“Iraq’s Assyrian Christians: Past and Present Hardship”.

Posted on | October 4, 2014 | No Comments

Dear Friends,

It is time to introduce UNA’s October talk on Friday 17th October  at 1pm in the Friends Meeting House in Upper Goat Lane, Norwich.

A special and timely talk will be given this month by Dr Johan Franzen from the School of History at UEA.  Dr Franzen is a historian of the modern Middle East and the title of his talk will be  “Iraq’s Assyrian Christians: Past and Present Hardship”.

Christians have been present in Iraq since the end of the first century but today they are being persecuted and forced to flee their homes by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) – a jihadist group who wish to proclaim an Islamic state or Caliphate in the region.  On 9th June, ISIL took over the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city.

In 2003, before the American invasion, there were 35,000 Christians in Mosul – today there are none.  The jihadist militia ordered public officials to suspend the food and gas supply for Shiites, Kurds and Christians still in the city of Mosul and those on the vast plain of Ninevah up to several kilometres from Mosul.  They issued a decree that Christians should become Muslim, or agree to pay a special tax, or be put to death by the sword.  This decree was distributed to all Christian families still in Mosul, who then left the city in the direction of Iraqi Kurdistan, which is considered to be a safer place.

How did this state of affairs come about?  This was surely not the intention of the Americans and the British when they injudiciously invaded Iraq in 2003?  Come to the talk on 17th October and learn more.

Best Wishes,


Vice Chair United Nations Association  (Norwich & District)


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