News

Pages
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Articles Per Page Sort Order

CHALDEAN NEWS: Guest Column: The West Needs to Step Up for Middle Eastern Christians

DECEMBER 16, 2013 IN DECEMBER 2013, GUEST COLUMNS | 19 VIEWS | LEAVE A RESPONSE

Guest Column: The West Needs to Step Up for Middle Eastern Christians 

DECEMBER 16, 2013 IN DECEMBER 2013, GUEST COLUMNS | 19 VIEWS | LEAVE A RESPONSE

 

For the past few years, there has been a concerted movement 

around the Arab, Middle East, and world at large regarding the 

issue of Middle East Christians and Christianity‟s presence in the 

Middle East. Some of these efforts were initiated by The Vatican, 

Arab kings or heads of governments, or by the various heads of 

Middle East Christian denominations in the form of conferences, 

meetings, and symposiums. However, their agendas either 

overlapped or competed with each other with declarations or 

suggestions. Yet, the process of emptying the Middle East of 

Christians or infringing their civic or religious rights has not 

stopped and, in some cases, has worsened. At present, the end product has failed 

logically.

Before the so-called “Arab Spring,” the Middle East Christian denominations and their 

religious hierarchies had adopted a policy of either the status quo or adjustment to the 

political, religious, and social status of the country in which they lived. But since then, a 

new breed of leadership has emerged with policies that are more coherent, intellectual, 

and courageous and either challenged the status quo or brought into the open the plight 

of the Middle East Christians in their countries.

 

The world put very little notice to the targeting of Christians in Lebanon in the 1970s and 

the aftermath of the American-led invasion of Iraq and subsequent forced emigration 

and immigration of two-thirds of indigenous Iraqi-Christians either to more stable areas 

in Iraq or to the West. These changes in the geopolitical population in Iraq have alerted 

The Vatican and the West, and their plight has become more noted with a new modus 

operandi to protect the Middle East Christians. This new leadership, whether in 

Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, or elsewhere, has more in common philosophically than in 

the past, where they were more concentrated on their denomination or on local politics. 

This is a positive movement, but this like-minded church leadership must come together 

as Middle East Christians and then as local Christians because the anti-Middle East 

Christian movements are endangering all and not one Christian community.

The plight of the Middle East Christians was also noticed by Arab and Muslim leaders in 

the Middle East and elsewhere. Emptying of the Middle East of Christians or the rise of 

religious fanaticism movements does not bode well for their governments or religion. 

Hence, leaders such as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or King Abdullah of Jordan have 

planned international and national conferences regarding the Middle East Christians, 

and then to a degree, built bridges with Middle East Christians and western 

governmental and non-governmental organizations.

 

Even in the West, westernized Muslim leaders such as Baroness Sayeeda Warsi (the 

British government minister for faith and the first Muslim member of British cabinet) 

called on western governments to do more to protect besieged Christian minorities 

across the world, particularly in the Holy Land where they are now seen as outsiders. 

According to her, “religious freedom is a proxy for human rights and must not be an 

„add-on‟ to foreign policy.” She added, “when the majority religion is offended or 

aggrieved, „the local Christian community is fair game, and that somehow collective 

punishment can be meted out against these communities for what they see as the 

perceived actions of their co-religionists‟ abroad,” especially in war-torn regions of 

Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere, and they are threatened by Muslim majorities in the 

very places that gave rise to Christianity.

 

The East and West European and American leaders at present seem to have reverse 

roles regarding the preservation of Middle East Christianity, Christians, their rights, and 

their existence.

While President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, through their policies, are 

publicly demanding the safeguarding of the Syrian Christians and the Middle East 

Christians, the United States government, which has been known as the champion of 

preserving civic, civil, and religious freedom all over the world, is seen to do the 

opposite by cooperating with politically religious-minded political groups, such as in 

Egypt, the Syrian opposition, or by turning a blind eye to the Iraqi Christians‟ dilemma 

after invading Iraq in 2003.

Pope Francis, like his predecessors, has been eloquent and outspoken regarding the 

Middle East Christians. Unfortunately, his message has been dimmed by the western 

press, who has been more interested in his “liberal” view than in his various quotations, 

conferences, and meetings addressing preserving the Middle East Christians. Quoting 

Pope Francis, “We won‟t resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians who for 

two thousand years confess the name of Jesus, as full citizens in social, cultural and 

religious life of the nations to which they belong.” The Pope appealed for “everyone‟s 

right to a dignified life and to freely profess their faith [and to] be respected.” He 

appealed to the Muslim communities at large that Middle East Christians should have 

the same freedom of religion as Muslims enjoy in the West.

