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This book provides a detailed historical account of Christianity's establishment in Iraq, as well as exploring the ancient heritage of the Churches of Iraq.
Christianity was firmly established in Iraq from the earliest times, and the Churches of Iraq played a major role in the development of Christian theology and spirituality for many centuries. By the seventh century, evangelization from Iraq brought Christianity to China, Central Asia, and India. Yet few people in the west are aware of Christianity's vibrant past in the region, or of the fact that Christianity has continued to have a significant cultural and religious presence in Iraq even today.
The story of the Churches of Iraq, their interaction with each other and their varied fortunes under successive Parthian, Sassanid, Arab, Mongol, and Ottoman rule, is related. Suha Rassam guides the reader through complex issues of doctrinal dispute and ecclesiastical politics. She explores the ancient heritage of these Churches, and the major contribution they made to the intellectual development of the region and the wider world.
The author offers a detailed account of the Churches in the 20th century under British rule, the monarchy, and then the Ba'athist regime and Saddam Hussein. This book sheds much needed light on the present dire situation for Christians in Iraq. It is essential reading for all those in the West who are concerned for the future of Iraq and its people.
"Gives to the general interested public a comprehensive and informed insight into two thousand years of Christianity in Iraq."--Dr. Erica Hunter, SOAS, London University
"Suha Rassam's book comes to fill a large vacuum in the knowledge of those in the West, many of whom are still not aware of the fact that from ancient times Christianity was firmly rooted in Iraq and the rest of the territory now seen as the 'Arab Middle East'."--Archbishop Mikhael Al Jamil, Patriarchal Vicar of the Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch to the Holy See and Visitor Apostolic for Europe