The Inside Assyria Discussion Forum #5

=> Excerpts from Dr Joseph's book.....

Excerpts from Dr Joseph's book.....
Posted by pancho (Moderator) - Monday, November 18 2019, 18:14:45 (UTC)
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These are concerned with the treatment of Christian minorities (Assyrians, Chaldeans) by Muslims....contrary to our own propaganda the truth is far different. The Western missionaries were especially destructive and disrespectful of a much older Christianity than their own.

...some excerpts;

"In some cases, both here in Persia and the Ottoman Empire, life of Christians and Jews was easier and more secure than that of their Muslim neighbors. While the Muslims fought the battles of their shahs and sultans, the non-Muslims paid a small tax and stayed home attending their fields or managing their peddling." p 88.

"All this 'superstition' and 'dead form' the missionaries had come to change. As missionary Stoddard put it, 'We strip off all their righteousness, tear away all their hopes and arraign them as condemned criminals at the bar of an offended God'." p. 88

"An important reason for the rift between the Nestorians and the American missionaries was the intolerance and uncompromising attitude of the evangelists themselves; they found it hard to see 'the pious natives' scattered instead of being 'bound together as they should be in a firm and delightful brotherhood'. By refusing to recognize any truth or values in Nestorian beliefs and practices the Protestants made the people hostile and even Christ a little foreign."


"To Perkins the fasts of the Nestorians amounted to little more than than a senseless routine of forms, 'and their prayers, we fear, are a chattering noise'. He wrote that he did not know 'what more artful contrivance Satan could have invented, as a substitute for the pure religion of the Gospel, than he had furnished in the fasts of the oriental churches'. The festivals which followed each fast were 'seasons of the most disgusting dissipation'. (When Grant had expostulated with Nestorian priests for making free use of wine, they had justified themselves on the ground that they did no injury but were more pleasant under its influence.)." p. 95

" After a full generation of foreign missionary help and effort among them, the Nestorians, we read, were losing their affection for their beautiful fields and vineyards, for the homes of their childhood and youth and for the churches of their fathers, hoping to escape to some asylum beyond their native land. They often lifted their eyes toward Russia, a 'Christian' power which, to them, gave the Muslims their due. As early as 1861 we find the people much excited, expecting 'some Russian priests to come and be their protectors'." p.104 (how little things have changed).

"The Nestorians, with the British consuls to look after their welfare on the one hand and the missionaries the Church of England about to live among them on the other, were distracted from the political and geographical realities of the situation, and encouraged to depend upon a fickle and uncertain foreign protection." p. 115

"...the 'ignorant Nestorians' had in some measure been confirmed if their ideas to depend upon foreign protection ' by the misdirected zeal of foreign Church propagandists, lay and clerical, whom they regard as Government agents, each of them seeming to set a high value on their friendship, and to look upon its acquisition in the light of an important political gain'. The Nestorians, he added, 'trifle with all such agents, encourage the advances made to them, and feign conviction, backing their hypocrisy, with a request for spiritual instructors..." p. 116

"As a result of this p[roximity, the Nestorians began to acquire a renewed sense of Russia's power and a conviction of its future supremacy. Before too long they tried to secure the aid of their co-religionists to the north and almost succeeded. Under the leadership of the only Nestorian bishop in Urmiyah, as extensive petition was carried to Saint Petersburg in which in which they expressed the desire to rnounce their theological 'errors' and to join the Russian Orthodox Church...the American missionaries in Urmiyah wrote the the Board in New York that the Russian clergy were 'making a leisurely and triumphal procession through the villages', making all sorts of absurd promises, e.g.: The Christians would be the new overlords;the land would be given to them (THAT again....mine);those who did not join the Russian Orthodox Church would have their property confiscated and would be banished to Siberia. From ten to fifteen thousand villagers signed a petition which began with these words:

"In the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, By the Grace of the Life-Giving Holy Spirit, we, the Syrio-Chaldean people, followers of Nestorius, determine to unite again with the Greco-Russian, one, true, holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church, to unite free from deceit or insincerity, in truth and with a right heart, according to the words of our Great Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, that 'there shall be one flock and one shepherd'. Our fathers and ancestors, fourteen centuries ago were separated from the unity of the Church, but hereafter let this division and separation not be, between our Nestorians and the Orthodox.”

“The reason for this landslide was purely political; the people believed that the mission, if not itself political in purpose, was the forerunner of a great political transformation. As a Nestorian priest had put it, he “would accept whatever Church wielded the biggest club'. The United States Minister in Tehran explained the situation to the Department of State succinctly:'The neighboring presence of the Russian power which is ultimately expected to occupy the province[of Azerbayjan] has given rise to a general unrest which since it cannot manifest itself in political revolution, finds its outlet un a religious movement by which it hopes to realize its desires'.” pp 131-132

“'The Times' of London reported that 'thousands of Nestorians have adopted the Greco-Russian tenets in the hope of enjoying some day Russian protection.” p. 132


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