AMECC President Dr. Ramsay F. Dass M.D meets FBI Director Comey

 On April 5, 2016, Dr. Ramsay F. Dass, MD, President of the American Middle East Christians Congress, met with FBI Director James Comey during his visit to Detroit, Michigan. During his visit, Director Comey had similar meetings with law enforcement and members of the community at large. Dr. Dass presented Director Comey with his book, The Middle East Christians: The Untold Story, and discussed with him issues related to the American Middle East Christians and the Middle East and diaspora. The FBI Director was very well-informed regarding the Middle East Christian community in his remarks. 

 
 
Dr. Ramsay F. Dass, MD
President, American Middle East Christians Congress
Office: (248) 546-9100
Cell: (248) 763-6006
 
P.S. You may visit our re-edited and revised Fourth Edition of our book, The Middle East Christians: The Untold Story, at www.middleeastchristian.org or www.amecc.u

Call for Unity and Action

I must congratulate you and your organization for your tremendous extra work and energy toward whatever you are doing regarding the Middle East Christians and Christianity at large. I have been trying also to write letters to who's who from Patriarchs and Bishops to Middle East political and community leaders and community organizations. But most importantly, I have asked the Middle East Christian leadership to organize and have one platform, one spokesperson, and one public relations to propagate our cause, as you and I have been trying to do in the absence of such. 
 
I am going to be candid to you, as I have been in the past and as I lay my frustration in watching the world go by and getting involved with its individual problems while the Middle East Christians and Christianity are being left on the back-burner. All your energy and mine as individuals or individual organizations is only limited in its reaction from the other side or other countries. I am not really sure why, even in this real crisis of our existence, while we are subjected to every kind of abuse, including annihilation of our community in the Middle East, that such things cannot happen. Is it our culture, the politics of religion, or self-interest? I am not really sure. Whatever is the reason, this should not happen during this critical time.
 
As you know, there are tens of conferences and meetings going on around the world regarding the Middle East Christians' dilemma. Unfortunately, it is always attended by one patriarch or one organization. This is another example of a failure, in my opinion. We need more than one to attend, or a combination of church leadership and community leadership to speak on our behalf. This is just an example. We must work hand-in-hand. Our adversaries, enemies, and friends know this. It is our weakness. Such weakness will not bid well for our community. 
 
You and I are not shy to speak our minds in what we believe in is right to the best of our experience and ability. I think we must take a first step to link all our organizations in disseminating information in order to spread it all over the world and do our part to persuade our church leadership and other community organizations to work together with one platform. That is what our Lord Jesus Christ did after His resurrection when His disciples were dispersed after His crucifixion. He brought them together to have one message and spread it. This is a basic message that we should at least be able to imitate and pursue. 
 
I was very impressed by a collective Easter message of the heads of the churches of Jerusalem (see below). We need more of this. We also need every head or leader to disseminate information about every meeting regarding the Middle East Christians. If we are not able to attend, then we may be able to send letters to the organizers and organizations. 
 
I have always cherished your workmanship, leadership, and friendship. May you, wherever you are, whether in the Middle East or in diaspora, help us in this endeavor to preserve the Middle East Christians and Christianity. Without this, I do not believe we will be effective, except in sending protests after protests after protests.
 
I am looking forward for your opinion either in Arabic or English.
 
May God save, protect, and bring comfort to our Christians in the Middle East and in diaspora. 
 
Sincerely yours,
 
Dr. Ramsay F. Dass, MD
President, American Middle East Christians Congress
Office: (248) 546-9100
Cell: (248) 763-6006
 
P.S. You may visit our re-edited and revised Fourth Edition of our book, The Middle East Christians: The Untold Story, at www.middleeastchristian.org or www.amecc.us



-----Original Message-----
From: HCEF News <news@hcef.org>
To: rfdass <rfdass@aol.com>
Sent: Mon, Mar 28, 2016 4:03 pm
Subject: The Easter Message of the Heads of Churches of Jerusalem

 
The Voice of the Holy Land Christians
The Easter Message of
the Heads of Churches of Jerusalem

We the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, Convey our Easter greetings to all humanity and all creation, in the name of the Risen Lord- Jesus Christ.
 
Throughout our Lenten pilgrimage, the church invites us to join a journey of 'joyful sorrow'. During this time we travel a path of reflection, conversion, and preparation while we stand at the foot of the cross in anticipation of the light bursting forth, and turning sorrow into joy. This is the spiritual paradox of Holy Week, which draws us closer to God, and one another. Human suffering and agony are transformed into joy through the cross of Christ, where the divine and human realities meet and where Jesus overcomes death and suffering. Therefore the empty tomb here in Jerusalem is the embodiment of divine hope for all creation.
 