We must learn from other faith-based communities who have faced similar fates or 

wanted to preserve their identities in the world, such as with the creation of the World 

Jewish Congress or the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, in order to inteWe must learn from other faith-based communities who have faced similar fates or wanted to preserve their identities in the world, such as with the creation of the World 

Jewish Congress or the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, in order to internationalize 

Middle East Christians‟ plights and work with like-minded. Additionally, this newly 

created organization should have the collaboration of the religious hierarchy and 

laypeople — political, social, and economical organizations — so as to speak with one 

voice, one agenda, and one action proactively and reactively. Such an organization 

should and will have the backing of western and eastern countries‟ leadership who 

believe in the preservation of the Middle East Christians, peaceful coexistence between 

inter- and intra-religious, and the culture and heritage of their countries.

The Middle East Christians have been the victims of recurring genocides in the past, 

whether with the Armenians, Assyrians, Syriacs, Chaldeans, or others — collectively or 

singularly. If we do not stop it and instead turn a blind eye, history will condemn us. It is 

difficult to understand why America and the western governments are not responding to 

these genocides in a similar manner than they did to the Yugoslavia/Sarajevo events, 

where the Muslim community was threatened, by arising the world‟s conscience and 

interfering militarily. The present Middle East Christians‟ situation is similar, if not worse, 

than Sarajevo.

The Middle East Christians expect more than just global resolutions, mere 

condemnations, or sympathetic views. We believe such genocides must be reported to 

the United Nations Security Council and International Criminal Court at The Hague to 

stop this madness. We hope Arab and Muslim leadership and the Organisation of 

Islamic Cooperation will come in the open and support such acts.

The American Middle East Christians Congress and others believe the time has come 

to create or re-organize such an organization that is internationally recognized and 

supported by the majority with a Middle East Christian agenda compatible to the modus 

operandi of the World Jewish Congress and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to 

promote and preserve the heritage, faith, culture, political, civic, and civil rights of the 

Middle East Christians.

Ramsay F. Dass, M.D., is president of the American Middle East Christians Congress. 

Visit www.MiddleEastChristian.org or www.Amecc.us.

POSTED IN DECEMBER 2013, GUEST COLUMNS

 

 

Christmas Message 2013

December 15, 2013

 

For the past few years, there has been a concerted movement around the Arab, Middle East, and 

world at large regarding the issue of Middle East Christians' and Christianity's presence in the 

Middle East. Some of these efforts were initiated by The Vatican, Arab kings or heads of 

governments, or by the various heads of Middle East Christian denominations in the form of 

conferences, meetings, and symposiums. However, their agendas either overlapped or competed 

with each other with declarations or suggestions. Yet, the process of emptying the Middle East of 

Christians or infringing their civic or religious rights has not stopped and, in some cases, has 

worsened. At present, the end product has failed logically.

Before the so-called "Arab Spring," the Middle East Christian denominations and their religious 

hierarchies had adopted a policy of either the status quo or adjustment to the political, religious, 

and social status of the country in which they lived. But since then, a new breed of leadership has 

emerged with policies that are more coherent, intellectual, and courageous and either challenged 

the status quo or brought into the open the plight of the Middle East Christians in their countries. 

The world put very little notice to the targeting of Christians in Lebanon in the 1970s and the 

aftermath of the American-led invasion of Iraq and subsequent forced emigration and 

immigration of two-thirds of indigenous Iraqi-Christians either to more stable areas in Iraq or to 

the west. These changes in the geopolitical population in Iraq have alerted The Vatican and the 

west, and their plight has become more noted with a new modus operandi to protect the Middle 

East Christians. This new leadership, whether in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, or elsewhere, has 

more in common philosophically than in the past, where they were more concentrated on their 

denomination or on local politics. This is a positive movement, but this like-minded church 

leadership must come together as Middle East Christians and then as local Christians because the 

anti-Middle East Christian movements are endangering all and not one Christian community.

