Christian Persecution Update

Kurdish Authorities in Syria Close Schools Run by Assyrian Christians

Blog note:  Christian Persecution. Jesus indicated that many would hate and persecute Christians because of His name. This has always been the case and is increasing in intensity and frequency.

Psalm 25:19. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

Psalm 38:19. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

Psalm 41:7. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.

Psalm 69:4. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.

Psalm 69:14. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Matthew 10:22. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Mark 13:13. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Luke 6:22. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

Luke 14:26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 19:14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

Luke 21:17. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

John 7:7. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

John 15:18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

John 15:23. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. End of note.

Kurdish Authorities in Syria Close Schools Run by Assyrian Christians

Morning Star News Jerusalem Correspondent | Morning Star News | Wednesday, October 3, 2018

JERUSALEM, October 3, 2018 (Morning Star News) – Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria have closed private schools administered by the Syriac Orthodox Church, which Assyrian Christians say threatens the survival of the Christian community in the region.

The schools in the Kurdish-governed northeastern region of Syria were forcefully closed for refusing to implement a curriculum that school officials say undermines their religion and culture, promotes Kurdish nationalist ideology and ignores a long and painful history of Assyrian persecution at the hands of Kurds.

The academic director of the schools, a leader of the Assyrian community, has since been beaten, and an Assyrian journalist who wrote extensively on the closings was detained. Assyrian advocates say these actions reflect a pattern of intimidation toward Christian minorities and others who oppose the policies of the Kurdish self-administration.

On Aug. 28 in Qamishli, militiamen belonging to the Kurdish-led Democratic Union Party (PYD), and members of the Sutoro, an Assyrian police force affiliated with the Syriac Military Council (MFS) and the Dawronoye, a secular, nationalist movement among Assyrians, expelled administrators and teachers from the schools. The militia expelled them because they failed to register and implement the curriculum imposed by the Kurdish-led government, according to a press statement from the Assyrian Policy Institute and local reports.

When administrators refused to turn school building keys over to officials, militiamen broke and replaced the locks, according to the institute. It reported that schools in the same Al-Hasakah governate of Syria were closed earlier in the month in Al-Malikiyya and in Al-Darbasiyah.

“The school violates the provisions of law by teaching curricula that are not approved by the Education Authority….for these reasons, we are issuing this notice ordering the closure of this school within 24 hours under legal obligation,” read the notice on the school of Al-Malikiyya. A similar notice was posted at the school in Al-Darbasiyah, according to the Assyrian Policy Institute.

On the same afternoon that the Qamishli school was closed, hundreds of local residents protested and broke into the schools. Some of the schools, which serve area Assyrian, Armenian, Arab and Kurdish students, are operating unofficially now, Assyrian Policy Institute board member Max Joseph told Morning Star News.

Members of the Assyrian community in the area believe two more incidents are directly related to the school curriculum controversy.

On Sept. 22, Isa Rashid, a respected Assyrian community member who is the education director for the schools, was beaten outside of his home in Qamishli, days after meetings with officials in which he refused to implement the PYD’s curriculum.

On Sunday (Sept. 30), the Syrian Democratic Forces in the region arrested an Assyrian journalist and Qamishli resident, Souleman Yusph. Around 9 p.m., Yusph was arrested and his laptop and documents seized by the authorities.

Yusph was detained after writing and posting on social media about the school closings, criticizing the self-administration’s policies and actions of Assyrian neighborhood police funded and controlled by the Kurdish self-administration in Syria.

The journalist’s whereabouts are unknown, and advocates are calling for his release.

“This latest arrest is yet another attempt to quell any interest or understanding of how the Kurdish self-administration’s draconian policies are harming those living under its self-imposed authority,” read a statement released Sunday by the Assyrian Policy Institute.

The PYD on Aug. 29 released a statement, posted and translated into English on the PYD foreign office Twitter account, which said that minutes of a meeting published online by church leaders in Qamishli were untrue and slanderous to the government. The statement asserted that the PYD seeks to support the schools and implement the rule of law, and that the schools in question are not private but seek to serve the Syrian regime.

“As for what is stated in the minutes of the meeting of the heads and priests of the churches, it is just lies,” read the statement signed by Samira Haj Ali and Mohamed Saleh Abdo, the co-presidency of the Education Authority of the Al Jazira region. “It is also a political statement against the Democratic Self-Administration to defame the administration in order to serve their masters, i.e. the Syrian regime.”

The Christian schools, which have been in operation since 1935, offer liturgical classes in Syriac while following the Syrian government’s curriculum, Joseph of the Assyrian Policy Institute said.

The Syrian government’s curriculum is accredited in greater Syria, Joseph said, while the Kurdish curriculum is not.

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