Assyrian Christians in diaspora support peers in Syria and Iraq

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Assyrian Christian protesters in Chicago, Aug. 8, 2014. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

Geneva, Switzerland – Hundreds of Assyrian Christians based in the American city of Chicago took to the street on Friday to give their peers in Syria and Iraq a voice.

Holding anti-Islamists slogans, the protesters gathered at Daley Plaza in central Chicago to raise the awareness of the U.S. citizens and the international community about the suffering of thousands of Christians and other minority groups in Syria and Iraq due to the attacks of the Islamic State’s (IS) militants against their areas.

The protesters also demanded western powers to provide humanitarian aid to Hundreds of displaced Christian families from Mosul city in northern Iraq.

In reference to the Islamic State’s threats to the Christian community of Mosul to “either convert to Islam, pay Jizya (tribute) or get killed”, Chicago Assyrians chanted slogans saying “We will not convert to Islam. We rather die Christians, we die Assyrians”.

Speaking to ARA News, Gabi Shamoun, an Assyrian based in Chicago who participated in Friday’s rally, said: “Our peers in Syria and Iraq are in danger due to the continuous advance of the Islamic State militants in their areas. If the international community stays reluctant to take serious action again IS, we will witness dozens of barbarian massacres against Christians and Yezidis.”

“Organizing such a rally is the least we can do to convey the pains and sufferings of our people there, hoping the U.S. and other western powers would respond to our call and protect the remaining Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria,” Shamoun said.

Hundreds of Christian families who were forced to escape Mosul city resorted to Iraqi Kurdistan. Meanwhile, the IS advance to the Yezidi-populated Shingal area in northern Iraq led thousands of Yezidis to head to Sinjar mount, where they suffer sharp shortage of food and other basic supplies.

 

Reporting by: Eliyas Gawriya

Source: ARA News

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