The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
01st of September, 2014

Assyrian Christians: Between Simele and ISIS

The story of the Assyrian Christians is sad in remarkable ways. I have even found myself searching Revelation 1-4 for the answer to their fate. I have wondered if, instead, theirs is a case of “Judgment starts in God’s household.” I even think I remember a prophet somewhere in the Old Testament who says that, just as the Assyrians reduced the Israelites to exile and diaspora, so also God would humble their remnant.

This video is from before the rise of the Islamic State (Iraq-Syria) and its caliphate that has had a punishing effect on the Christians of the Nineveh Plains.

Notice that the MP brushes past the Kurds’ slow conquests of Assyrian land. Well, in the last days of the Ottoman Empire, and in the early days of the Young Turks, the Kurds co-operated with the Turks on the basis of their shared Islamic creed, to persecute and mass-murder the Christian populations which were primarily Armenian and Assyrian Christians. The Muslims Kurds and Arabs helped in these exterminations, with religion being the uniting factor.

In that time, the Assyrian nation was truly fighting as a Christian nation. Agha Petros flew a flag very similar to one I would fly: a red flag with a white cross. (I do Latin cross, though. ✝) Notice how the Assyrian leaders, without the benefit of our hindsight, are unable to distinguish Kurdish hostility from Arab or Turkish, because it is all Muslim hostility directed against Christians, Armenian and Assyrian alike. And then the British betrayed them into the hands of the Arabs of Iraq—and, consequently, today, the Kurds of Kurdistan.

After the time of the British empire, there were things like the Simele massacre. Then there was the fall of Saddam. Then there was the invasions of the Islamic State jihadists, which expelled the Christians out of Mosul and the environs.

In light of these things, the video of the British Member of Parliament is almost sad enough to round back to funny. Because now it does’t even make sense to protest the Kurds’ theft of Christian land, when in fact they are the lesser of two dangers. (See? We need the Christian Free State.) What ISIS did by decree, the Kurds do by other means.