The Easter message is not exclusive to a specific race, people or nation. The day of the resurrection belongs to God because it is God's triumph over death offered to all creation, through the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This universal act of salvation invites our world today to look upon the suffering and pain of many people across the globe with compassion and mercy. This approach will not be achieved through building walls of alienation, intolerance, or rejection. Rather our world needs to build bridges so that acceptance, friendship and hospitality can become true realities for those who suffer and those whose human dignity is denied and are exposed to so many calamities.
 
These expressions of our faith need to become realities for millions of refugees around the world today who are strangers in foreign lands, people who are victims of violence, intolerance, and discrimination, while others live under oppression and injustice in their own homelands. The power of the radiant light of Easter we pray must shine in all these places, and opens the eyes and hearts of the whole world to these realities. Living the risen life, we are called to be light and hope in these dark places.
 
Easter like many other Biblical events, has a special resonance for the people of this region. The empty tomb and its surroundings become the omphalos ('navel of the world'): reminding us of the permanent connection between God and his creation. The city of Jerusalem, as the city of the Resurrection, is the city of Hope for the region, and for the whole world. Today our hope lies in a just peace for the people of the Holy Land, and the whole of the Middle East, the city of peace deserves to live in peace through living together as people of God, who respect every human person. We believe that the light of Easter must surely shine on us all. God reconciled the world to himself in Jesus Christ, and we are called to the ministry of reconciliation as ambassadors for Christ in the world.
 
May the joy of Easter fill our minds with gladness, and banish sorrow from our hearts and from our lives. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
 
+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
+Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarchate
+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate
+Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
+Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
+Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate 
+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate 
+Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate 
+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate 
+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
+Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+Msgr. Georges Dankaye', Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate 
 
(Easter 2016)

 
   
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The Untold Story

By Ramsay F. Dass, MD

The untold story of those whose ancestors were the cradle of civilization, they built the pyramids, the hanging garden of Babylon, the Tower of Nimrod and the civilizing of rules and regulations by Nabght Nossr by the early astrology, math and science.

AMECC Panorama

 

  • Written by:

by Louis Raphael I Sako*
On the second anniversary of his election, the Patriarch appeals for the unity of the Eastern Churches and announces the formation of “a joint committee of dialogue”. He recalls the “joyful mission” to “witness” the Gospel “to the world today.” Finally, Mar Sako appeals for Christians to “remain” close to the suffering of “our displaced brothers and sisters of all denominations.”
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Seeking “the unity of the Church of the East in all its branches”; the formation of a joint committee of dialogue”; because it is a Christian’s duty to foster “unity and be ecumenical” and the challenge of “unity in love”. This is the message that his Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako, wants to launch through AsiaNews two years after his election as Chaldean Patriarch, on 31 January 2013. In a pastoral letter published on the occasion of his second anniversary, Mar. Sako relaunches the commitment to ‘unity between the Churches of the East, often divided and marked by ancient conflicts and deep lacerations”. Our identity – he says – is an integral part of a Chaldean Catholic Church and the Universal Church, a mission and a joyful witness to the Gospel in today’s world”.

In the message, the Chaldean Patriarch warns against hiding behind the cloak “of nationalism, politics or partisanship” because “all this would lead the Church to lose its ecclesial Christian identity!”. He calls for unity “in the same vocational journey” and, in a difficult time, ensures that the Church “will emerge stronger and more pure.” Finally, Mar Sako appeals for people to “remain close to our forcefully displaced brothers from all denominations who are suffering, they are worried and scared”; and asks to pray “for the Church, for peace in Iraq and in the region”.

Here, below, the message sent to AsiaNews by the Chaldean Patriarch:

Beloved daughters and sons of the Chaldean Church, I would like to extend to you a message, in order to mark the second anniversary of the “Cross, which I carry, together with many other brothers and sisters “. I want to express my full love to you, those belonging to the Chaldean Church, and to all Iraqis of all faiths and affiliations.

During the past two years I have learned a lot from many of you, and I got to know many people. I have suffered a lot, and I have also benefited from the criticism, (lessons to learn).

First of all I want to thank all of those who contributed to my learning, for their understanding and their support for what was much accomplished and for the many doors of enlightenment were opened!

