By Abbey Mikha
Everyone knows that helping those who are less fortunate is the foundation of Jesus’s teachings. In Hebrews 13:16 it says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” If nations of the world truly have faith they would help the Assyrians who are among those suffering the most in the world right now, and they would say yes to the Assyrians.
The Assyrians are dying a terrible death in their homeland though they are trying their best to defend themselves. They are losing their mother land and the world is silent. The Assyrians are an ancient and modern nation. We have survived upon the earth since the beginning of documented recorded history.
Some scholars say that the royal blood line of the Assyrians died out, and that the people who were left were farmers and rustics. Since when though can’t a king, priest, or shepherd be a farmer, with all my respects to the farmer? Or, a farmer or rustic be or become a sovereign because of the person and individual that he or she is in spirit? Regardless of whether the royal line of the Assyrians has been continued the Assyrians are still worthy! The entire world, but especially the western Christian world must pay attention to the Assyrians and their plight. Without the Assyrians in the Middle East there will be extreme disorder which has already begun in the past years and in a few more years’ horror and terror could continue to take over the region and then the entire world.
In Philippians 2:4 it says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Modern people of the world have been known to be very analytical and only care about the interests of the elites of their countries and their agenda. We must change this and help others because if we only serve ourselves what good have we done? People of the world and especially Canada, USA, Australia, and Europe you should help the helpless Assyrians. You are powerful nations with authority, influence, security, wealth, and societies which hopefully believe in justice. We need to realize as a human race that the interests of other good peoples around the world are also our interests because we are united in being well-intentioned and noble nations.
John 3:17 says, “But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?” Isn’t that what is happening to the Assyrians right now? Since the Assyrians were thrown out what is called Mosul, which is Nineveh province the famous capital of the Assyrians in Northern Iraq, and ISIS took over the region who has given a helping hand to the Assyrians? Has the world community helped the Assyrians with weapons to defend themselves? Has the world community helped with the daily food rations as the Assyrians live in refugee camps in the North of Iraq? What has the world community or the western community done to elevate the suffering of the Assyrian men, women, and children who have lost everything? Jesus’s love does not abide in those who close their heart to the suffering of others. If you love Jesus you must say yes to the Assyrians.
Matthew 25:35 says, “For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren; ye have done it unto me.”
Yes, “the least of these” isn’t that what the world thinks of the poor and underprivileged Assyrians? Isn’t that what the people in Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem and many places Jesus preached thought of Him? Yet he became the King of Kings! Could not the Assyrians who believe in Jesus though their ancestors were considered gentiles, yet they were among the first to believe in Him, still have special and sacred people in their nation? In their human simplicity and through their spirituality could not others rise up with the help of good nations to preach beliefs of the ancient world and Christianity which is in their genes? These are the people and children of Assyria and these are the people who are being intimidated, murdered, raped, and starved. The roofs above their heads are being stolen and their identity is being camouflaged and devastated. If they declare themselves as Assyrians in the homeland they are terrorized and bullied. Do you really believe that we are the least of nations and this is the reason you ignore us? I’m sure not because I believe still in the goodness of the people of nations and that is the reason you must say yes to the Assyrians.
James 2:14-17 says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” Indeed where are the deeds of the Christians of the world in relation to the Assyrians? They profess to believe in Jesus Christ but what about their actions? We are all as nations interconnected. Even our destinies are intertwined! We need to support each other. I believe that many Christian nations profess their faith but when it comes to actions they don’t do much. Do they truly believe in Jesus? If we believe in Him we must become like Him. It is easy to say we are Christians but to live our life as Christians in word and deed is always more difficult.
John 15:12 says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” I wish the Assyrians will be a beloved nation by other Christians and all peoples of the world. It is not right to hate the Assyrians because what it says in the Old Testament. This scheme of the Old Testament is not fair and the ancient hatred for the Assyrians needs to be analyzed and understood. These aren’t the words that were written about the Assyrians by God. They are the words of a vengeful people who wrote the bible under their agenda of hate and jealousy because the Assyrians had the power of civilization, and there is immense scholarly proof for these facts which you may seek. As Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.”
