Thursday, July 12, 2007

Latest Finding in Biblical Archeology

The British Museum's great Arched Room holds its collection of 130,000 Assyrian cuneiform tablets, dating back 5,000 years. The latest finding is by Dr. Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, who made what has been called the most important find in Biblical archaeology for 100 years, a discovery that supports the view that the historical books of the Old Testament are based on fact.

Searching for Babylonian financial accounts among the tablets, Dr. Jursa, an Assyriologist came across the name "Nabu-sharrussu-ukin", described there in a hand 2,500 years old, as "the chief eunuch" of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.

Dr. Jursa checked the Old Testament and in chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he found, spelled differently, the same name - Nebo-Sarsekim.

Nebo-Sarsekim, according to Jeremiah, was Nebuchadnezzar II's "chief officer" and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city.

"This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find," said Dr. Finkel yesterday. "If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power."

Cuneiform is the oldest form of writing, which was commonly used in the Middle East between 3,200 BC and the second century AD. It was created by pressing a wedge-shaped instrument, usually a cut reed, into moist clay.

The full translation of the tablet reads: (Regarding) 1.5 minas (0.75 kg) of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered [it] to Esangila. In the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard, [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The World's Richest Man is Assyrian

Carlos Slim Helú, an Assyrian from Lebanon and belongs to the maronitic church. He was born in Mexico January 28th 1940. He has poked Bill Gates from the crown as the richest man in the world. Slim's lead over Gates amounted to billions of dollars.

The 67-year-old started out in real estate and was already affluent enough when he graduated from university with an engineering degree to buy stakes in a stock brokerage and a bottling firm.

Primarily invested in telephone industry, and runs Mexico's largest cellular phone company (América Movil), as well as the virtual monopoly on landlines (Telmex). But Slim's greatest asset is diversification: his investment group Grupo Carso owns an ISP (Prodigy), an online bank, department stores, a cigarette company (Cigatam), and a restaurant chain with hundreds of locations.

Father: Yusef Salim Haddad (aka. Julián Slim Haddad Aglamaz)
Mother: Linda Helu
Wife: Soumaya (passed away)
Son: Carlos Slim Domit
Son: Marco Antonio
Son: Patrick

His father, Julián Slim Haddad Aglamaz originally comes from the town Jezzine, approximately forty km southeast of Beirut, Lebanon.

Just before Seyfo, the 1915-1918 Turkish genocide of Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians, Carlos Slim Helú's father escaped over the Atlantic. His escape away from persecution and genocides ended in Mexico.

Despite the fact that he's the wealthies man in the world, Slim reportedly shuns corporate jets and flashy offices.

Widowed in 1999, Slim has boosted his philanthropic presence and overseen his three sons' careers within his business empire.

One of his famous quotes is: "I've always said that the better off you are, the more responsibility you have for helping others. Just as I think it's important to run companies well, with a close eye to the bottom line, I think you have to use your entrepreneurial experience to make corporate philanthropy effective".
- Carlos Slim Helu

[Photo courtesy of]

ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST - 21st National Youth Conference 2007

The Annual National Youth Conference of the Assyrian Church of the East took place in Chicago from July 3-8, 2007. Youth and clergy of many of the following parishes were in attendance:

1) Mar Gewargis Cathedral, Chicago;
2) St. Andrew’s Parish, Des Plaines;
3) St. Mary’s Parish, Detroit;
4) Mar Mari Parish, Yonkers;
5) St. Thomas Parish, New Britain;
6) St. Peter’s Parish, Phoenix;
7) Mar Narsai Parish, San Francisco;
8) Mar Yosip Parish, San Jose;
9) Mar Gewargis Parish, Ceres;
10)Mar Addai Parish, Turlock; and
11)St. Mary’s Parish, Los Angeles
12)Ss. Peter & Paul Parish, Sydney – Australia.

On July 4th, His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East had breakfast with all the attendees, followed by speeches given by the Very Rev. Cor-bishop Gewargis Toma with the title ‘Enter through the Narrow Gate.’

On July 5th, Rev. Patros Patros gave the speech entitled ‘The Meaning of the Church,’ followed by Rev. Genard Lazar, with the title ‘A Reality Check.’

On July 6th, Very Rev. Cor-bishop David Royel, presented his speech entitled ‘The Eucharist in our Daily Lives.’

The three conference talks presented on July 7th, were by Rev. George Bet Rasho who spoke on ‘Your Relationship with God,’ followed by a speech given by Mr. Ninos Haroon on 'The Capture of Jesus as Recorded in John’s Gospel' and Deacon Raumin Benjamin on the ‘Spiritual Energy Drink.’

On July 8th, the Holy Qurbana service was celebrated by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV at Mar Gewargis Cathedral. On this day, the commemoration of St. Mar Yosip Khnanisho was observed according to the liturgical calendar of the Church of the East. During the Qurbana service, with over a 1000 faithful members, four young men were ordained by His Holiness to the rank of sub-deacon.

A picnic was followed after the service. The youths said their goodbyes to each other and anticipated the next year’s Conference which will be hosted by the St. Peter’s Parish, Phoenix, Arizona.

