Iraq

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Agenzia Giornalistica Italia Jan 7 2012


10000 ARMENIAN CHRISTIANS HAVE LEFT IRAQ SINCE 2003


(AGI) Baghdad - At least 10 thousand Armenian Christians have fled Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion, said Father Shahinian, head of the Orthodox Church. On the Orthodox Christmas Day Shahinian said he feared "immature" ideas could take over the country "with a negative impact on the safeguard of minorities". The Armenian Christian Church and faithful in Iraq are mainly present in Baghdad, Niniveh, Kirkuk, Basrah and Dohuk. . .


http://www.agi.it/english-version/world/elenco-notizie/201201071043-cro-ren1017-10000_armenian_christians_have_left_iraq_since_2003


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FUND HELPS RESETTLE IRAQI ARMENIANS

Armenpress Jan 13 2006

YEREVAN, JANUARY 13, ARMENPRESS: The ethnic Armenian community in Iraq is one of the smallest and though it is not involved in the country's political life and is doing its best to survive the country's postwar hardships, they are not safeguarded against religious extremists. Many choose to emigrate. A special Fund was set up in Los Angeles, USA, to raise money to help Iraqi Armenians repatriate to Armenia.

Last year the Fund helped resettle four Armenian families from Iraq in Armenia. Gayane Muradian, chairman of the Armenian branch of the Fund, said this year they will resettle another 7-8 Armenian families from Iraq, overall some 30-32 people.

The Fund commits to give every Iraqi Armenian that will settle in Armenia $1000 , to cover their transportation expenses. But there are other problems. They are hard to integrate with local environment and besides, many do not speak Armenian and those who do speak a dialect of Western Armenian, which local Armenians cannot understand. Armenians began arriving in Iraq several centuries ago from Iran, first settling in the south of the country and gradually moving to the capital, Baghdad. The biggest wave came at the start of the 20th century when ethnic Armenians fled Turkey after a massacre by Turkish soldiers in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.


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CHURCH EFFORTS TO REBUILD BOMBED MOSUL PROPERTIES YIELD MIXED RESULTS Posted on December 11, 2005

The Universe, UK Dec. 13, 2005

One year after terrorists launched bomb attacks against Catholic properties in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, at least one of the buildings has been relocated, but another has not been touched because it is in a volatile area of the city. On Dec. 7, 2004, an armed group of commandos stormed an Armenian Catholic church, ushered everyone out of the building, then detonated two bombs, reducing the church to rubble. Some two hours later, a group of armed men attacked the Chaldean bishop's residence in another part of the city. The men set off explosives, which engulfed the residence in flames. While these and other attacks prompted numerous Christians to flee, "the churches always stayed open" and people continued "to attend Mass, even in the rubble," said Chaldean Father Ragheed Ganni. He was the lone person in the bishop's residence and was ordered out before the attackers bombed it, he said in a Dec. 7 interview with AsiaNews, the Italian-based missionary news agency. He said he feels he "survived a certain death" and that "the Holy Spirit was at work then as it is today." The bishop's residence has been relocated and "the new house is small, but welcoming," he said. A Dominican priest in Mosul said although the Armenian church had received funding for reconstruction, he did not believe building had begun because the church was in a volatile area. Dominican Father Mekhail Nageeb told Catholic News Service Dec. 8 that Armenian Catholics, who had no church and no bishop, were being served by the Dominicans and Syrian-rite Catholics. On Aug. 1, 2004, a car bomb blast outside the Chaldean Holy Spirit Church in Mosul left at least two people dead. Repairs on the church, Father Ganni's parish, are almost complete, Father Ganni said. "We are still celebrating Mass in the basement," he said, adding that he hoped the church would be ready and reopened Dec. 23.


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Arbil

Armenian-Language Classes Taught In Iraqi City

news.am Nov 10 2011 Armenia

YEREVAN. - Armenia's Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan on Thursday received Archbishop Avak Assadourian, the Primate of Iraq Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

They discussed Iraqi-Armenian community's education and youth issues.

Archbishop Assadourian informed the minister that an Armenian-language course is being taught in a state-run school in northern Iraqi city of Arbil, ever since the beginning of this year, and 44 students are attending the classes. Armenian-language courses are planned to be held in other Iraqi regions, too.

The Minister and the Primate reached an agreement on organizing young Iraqi Armenians' visit to Armenia along the lines of the Diaspora Ministry's "Come Home" Program for 2012.

Hakobyan informed the Archbishop on the Ministry's projects and actions toward the integration of Iraqi Armenians who are living in Armenia.


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Yerevan Moves To Facilitate Iraqi Armenian Immigration

Irina Hovhannisyan

21.08.2014

The government approved on Thursday measures designed to make it easier for Iraqi Armenians to take refuge in Armenia or become its dual citizens following the rise of Islamist insurgency in Iraq.

In particular, the government simplified procedures for processing their requests for Armenian citizenship.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian, Iraqi nationals of Armenian descent will now be able to receive their new passports at Armenia’s diplomatic missions in Iraq and neighboring states. They had to travel to Yerevan for that purpose until now.

Speaking at a weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan, Kocharian said ethnic Armenians fleeing violence in Iraq will also be exempted from Armenian visa, residency permit and passport fees.

The authorities in Yerevan approved similar measures for members of the Armenian community in Syria shortly after the start of a bloody civil war there. Thousands of them have taken refuge in Armenia and/or obtained Armenian citizenship since then.

There were an estimated 20,000 ethnic Armenians, most of them descendants of survivors of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey, in Iraq before the 2003 U.S. invasion. Their number is believed to have shrunk at least by half over the past decade. Several hundred of them fled to Armenia following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and resulting chaos in the country.

The community has been mostly concentrated in Baghdad. Hundreds and possibly thousands of Armenians lived in Mosul and other parts of northern Iraq before the recent advances made by the Islamic State (IS) militants. Mosul’s virtually entire Christian population has reportedly been forced to leave the city since it was captured by the jihadists earlier this month.

The Armenian government on Thursday did not ease visa requirements for Iraqi Yazidis displaced by the IS. It is facing growing calls by the sizable Yazidi community in Armenia and the Armenian civil society to facilitate their immigration.

The government allocated instead $100,000 worth of humanitarian aid to displaced Yazidis. Kocharian said it will be distributed through the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency.




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