Assyria: AUA Marks New Year
The Assyrian Universal Alliance celebrated New Year amid calls for greater attention to be paid to the plight of Christians in Iraq.
Below is a press release excerpt written by Hermiz Shahen, issued by the Assyrian Universal Alliance (Australia Chapter):
For the Assyrians, the New Year makes us reflect on the past and envisage the future; during this celebration, we remember our nation Assyria and history.
Today our people are struggling for survival, they are frustrated and disheartened by a lack of focus given to their plea. Following the March 2003 liberation of Iraq and since the commencement of the war, hundreds of Assyrians have been killed, and hundreds of thousands have fled Iraq. Today out of the 1.7 million Iraqi refugees in Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Lebanon, approximately half are Christians. About 45 churches have been bombed since the US invasion without a proper media coverage.
It is time for the world to address centuries of Assyrian suffering from religious oppression […] to recognize their plight and immediately take the necessary steps to secure this ancient people in their ancestral homeland in Assyria.
To us, the Assyrians, we see the world government silence for what happened to our people after the liberation of Iraq as an injustice. Assyrians are excluded from the freedom that others enjoy in Iraq, they can not participate in Government without compromising their Assyrian identity and values. Today, in what should be a liberated Iraq, […w]e still cannot promote our ethnic identity nor have our lands secured.
Simply, what the Assyrian Universal Alliance wants is for the friendship of the Australian government with the Assyrian community to move to a new level; one that can bring about a political and humanitarian change for our kin in Iraq. The Assyrian future in Iraq is dependent on Western countries taking effective measures today, to resolve our case at an international level and to support the Assyrian […] region in Northern Iraq. We have already paid the price as a nation to free Iraq, so please support plans to protect Assyrians, and all other ethnic minorities, by helping them secure their rights and in turn their future.