The plight of the Middle East Christians was also noticed by Arab and Muslim leaders in the 

Middle East and elsewhere. Emptying of the Middle East of Christians or the rise of religious 

fanaticism movements does not bode well for their governments or religion. Hence, leaders such 

as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or King Abdullah of Jordan have planned international and 

national conferences regarding the Middle East Christians, and then to a degree, built bridges 

with Middle East Christians and western governmental and non-governmental organizations. 

Even in the west, westernized Muslim leaders, such as Baroness Sayeeda Warsi (the British

government minister for faith and the first Muslim member of British cabinet), called on western 

governments to do more to protect besieged Christian minorities across the world, particularly in 

the Holy Land where they are now seen as outsiders. According to her, "religious freedom is a 

proxy for human rights and must not be an 'add-on' to foreign policy." She added, "when the 

majority religion is offended or aggrieved, 'the local Christian community is fair game, and that

somehow collective punishment can be meted out against these communities for what they see as 

the perceived actions of their co-religionists' abroad," especially in war-torn regions of Egypt, 

Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere, and they are threatened by Muslim majorities in the very places that

gave rise to Christianity."

The east and west European and American leaders at present seem to have reverse roles 

regarding the preservation of Middle East Christianity, Christians, their rights, and their 

existence.

While President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, through their policies, are publicly 

demanding the safeguarding of the Syrian Christians and the Middle East Christians,  the United 

States government, which has been known as the champion of preserving civic, civil, and religious freedom

all over the world, is seen to do the opposite by cooperating with politically-religious-minded political groups, such as in Egypt, the Syrian opposition, or by turning a blind eye to the Iraqi Christians' dilemma after invading Iraq in 2003. 

Pope Francis, like his predecessors, has been eloquent and outspoken regarding the Middle East 

Christians. Unfortunately, his message has been dimmed by the western press, who has been 

more interested in his "liberal" view than in his various quotations, conferences, and meetings 

addressing preserving the Middle East Christians. Quoting Pope Francis, “We won’t resign 

ourselves to a Middle East without Christians who for two thousand years confess the name of 

Jesus, as full citizens in social, cultural and religious life of the nations to which they belong,” he 

said. The Pope appealed for “everyone’s right to a dignified life and to freely profess their faith 

[and to] be respected.” He appealed to the Muslim communities at large that the Middle East 

Christians should have the same freedom of religion as Muslims enjoy in the west. 

We must learn from other faith-based communities who have faced similar fates or wanted to 

preserve their identities in the world, such as with the creation of the World Jewish Congress or

the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in order to internationalize the Middle East Christians' 

plights and work with like-minded. Additionally, this newly created organization should have the 

collaboration of the religious hierarchy and laypeople--political, social, and economical 

organizations--so as to speak with one voice, one agenda, and one action proactively and 

reactively. Such an organization should and will have the backing of western and eastern 

countries' leadership who believe in the preservation of the Middle East Christians, peaceful 

coexistence between inter- and intra-religious, and the culture and heritage of their countries. 

The Middle East Christians have been the victims of recurring genocides in the past, whether 

with the Armenians, Assyrians, Syriacs, Chaldeans, or others--collectively or singularly. If we do 

not stop it and instead turn a blind eye, history will condemn us. It is difficult to understand why 

America and the western governments are not responding to these genocides in a similar manner 

than they did to the Yugoslavia/Sarajevo events, where the Muslim community was threatened, 

by arising the world's conscience and interfering militarily. The present Middle East Christians' 

situation is similar, if not worse, than Sarajevo.

The Middle East Christians expect more than just global resolutions, mere condemnations, or 

sympathetic views. We believe such genocides must be reported to the United Nations Security 

Council and International Criminal Court at The Hague to stop this madness. We hope Arab and 

Muslim leadership and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will come in the open and 

support such acts. 

The American Middle East Christians Congress and others believe the time has come to create or 

re-organize such an organization that is internationally recognized and supported by the majority 

with a Middle East Christian agenda compatible to the modus operandi of the World Jewish 

Congress and Organization of Islamic Cooperation to promote and preserve the heritage, faith, 

culture, political, civic, and civil rights of the Middle East Christians.