There are four million Assyrians in the world if all the churches are included. Could not the world and especially the western world help the Assyrians to establish themselves in their homeland? Say yes to the Assyrians because they are a moral nation that deserves to live. We will help the world when we are established in the North of Iraq which is occupied Assyria. Our culture is beautiful. Our music, poetry, books, ideology as a nation, and our faith in Jesus exemplifies devoutness and love.
Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” There are rich people who are part of the Assyrian nation and many of them donate to the nation suffering in the homeland, but most Assyrians outside of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey are middle class. Many of the Assyrians in the homeland are educated but humble and living a simple life. As a nation of original farmers they are used to living off the land just like people did in the time of Jesus. Even the foods they eat such as olives, grapes, lentils, dates, nuts, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, lamb, bread, corn, wheat, and wine are foods that were eaten by Jesus in the days of the Lord. You could say that they are still living an ancient natural biblical life style in the homeland in modern days when they are allowed to express their identity and when they are allowed to live.
Hopefully in the upcoming days, months, and years peoples of the world and especially western people will say yes to the Assyrians and will help those left in the North of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey in order to improve their dire situation. Of course I must say to the Assyrians all over the world especially in diaspora, we are responsible for strengthening our house and home as well. We must work for our goals to free our homeland occupied Assyria especially in the North of Iraq.
Acts 20:35 says, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I have a friend who always helps me out when I’m not feeling well. She takes the time to have conversations with me just to give me another point of view. She also randomly gets me books that she thinks are beneficial and interesting. She is a great friend. These are just simple examples of friendship, but when I was able to do things for her how good did that feel?! All people must do this. Befriend the Assyrians. It feels so good to help a deserving person or nation. When I do things for anyone I never ask anything in return. I just say pay it forward. Continue this diffusion of good deeds and let it reach all around the world. Find it in your heart to say yes to the Assyrians.
Hebrews 6:10 says, “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” From the beginning of history the Assyrian spiritual life has been rich and it continues from ancient times to modern times through their true Christian beliefs. The Assyrians pray to the saints whether Mar Zaia, or saint Rebka, or Mar Charbel, and many others. They bless our lives and keep us sane in a foolish and crazy world. There have been many miracles by Assyrian saints.
It is also said in the bible that you may be entertaining angels unaware. I’m not saying that Assyrians are perfect, but when I look into the eyes of those old Assyrian men and women from the homeland and the way they sparkle with deep meaning and the sacrifice they have made throughout their lives, I cannot but think of them as saints and angels. Perhaps other than children this group of people have suffered the most in the North of Iraq and Syria. Many of them want to fight back to regain the land that was in their memory before, their towns and villages. Some of the women cook for the young Assyrian men who are battling ISIS and also for the people in refugee camps. There are numerous pictures with older Assyrian women holding the Assyrian flag with humbleness, saintliness, and love.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” Do not put anyone down who is trying to progress in their life in the world as person or as a nation including the Assyrians. Let your dialogue be positive about the Assyrians. Do not judge the Assyrians without getting to know them. Other than in the homeland there are Assyrians all over the world especially in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Assyrians have conventions and festivals. They do fundraisers for their people in the homeland. There is also a real nationalistic Assyrian movement network which is growing day by day and this shows that the Assyrians will never give up. They are trying their best to make something from what little they have. Each person contributes according to their skills, ability, and love for their nation. I hope in the not so distant future there will be established a real nationalistic Assyrian leadership with positive goals, leaders who work with integrity for our Assyrian people and homeland.
Read about the Assyrians. This is the moment in time to deeply learn about the Assyrians and know the real facts. We are the last of our kind. Say yes to the Assyrians. The Assyrians deserve to thrive and live and be a nation not only in their own eyes and those of their children and people, but also in the eyes of the world.
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Abbey is a writer and blogger interested in humanitarian issues...
All articles at the Assyrian Thinker website are the copyright (©) 2016 Abbey Mikha