[courtesy of]

Sunday, July 01, 2007

His Holiness Mar Dinkha Visits Vatican

His Holiness, Mar Dinkha IV visited Vatican on Thursday, June 21, 2007. One of the reasons for this meeting was to undo some of the damages the former bishop had brought upon. The Assyrian Church of the East has always maintained Christian unity with all churches and would like to continue with this unity of serving one Father, “Jesus”, under its own church independance and leadership of our Holy father Mar Dinkha.

The other reason was about the major concern about the fate of Christians living in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq. The Pope stated: "Today, tragically, Christians in this region are suffering both materially and spiritually. Particularly in Iraq, the homeland of so many of the Assyrian faithful, Christian families and communities are feeling increasing pressure from insecurity, aggression and a sense of abandonment". The goal was to find effective ways to better assist the Christians living in Iraq.

The United Nations said in a report this year that of the 1.5 million Assyrian Christians living in Iraq before 2003, about half had fled the country and many of the rest were moving to "safe areas" in the north of Iraq.

Here you will find Pope's speech when he recieved His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV at the Vatican:

Your Holiness,

I am pleased to welcome you to the Vatican, together with the Bishops and the priests who have accompanied you on this visit. My warm greetings extend to all the members of the Holy Synod, the clergy and the faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East. I pray – in the words of the Apostle Saint Paul – that "the Lord himself, who is our source of joy, may give you peace at all times and in every way" (2 Th 3:16).

On several occasions Your Holiness met with my beloved predecessor Pope John Paul II. Most significant was your visit in November 1994, when you came to Rome, accompanied by members of your Holy Synod, to sign a Common Declaration concerning Christology. This Declaration included the decision to establish a Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. The Joint Commission has undertaken an important study of the sacramental life in our respective traditions and forged an agreement on the Anaphora of the Apostles Addai and Mari. I am most grateful for the results of this dialogue, which hold out the promise of further progress on other disputed questions. Indeed, these achievements deserve to be better known and appreciated, since they make possible various forms of pastoral cooperation between our two communities.

The Assyrian Church of the East is rooted in ancient lands whose names are associated with the history of God’s saving plan for all mankind. At the time of the early Church, the Christians of these lands made a remarkable contribution to the spread of the Gospel, particularly through their missionary activity in the more remote areas of the East. Today, tragically, Christians in this region are suffering both materially and spiritually. Particularly in Iraq, the homeland of so many of the Assyrian faithful, Christian families and communities are feeling increasing pressure from insecurity, aggression and a sense of abandonment. Many of them see no other possibility than to leave the country and to seek a new future abroad. These difficulties are a source of great concern to me, and I wish to express my solidarity with the pastors and the faithful of the Christian communities who remain there, often at the price of heroic sacrifices. In these troubled areas the faithful, both Catholic and Assyrian, are called to work together. I hope and pray that they will find ever more effective ways to support and assist one another for the good of all.

As a result of successive waves of emigration, many Christians from the Eastern Churches are now living in the West. This new situation presents a variety of challenges to their Christian identity and their life as a community. At the same time, when Christians from the East and West live side by side, they have a precious opportunity to enrich one another and to understand more fully the catholicity of the Church, which, as a pilgrim in this world, lives, prays and bears witness to Christ in a variety of cultural, social and human contexts. With complete respect for each other’s doctrinal and disciplinary traditions, Catholic and Assyrian Christians are called to reject antagonistic attitudes and polemical statements, to grow in understanding of the Christian faith which they share and to bear witness as brothers and sisters to Jesus Christ "the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1:24).

New hopes and possibilities sometimes awaken new fears, and this is also true with regard to ecumenical relations. Certain recent developments in the Assyrian Church of the East have created some obstacles to the promising work of the Joint Commission. It is to be hoped that the fruitful labour which the Commission has accomplished over the years can continue, while never losing sight of the ultimate goal of our common journey towards the re-establishment of full communion.

Working for Christian unity is, in fact, a duty born of our fidelity to Christ, the Shepherd of the Church, who gave his life "to gather into one the dispersed children of God" (Jn 11:51-52). However long and laborious the path towards unity may seem, we are asked by the Lord to join our hands and hearts, so that together we can bear clearer witness to him and better serve our brothers and sisters, particularly in the troubled regions of the East, where many of our faithful look to us, their Pastors, with hope and expectation.

With these sentiments, I once more thank Your Holiness for your presence here today and for your commitment to continuing along the path of dialogue and unity. May the Lord abundantly bless your ministry and sustain you and the faithful whom you serve with his gifts of wisdom, joy and peace.

Our Beloved Cor-Bishop David Royel Receives PhD

A true shining star for our Assyrian Church of the East and our Assyrian Nation:

It is an honor to announce that Rev. Cor-Bishop David Royel, received his doctorate degree on June 8, 2007 in Rome. His thesis on the "Ritual Prayers of Lent of the Assyrian Church of the East", along with his many other academic and spiritual achievements and knowledge is a blessing to us all.

We congratulate Rev. Cor-Bishop David Royel for setting a high precedent for others to follow, as His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV has always emphasized the importance of receiving a strong education.

[Photo courtesy of]