N'oublions pas les chrétiens d'Irak

Le monde craint que l'Irak ne sombre dans une guerre civile entre chiites, sunnites et Kurdes. Mais dans la guerre de tous contre tous qui menace, c'est la petite communauté de chrétiens assyriens qui risque de disparaître.

Présentes en Mésopotamie depuis l'époque du Christ, les communautés chrétiennes d'Irak sont parmi les plus anciennes de la planète. Ainsi, l'Eglise apostolique assyrienne et l'Eglise assyrienne d'Orient remontent respectivement à l'an 34 après Jésus-Christ et à St Pierre et à l'an 33 et à St Thomas. L'araméen que beaucoup de chrétiens d'Orient parlent encore aujourd'hui est la langue de ces apôtres celle du Christ.

Quand ils étaient tolérés par les dirigeants musulmans, les chrétiens assyriens ont participé activement aux sociétés dans lesquelles ils vivaient. Leurs savants ont contribué à l'avènement de "l'âge d'or" du monde arabe en traduisant des œuvres importantes de grec et de syriaque en arabe. Mais dans l'ère contemporaine, ils n'ont plus joui de la même tolérance. Lors du génocide arménien de 1914-1918, 750.000 Assyriens, les deux tiers de leur communauté, ont été massacrés par les Turcs ottomans avec l'aide des Kurdes.

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