In Syria, the Islamic State causes the exodus of minorities who are under attack, and threatens the existence of ancient sacred places of worship
After millenary divisions, Christians in the Middle East are growing increasingly aware that the instances of persecution hitting them today can also constitute a providential opportunity to advance towards the unity that has been so long awaited. Patriarch Sako’s shock proposal to re-unite the Chaldean Church, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East is a step in this direction. As is the idea of establishing a shared feast day for all the martyrs from the Churches of the East.
Currently targeted by ISIS’s militias, the Christian presence in Iraq goes back to the time of the apostles. Over the centuries, it has demonstrated an extraordinary perseverance in the faith and proclaimed the Gospel to the farthest reaches of Asia. From the fifteenth century onwards, its various branches have alternatingly established ties with Rome before reaching the current tripartition into the Chaldean Church, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East. A division that, if not healed, risks turning into a slow death.