What happened -within our Chaldean Community Church- is the natural evolution of the Patriarchal succession, of carrying special existing circumstances of the times and present. The situation has coincided with the acceleration of events in the Iraqi arena and the region, such as comprised displacements, persecutions and emigration. There was no other way but to deal frankly if not squarely with the old and new serious circumstances; the situations in our Church were influenced by intellectual short sightedness, by a lack of spirituality and legal ethic, as well as by inappropriate upbringing. This was also triggered by a bizarre temper and human nature as well as by personal ambitions. We cannot exclude the local inheritance of certain concepts of power, which still reside in some persons from a certain unfortunate sense of tribal superiority and domination, with such mental stance happening instead of projecting a humble, faithful and generous ministry. However, we will persevere in adhering to Evangelical principles and Christian Hope; to transform our Chaldean church in a unified church together with its Clergy and faithful followers. We want this Chaldean Church to be neat and disciplined, powerful, influential but open to get influenced while carrying the principles of charity and transparency, respect for talents and diversity, searching for continuous betterment, and refusing a monolithic or single perspective, individually created here and there which can wrongly isolate entities in their attitude. The church is not a matter to gamble and isolation suicides!

Our Identity comprises A Universal Chaldean Catholic Church, a joyful mission and a witness to the Gospel for the world of today. This Church is not to follow exclusively behind nationalist, political or partisan acts because it would make the Church lose its Christian ecclesiastic identity! Thus we reassure everyone that these difficulties, challenges and pressures which we are facing, will not stop us from cleaning and regenerating the Chaldean Church. Therefor we will adjust its laws according to the canonical criteria and we will strengthen them as the Lord wants, as our people expect, and in the courageous footsteps of Pope Francis, sent by God as an opportune grace.

I do know my responsibility and its obligations, and I know that the administration create supporters and opponents, and the truth has the price, nevertheless I am ready to pursue to no end, since as I am depending on the blessing of God, as well as inspired by the Laws of the Church, while being supported by a sufficient Episcopal consensus as well as being also supported by the existence of a wide base of believers. I will cooperate with all people of good will, and with all churches, seeking in particular the unity of the “Church of the East” in all its branches. This should herald and show that a “joint dialogue committee” will be formed soon. A Christian should be unionist and ecumenical. Unity in love is a challenge!

In this New Year, I call on everyone to read deeply into the past, to learn the lessons shown to us with a degree of high spirituality and open a new page of relationship, free of prejudices. Naturally, rumors and gossiping are not to be believed in or followed; they are just a form of burning out oneself, and aiming to burn the church. I call all to work together as a team, without transforming divergent opinions into conflicts and huff; such an attitude would not worthy of our history and our priesthood in its various orders; let us live our priesthood as supreme message in accordance to the calling of Christ. Being together on the same vocational path, let us love our church and let us strive for its renaissance and for contributing to its resurrection. Let us pray for this intention. Whoever is praying is abiding in Christ. Spiritually it is a hard time for the church, but surely she will come out of it stronger and pure.

The consecration of two new bishops is a sign of renewed hope for the Chaldean Church.

At this time we have to stand strongly with our displaced people of all denominations who are suffering, worried, and frightened. Let us use all our possibilities to raise their spirits, and to nurture hope in their heart. Evil has no future. The storm will certainly pass. We are today, with our experience and belief change agents and active witnesses of Hope. We are guardian of our mission. We are carrying a history and message. Do not let this opportunity pass!

Pray for the church, for peace in Iraq and the region and for the relief of our displaced brothers and sisters through their rapid return to their homes and towns.

May our Lord bless all of you

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Mar-Sako,-two-years-as-Chaldean-Patriarch:-Main-challenge-is-the-unity-of-the-Church-in-the-East-33327.html

Courtasy of Ankawa.com

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent
Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad spoke during a July 22 news conference in Erbil, Iraq. (Reuters)
ERBIL, IRAQ—The top Catholic official in Iraq says the current US-led bombing campaign will not dislodge the radical Islamic State, and he is pleading for a stronger response from the international community to ensure Christians can remain in the region.

 

“Bombing is also killing people, destroying the infrastructure, houses, schools, churches,” said Patriarch Louis Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

 

“There’s no military solution for the conflict, especially when there are no troops on the ground providing assistance,” he said.

 

Sako spoke to Crux in Iraq, during a 48-hour pilgrimage led by Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, France. Together with 100 of his flock, Barbarin traveled to Erbil, capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, to spend the weekend with more than 400,000 people displaced by violence.

