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Chaldean Travel Spot Under Threat Because of Christian Cross
By Sam Yousif :: Monday, June 16, 2008 :: 41581 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Michigan, USA – Many would say it is a rite of passage for Michigan Chaldeans to visit Frankenmuth.  The Bavarian village, dubbed “Michigan’s Little Bavaria” has rich cultural and historical significance and is one of the largest tourist attractions in Michigan.  The small town is now facing legal pressure to strip all religious symbols from their village.  The legal threats hope to end the all-year Christmas displays, removal of the Cross from the town shield, and the destruction of the Cross in the city park.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has taken steps to challenge the city for its use of religions symbols. In response, the City Council of Frankenmuth unanimously voted to retain the Thomas More Law Center to defend its unique historical and cultural heritage.  

Christian persecution in America is not necessarily physical abuse says David Haddad, a student of world history.  He asserts that it is more psychological and systematic intimidation that will eventually lead to physical abuse.  “When a Chaldean thinks of ‘persecution’ our minds turn to the humiliating and horrible conditions we faced as a people or the holocaust our people suffered during World War I,” Haddad adds. 

“Others may think of the holocausts of the 20th century and those brutal dictators responsible for murdering millions. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot come to mind as well as Idi Amin (Uganda), Omar al-Bashir (Sudan), to name a few.  America is moving down the same path.  Oppress psychologically, then legally, then by force.”

Haddad sees the United States of America as a growing and fomenting caldron of Christian persecution.  “They try to shame you if what you believe is counter to what they want you to believe, then they get activist judges to defy the will of the people, and finally use the police to force you to abide by their standards.”

Minority groups such as Catholics, African-Americans, and Native Americans could attest to American persecution.  Regardless of their behavior, these groups were forced to suffer and even killed simply because their right of equality was not protected.  They were treated as second-class citizens and in many cases continue to be oppressed. 

Haddad says groups like the ACLU, Freedom From Religion Foundation, The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), NARAL, NOW, Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Tax Force, AFL-CIO, Unions, International Socialist Organization, People For the American Way, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Alliance for Justice, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and many other “nice sounding names” attack Christians. 

It is not only Haddad who thinks such groups are attacking Christians.  A number of groups have recently formed to counter the anti-Christian rise in America.  Groups like the Thomas More Law Center headquartered in Michigan who have taken a principled stand to defend the constitution and targeted Christian groups. 

The Thomas More Law Center website states that the group defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through education, litigation, and related activities.  The center boasts that it does not charge for its services and is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations.

German cultural heritage of Frankenmuth extends as far back as 1845.  The Thomas More Law Center says that the history of Frankenmuth serve to link and promote the city’s unique origins and history which are secular purposes.  Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center commented, “We need not purge all historical references to religion merely to satisfy militant atheists.”

Thomas continued saying that the council’s unanimous vote to retain the Thomas More Law Center in the face of a previous attempt to remove the small cross from its city shield and now the more recent focus on the cross in Cross Park by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State reflects a deep commitment on the part of the council to defend these symbols of the city’s unique history and culture.

 

 

 

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.