Christianity in Iraq (3rd Edition) by Dr Suha Rassam
New Edition with a full revision to the present day
This third edition is of great importance, since the additional chapter documents the events that preceded and followed the control of IS on Mosul and the departure of its Christians resulting in 120,000 Christian becoming homeless and losing their livelihood. The chapter also documents the heroic efforts of the churches in rescuing these displaced people and the support they received from the international aid and humanitarian agencies.
Christianity was firmly established in Iraq from the earliest times, and the Churches of Iraq were to play a major role in the development of Christian theology and spirituality for many centuries. By the seventh century evangelization from Iraq had brought Christianity to China, Central Asia and India. Yet few people in the West are aware of Christianity’s vibrant past in this region, or of the fact that Christianity has continued to be a significant cultural and religious presence in Iraq right up to the present day.
The story of the Churches in Iraq, their interaction with each other and their varied fortunes under successive Parthian, Sassanid, Arab, Mongol and Ottoman rule, is told here with consummate skill. Suha Rassam guides the reader seemingly effortlessly through complex issues of doctrinal dispute and ecclesiastical politics. She helps us to explore the ancient heritage of these Churches, and the major contribution they have made to the intellectual development of the region and the wider world.
The detailed account of the Churches in the twentieth century, under British rule, the monarchy and then the Ba’athist regime and Saddam Hussein, is particularly useful. It sheds much-needed light on the current dire situation for Christians in Iraq.
Suha Rassam was born in 1941 in Mosul to a medical family. Assistant Professor of Medicine in the University of Baghdad, she came to England in 1990 to do further research. Since that time she has worked in hospitals in London, studied Eastern Christianity at London University and is now retired.
'Christianity in Iraq, now in its third revised edition, continues to be a timely
contribution to understanding not only the Christian tradition in Mesopotamia but the
great challenges confronted by Christians across the Middle East region.'
Anthony O'Mahony, Heythrop College, University of London
'....an extraordinary achievement. The understanding that this book provides will help
the task of supporting Christians to remain in their homeland today.'
His Beatitude Louis Raphaël I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon
'....a work of remarkable scholarship'
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
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