Archive for November, 2012

Iraqi Fathers

Iraqi Fathers


by Joseph Mahmoud
The bishops ask political leaders for greater security and defense of the rights of all sections of Iraqi society. The appeal to stop the exodus of Christians from the country. The call to pray for the Christians of Syria. The annual meeting of the bishops was held November 6 to 7 in Ankawa (Kurdistan). Among the topics: the application of Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, the ideas of the Synod for the New Evangelization and the Year of Faith.

Ankawa (AsiaNews) – The Catholic bishops of Iraq met November 6 to 7 in their annual meeting in Ankawa (Erbil, Kurdistan). Over two days, the bishops discussed various pastoral issues related to their churches in the light of the situation experienced by Christians in the country and in the rest of the Middle Eastern region. In the meeting, the bishops discussed the application of the Apostolic Exhortation ” Ecclesia in Medio Oriente “, the themes of the Synod for the New Evangelization and the Year of Faith launched by Pope Benedict XVI last October 11. At the conclusion of the meeting the Iraqi prelates have issued the following statement. AsiaNews publishes the text sent by Msgr. Louis Sako, Archbishop of Kirkuk and Secretary General of the Assembly.

1 – The Catholic Bishops assembly calls on all political parties to sit down together, away from the personal and confessional interests, to negotiate through a courageous and sincere dialogue in order to find solutions that respect the rights of all components and enforce the harmonic co-existence and preserve diversity and pluralism that is a feature of our country, certainly living e together is human completion and a cultural spiritual, social fruitful interaction. This requires a good political, free and renewable will. It requires also that the religion should remains far away from the political conflictions. Bombings, killings and destruction when it is in the name of religion, it offend God and deform religion.

2 – It is sad to see that immigration is continuing which makes our Christian existence more vulnerable and threatens it is future. The Catholic Bishops assembly calls upon all Christians to be attached to their homeland and to participate in its construction as their fathers. The continuous involvement and perseverance at home Communication, is a national and Christian. The Apostolic Exhortation ” Ecclesia in Medio Oriente ” invites the children of Abraham:”Rather than being exploited in endless conflicts which are unjustifiable for authentic believers, the acknowledgment of one God – if lived with a pure heart – can make a powerful contribution to peace in the region and to respectful coexistence on the part of its peoples. ” (No 19). Therefore The Catholic Bishops hopes that living together continues in a more secure just and human dignity conditions which may limit immigration and encourage immigrants to return to their homes. The Catholic

Bishops assembly calls on the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to assume full responsibility for providing security and stability and decent living for all components.

3 – Today the Catholic Bishops assembly is concerned on Syrian sisters and brother’s situation. The bishops express their solidarity and prayer and hope that the requested reforms will be done through a safe way, through a constructive dialogue and negotiations and not with fighting and demolition. The civilized dialogue is a human and religious basic manner to resolve problems. We pray for the soon return of stability to our neighboring Syria.

4 – At the conclusion the Catholic Bishops assembly calls on the faithful to stick to faith, hope and to pray for the return of peace and stability to the country so that everyone can live in freedom, dignity and joy.


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Assyrian Empire

Assyrian Empire


The following is the abstract of the thesis titled ”Heartland and Province: Urban and Rural Settlement in the Neo-Assyrian Empire” by Eleanor Barbanes from University of California.

The last phase of the Assyrian empire, beginning with the reign of Ashur-Dan II (934-912 BC) and lasting until almost 600 BC, left a unique and indelible mark on urban history. It was during this period that the Assyrian empire emerged as a formidable imperial power and, through enormous territorial expansion and political consolidation, came to dominate most of Mesopotamia and parts of Palestine, Egypt, Media, and Anatolia. The Assyrians’ control over this rapidly expanding empire was maintained through the establishment of a system administration based upon principles of political and economic centralization. In expanding the area of lands under their control and reorganizing the administration of the empire, the Assyrian kings radically transformed the cultural, political, and geographical landscape of Upper Mesopotamia. The radical transformation was accomplished by the implementation of the processes of urbanization.

According to Wheatley, urbanization “denotes the rate of change in the ratio of city dwellers to total population, which in practice means a change in the number and size of cities” (Wehatley 1972:623). The archaeological record of Upper Mesopotamia reveals that in the early part of the first millennium BC, there was a significant increase in the number, size, and the types of settlements occupied as compared to the Late Bronze Age. It is reasonable to assume that Neo-Assyrian administrative centralization necessitated a program of urbanization of the countryside in order to ensure the stability of security of the empire, and although there is no concrete evidence of such a program in historical sources, there are sufficient indications to suggest that Assyrian efforts at resettlement were intensified during the second half of the night century BC (Liverani 1992). Recent archaeological research concerning Neo-Assyrian settlement in the area of the study has produced a picture of a settlement system characterized by a multi-tiered hierarchy composed of numerous hamlets, villages, and provincial centers, with the prevailing capital city at the pinnacle of the hierarchical pyramid.

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