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Germany May Accept 30,000 Christians Who Fled Iraq
By Huda Metti :: Saturday, March 29, 2008 :: 44020 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Berlin, GERMANY - Germany is mulling calls for it to take in up to 30,000 Christians who have fled intimidation and violence in Iraq, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said Saturday, confirming an account in the news magazine Der Spiegel.

Iraq's Christians, who have lived in Mesopotamia since before the advent of Islam, have fled en masse to refugee camps in Jordan and Syria and say the reduction in fighting between Shiites and Sunnis has not benefited them, with killings of Christians continuing.

Interior Ministry experts in Berlin were studying suggestions from the Catholic and Lutheran churches that Germany declare a quota for resettlement by Iraqi Christian refugees, Der Spiegel said.

It quoted German Foreign Ministry data suggesting an original Iraqi Christian population of 800,000 had halved by 2005 to 400,000.

German government human rights commissioner Guenter Nooke said, 'Intimidation, murder and abduction happen every day to Christians.'

The magazine said the churches had called for a quota of 20,000 to 30,000.

Currently there are only small numbers of Iraqi Christians in Germany, mostly people who have been caught while illegally trying to migrate along land routes to Sweden, where they have been welcomed.

Many of the Christians speak the Aramaic language.

Iraq's two main native Christian denominations are the independent Church of the East under patriarch Dinkha IV, and the Chaldean Catholic Church under patriarch Emmanuel III Delly which is linked to Catholicism.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.