 

Dr. Ramsay F. Dass, MD

President, American Middle East Christians Congress

www.middleeastchristian.org or www.amecc.us

24601 Coolidge Highway

Oak Park, MI 48237

Office: (248) 546-9100

Cell: (248) 763-6006

E-Mail: Rfdass@aol.com 

 

 

COMMUNITY NEWS

Press Release

COMMUNITY NEWS

Thursday, 10.24.2013, 07:27pm

 

AMECC offers free services at health fair

 

OAK PARK — On Oct. 20, the American Middle East Christian Congress 

(AMECC), in collaboration with the Middle East Council of Churches and 

organizations, hosted a successful health fair, including physicians, pharmacists, 

attorneys, organizations and representatives from government and U.S. 

Congressional offices, who offered free services to attendees, to benefit the 

community.

 

Over 600 citizens received free medical, pharmaceutical, legal and social services.

 

Attendees were able to receive onsite advice from health specialists in areas such as 

internal medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, oncology, dermatology, pain management 

and bone disease. They also had the opportunity to take advantage of a full spectrum 

of blood testing and mammogram and cervical cancer referrals.

 

With regard to legal services, counselors and attorneys advised the community on 

general legal affairs, disability and Social Security, civil and criminal law, 

intellectual property and immigration.

 

Also available were physical therapy, paramedical and auxiliary services, such as 

social services, home care and hospice.

 

A representative from the Iraqi Consulate of Detroit was present to assist newly 

migrated individuals and expatriates with issues related to the Consulate.

The Detroit Free Press, AMECC in the Media...

Letters: Praise, prayers for Pope Benedict

March 2, 2013 |

Comments

Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims Thursday, for the last time as head of the Catholic Church, from the window of Castel Gandolfo, where he starts his retirement. / FRANCO ORIGLIA/GETTY IMAGES

Opinion

 

Letters to the Editor

 

There are those who have underestimated the influence, charisma and intellectuality of retired Pope Benedict XVI. His contribution to the Catholic Church and Catholicism will continue in his retirement.

The Middle East Christians will always be grateful for the gallant efforts he has worked so hard to provide for the Middle East Christians and Christianity, as they are going through a very difficult time in preserving their faith, heritage and presence.

We are all praying for a new pope who will continue Pope Benedict's efforts in fulfillment of his vision and mission for the Middle East.

Ramsay F. Dass

President, American Middle East Christians Congress Oak Park

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

February 10, 2013

PRESS RELEASE

February 10, 2013

The American Middle East Christians Congress joins the Chaldean Catholic and other Middle 

East Christian churches in rejoicing with the election of His Beatitude Patriarch Louis Raphael I 

Sako to head the Chaldean Church. 

Patriarch Sako is well known for his intellectuality, passion for his Christianity, and promotion of 

unity not only between all denominations of Christianity but also between other members of faith. 

He is well known and respected not only by The Vatican, but by all those who knew his activities 

for so many years. He has never been shy or fearful of taking up issues that are good for 

humanity. 

This election is rejuvenating and bringing new hope to the Chaldean Catholics in Iraq and 

elsewhere. He will be in our prayers so that his tenure will be successful, especially in this 

disturbed world where fanaticism, radicalism, and changes in geopolitics have put the Middle 

East Christians and Christianity on notice. As Christians, we never lost our faith. "And I tell you, 

you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail 

against it." (Matthew 16:18). 

We now have our own Middle East Spring and revival of Christianity and Christians with the 

election and Cardinalization of His Eminence Beatitude Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi to 

the Maronite Church, the election of His Holiness Pope Theodoros II of Alexandria to the 

Coptic Church, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the EastJohn X of Antioch, and 

now the election of His Beatitude Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako to head the Chaldean 

Church, in addition to His Beatitude Mar Ignatius Joseph III Yonan of the Syriac Catholic 

Church, HH Patriarch Mor Ignatios Zakka I Iwas to the Syriac Orthodox Church, and Latin 

Patriarch, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, His Beatitude Patriarch of AntiochGregory III Laham 

to the Melkite Church, and His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV of the Assyrian Church, in addition to 

the leadership in the evangelical churches.

This new generation of Middle East Christian church leaders, with a new vision and mission of 

communion and love, will lead to stability of the churches, hope to the faithful, and strength for the 

presence of Middle East Christians. 

We, the American Middle East Christians, are praying for true Christian unity in this bewildered 

Middle East of geopolitical and religious changes.

Ramsay F. Dass, MD

President, American Middle East Christians Congress

www.amecc.us orwww.middleeastchristian.org

Office: (248) 546-9100

Cell: (248) 763-6006

;