 

Sako, who leads 500,000 faithful, said the only way ISIS could be expelled is through cooperation between the international coalition led by the United States and the Iraqi central government.

 

He said that for many months “the world turned its back” to what was happening in Iraq and Syria, where almost a half-million Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities currently live in “crowded cabins or out in the open, in small tents that cannot shelter them from the cold winter.”

 

Sako said the presence of Christians in the Middle East is an unparalleled tool for peaceful coexistence in the Middle East.

 

“What’s going on in Iraq is a tragedy, and it’s an international moral duty to help those who are paying the price of fundamentalism to stay at home,” he said.

 

Sako said that without Christians, the region would lose important gifts.

 

“They’re an elite of very well-educated people that hope to remain in their country,” he said. “If they’re away, fundamentalist groups start running around the area. It’ll be just like it was when we had the Taliban.

 

For Sako, the French delegation’s visit had two meanings.

 

“They came to support the displaced families, to remind them that they’re not alone nor isolated,” he said, “and also to show with concrete action that they’re supporting us, praying for us.”

 

Related

 

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, talked to reporters at the Vatican March 4, 2013, the first day the College of Cardinals met to begin the process of electing a new pope. (/Tony Gentile/Reuters)

French cardinal: Christians must condemn Islamist violence

Pope denounces ‘inhuman’ ISIS violence in message to refugees

The celebration of the Immaculate Conception in Erbil, Iraq. (Ines San Martin/Crux staff)

Festival of Lights’ backs Iraqi Christians facing ISIS threat

More

 

The patriarch said the Church plays a key role in keeping the spirits of the refugees up. Sako, also president of Iraq’s conference of bishops, said he will not resign himself to seeing his country without Christians.

 

But to avoid that fate, he said it’s time to have all hands on deck. That includes the return of a dozen priests who fled the country after ISIS took possession of Mosul, Qaraqosh, and other cities with large Christian populations.

 

“We’re pastors, we should stay,” Sako said. “We have to take care of our flock. We’re consecrated people, we have to make sacrifices, give a good example.”

 

Nine of those priests have sought refuge in the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Peter based in the San Diego area.

 

Those priests have refused the call to go back, even when Sako declared them suspended for not respecting their vow of “obedience to their superiors.”

 

The Rev. Noel Gorgis told an ABC affiliate in San Diego in late October that returning to Iraq right now as a Catholic priest would be “suicide.” He said that if Francis orders him to do so he would comply, but “I don’t believe he’ll say go kill yourself.”

 

Sako isn’t backing down, saying simply “they have to come back.”

 

“They don’t have permission to stay away,” he said. “Five came back. Why are the others refusing to do the same? Seeing a priest leaving his parish, abandoning his flock creates confusion. This is not good.”

 

“A priest has given himself to the Lord and to service his people. He shouldn’t seek his freedom, his safety,” he said.

 

Though rare, there are examples of lay Iraqi Christians who have made the choice to come back.

 

Iraqi brothers Salwan and Nashwan Zaitor, together with their parents and most of their family, fled Iraq in 1993 and resettled in the Netherlands. While there, they founded Babylon Media Group and built a successful company abroad.

 

Though they were conscious of the rise in Christian persecution, they nonetheless decided to return home, along with their wives and children, in 2005. Today, Babylon Media, based in Erbil, has more than 240 employees.

 

“We’re probably the only case of Christians who, having left Iraq and built a successful life elsewhere, decided to come back,” Salwan said.

 

“We want to stay, because this is our place, where we belong,” he said. “God put us here. He wants us to remain here.”

 

It was because of Babylon’s technical support that thousands of refugees were able to watch a video message from Pope Francis Saturday in which he condemned the “inhuman violence” done to Christians and other religious minorities.

 

Another Christian leader in Iraq said the world is turning a blind eye to “genocide.”

 

“Two million Yazidis and Christians are in danger of being killed by ISIS,” said Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil.

 

Like Sako and the Zaitor brothers, Warda believes the situation here demands a global response.

 

“What’s happening is in Iraq and Syria, but it’s a global issue,” he said. “We have American citizens, British, Australians, and Dutch that are fighting for ISIS. The world has to get involved.”

 

Warda told Crux that the international involvement on the fight against the rise of the terrorist group should take a more committed shape, saying that “two or three years of fighting” won’t solve the problem.

