Iraks antichristliche Pogrome

Die Welt wird von Ängsten heimgesucht, dass der Irak in einen Bürgerkrieg zwischen Schiiten, Sunniten und Kurden abgleitet. Doch es ist in diesem drohenden Krieg aller gegen alle die kleine Gruppe der assyrischen Christen, der die Ausrottung droht.

Die christlichen Gemeinschaften des Irak gehören zu den ältesten der Welt und praktizieren ihren Glauben im Zweistromland fast seit den Tagen Christi selbst. Die assyrische Apostolische Kirche etwa führt ihre Gründung auf das Jahr 34 n. Chr. und den Hl. Petrus zurück. Die assyrische Kirche des Ostens datiert aus dem Jahre 33 n. Chr. und wurde vom Hl. Thomas gegründet. Das Aramäische, das viele der irakischen Christen noch heute sprechen, ist die Sprache dieser Apostel – und die von Christus selbst.

Solange sie von ihren muslimischen Herrschern toleriert wurden, leisteten die assyrischen Christen einen wichtigen Beitrag zu den Gesellschaften, in denen sie lebten. Ihre Gelehrten halfen, das „goldene Zeitalter“ der arabischen Welt einzuläuten, indem sie bedeutende Werke aus dem Griechischen und Syrischen ins Arabische übersetzten. In jüngster Zeit allerdings war von Toleranz wenig zu spüren. Während des Völkermordes an den Armeniern (1914-1918) wurden 750.000 Assyrer – etwa zwei Drittel der damaligen Zahl – von den ottomanischen Türken massakriert, unter Mithilfe der Kurden.

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