Iraq: Persecuted Christians  launch TV channel in Syriac language derived from Jesus’ Aramaic

Friday, June 9, 2023 | Tag Cloud

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The much-persecuted, tiny Christian community in Iraq has taken the historic step of launching a new public television channel broadcasting only programs conducted in their native Syriac language, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Syriac is an ancient language derived from Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke while He walked the Earth.  

According to ICC, launching the TV channel may indicate increased acceptance of Christians in majority Muslim war-torn, deeply troubled Iraq. Due to wars and terrorism, the number of Christians in the country has drastically decreased from 1.5 million in 2003 to just 150,000. “  Many people sought safer places to reside, leaving the remaining Iraqi Christians secluded in the Northern portion of the country,” ICC reports.

Iraq ranks 18th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted. “Iraqi Christians experience discrimination, harassment, and violent persecution, without protection from the state,” the Open Doors international Christian advocacy group said in a website statement.

ICC notes that, in addition to helping Iraqi Christians, launching a Christian TV channel in Iraq may encourage the acceptance of believers in other Middle Eastern countries.  “As many countries in the Middle East continue to be ravaged by persecution and violence, the creation of a Christian-specific television channel may encourage other neighboring countries to allow for similar avenues of accepting religious diversity,” ICC said in its report.

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