 

When asked what ordinary Christians can do to show support, Warda said prayers are very important. He also encouraged people to send letters to Erbil as messages of hope for those living in the refuge centers.

 

“We’re receiving some, but many more should come,” he said. “A letter for Christmas or Easter would be a great gift for many.”

 

For those who can provide material support but don’t know how, Warda said there are many Catholic agencies currently funding projects, such as “Adopt a Refugee Family,” led by the Jesuits, or the different campaigns of “Aid to the Church in Need.”

 

“If you can help provide a warm night to a family that has lost it all, please, please, do so,” Warda said.

 

That show of solidarity is making an impact on Iraqis.

 

Salwan Zaitor, one of the Babylon Media brothers, was moved by the French delegation’s visit.

 

“We don’t need money as much as we need to know you’re here, with us,” he said, with tears in his eyes. “And that’s what they did: they came and prayed with us. I don’t remember anyone doing that before.”

 

http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2014/12/08/iraqs-top-catholic-opposes-bombing-insists-christians-must-stay/

 

Courtasy of ankawa.com

Britain’s Prince Charles, right, looks at gifts presented to him with Archbishop Habib of Basra, Iraq, during a visit to meet Iraqi Christians, in London (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool)

The Prince of Wales has said that he is concerned the world may be returning to “the dark ages of public executions”.

 

 

Speaking at a Catholic church service in west London, Charles said that we have a “duty of care” towards the families of those who are being executed on camera by terrorist groups in the Middle East.

 

“We hear much at present about the ‘duty of care’,” he said.

 

“Then, ladies and gentlemen, I am bound to ask whether there is not a duty of care towards the victims of violence and their families who, like you, are daily distraught by the graphic transmission of violent images of their loved ones.”

 

The church service at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Acton was for Chaldean Christians, a denomination of the Catholic Church that includes many Iraqis and Syrians.

 

There are approximately 4,000 Iraqi Chaldean Christians in the UK, and numbers have grown since the conflict with Iran in the 1980s.

 

More recently Christians in Iraq have come under attack from Isis militants who are trying to create a pure Islamic state in the country, and many have been attacked and forced to leave their homes.

 

Charles met Chaldean Catholics whose families are suffering because of persecution in Iraq.

 

Maijida Nissan, 64, has a brother and sister who still live in Iraq. She has lived in the UK for 29 years and has worked as a nanny.

 

Mrs Nissan thanked the prince for his work to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians, to which he responded with: “It’s the least I can do.”

 

She also said she was praying, and he replied: “We all do.”

 

Afterwards she said: “I am very happy that he came here, and thanks to God that he came here. God brings him here.”

 

 

Mrs Nissan’s brother’s house in Baghdad has been bombed twice, and he now lives with his family in a church in Erbil.

 

She said that his daughter, Meena, 11, had asked her to speak to the Royal family to tell them about her family’s plight.

 

In his speech to the congregation Charles said he felt strongly about the plight of persecuted Christians.

 

“I have been deeply distressed by the horrific scenes of violence and persecution coming out of your beloved Iraq.

 

“I know that many of those who have been killed or forced to flee are members of your own families.

 

“The pain and grief must be quite unimaginable as you see them persecuted because of their faith.”

 

He finished his speech by saying: “You can have no idea how much I feel for those who as I speak are suffering for their faith in such terrible circumstances.”

 

The prince also met Neville Kyrke-Smith, national director of Aid To The Church In Need, who support persecuted Christians worldwide, telling him: “You’re doing a fantastic job.”

 

Last month Charles released a video message to introduce the charity’s report about religious freedom, and in September he made a donation through the charity to support Iraqi Christians.

 

Archbishop of Basra Habib Jajou had come from Iraq to meet the prince.

 

He said: “We have to express our thanksgiving to him for the solidarity he has shown for our situation.”

 

http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/regional/prince-charles-fears-return-to-dark-ages-1-6465135

 

Courtasy of ankawa.com

Iraq: Nineveh and surrounding Christian areas have been ethnically cleansed. Churches have been destroyed and desecrated.

Old Christian religious manuscripts have been burnt. Hundreds of thousands of Christians and others have become emigrants and immigrants.

The sick, elderly, infants, and pregnant women among them are facing human catastrophe and risk of real genocide.

They need basic water, food, shelter, medicine, and others. 

The situation is going from bad to worse. International humanitarian support is lagging behind. Please help us save these innocent people from death.

We hope it is not too late.

 

-His Beatitude Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon--8/7/2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures Courtasy of Ankawa.com

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