries he sought to ban all travel and immigration from. Shortly afterwards, a federal court struck down the measure, prompting Trump to resubmit the order, this time omitting Iraq, as he’d faced criticism from both the Iraqi community and government, which is deeply involved in the fight against ISIS. According to Politico, in exchange, the Iraqi government reportedly agreed to accept Iraqi nationals designated for deportation by the USA. Most recently, despite Iraq’s absence, a federal appeals court also blocked and struck down the second inception of the travel ban on Monday.

14 June 2017

Tom O’Connor

Newsweek

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iraqi-christians-face-apos-death-200731868.html?.tsrc=fauxdal

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Over 15,000 Assyrian Christian Families at Risk in Northeast Syria

00 syria war damage 110815

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On Monday, Bishop Yatron Koliana of the Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon said that over 15,000 Assyrian Christian families remaining in Syria are at risk from the current crisis. On Friday, ISIL jihadists abducted 230 Assyrian Christians in Homs Governate during an offensive to seize Quaryatayn, in a reprise of a similar kidnapping earlier this year. Bishop Yatron told RIA Novosti, “My personal sources say there are about 15,000 families left in Syria. Of course, they don’t live in the villages captured by militants, but they were able to move temporarily to nearby towns. Resettled families still face uncertainty, but the estimated 3,500-strong Assyrian diaspora in Hasakah, Qamishi, and Tall Tamr is able to accommodate an estimated 1,500 internally displaced families”. He added that over 550 Christian refugees have received shelter in Lebanon since March before the Lebanese government banned refugee entrance in May. An agreement between the church and the Lebanese government allows Assyrian Christians passage into Lebanon provided they display the needed documentation. Bishop Yatron emphasised the Assyrians’ desire to return to their homeland, but said their security largely depends on “strong countries that in one way or another affect the Syrian crisis. We very much hope that countries such as Russia and the USA will hear our call for help from their Christian brothers in the Middle East”.

The latest abductions follow a similar attack on Assyrian villages in Hasakah Governate in late February and early March, when IS militants took over 250 Christians captive. They killed dozens of the inhabitants and looted their homes and churches. Religious leaders in Lebanon and the Vatican classified the acts as genocide. Assyrians are an ethnic group whose historic home lies in southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and northeastern Syria, and are amongst the first groups to adopt Christianity. Syrian government forces are in the fourth year of a military standoff with several independence and extremist groups, including IS and the al-Nusra Front.

10 August 2015

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20150810/1025602980.html

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East to Stay in Damascus

00 St George Syriac Orthodox Church. Damascus. Syria. 29.08.13

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On Sunday, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East said that it had no plans to relocate from its offices in Damascus, despite continuing battles between rebel and government forces there. The patriarchate said in a statement carried by SANA, “There is no plan to move the official residence of the Apostolic See of Antioch from Damascus to any other place. Moving the seat is something that Patriarch Ignatius Zakka Iwas, as well as the Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Syriacs worldwide refuse”. The patriarchate’s headquarters is at St George Cathedral, in the Christian neighbourhood of Bab Touma in the Old City of Damascus. In June, an explosion struck Bab Touma, in what Syrian state television said was a suicide bombing. It was the first major blast reported inside the Old City since the beginning of the civil war. The Syriac body made no mention of the country’s bloody conflict in the statement, but it emphasised that if it left Damascus, the church “might lose its legal and legitimate rights”. They went on to say, “It’s important to keep Syriacs in Syria, in all parts of the Syrian territories”.

5 August 2013

The Daily Star

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Aug-05/226294-syriac-orthodox-patriarchate-to-stay-in-damascus.ashx#axzz2dNtNlIrK

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