Assyrian Nationalism as Conducted Through the Church of the East and its Implications for the Northern Iraqi Oilfields
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Since their seminal migration from the Arabian Peninsula, Assyrians have resided in what is present-day Iraq. From 1350-612 B.C., the ancient Assyrian Empire enjoyed regional preeminence (albeit fluctuating) until the fall of Nineveh. A physical link via blood ties to the ancient Assyrians is claimed by modern Assyrians; additionally, these modern Assyrians have been increasingly seeking the formation of their own separate and distinct nation-state since the end of World War I. In the 20th century, the Assyrians within Iraq have proven to be a most nettlesome minority to the central government; moreover, their presence in the northern Iraqi oil region is another problematic facet of this nationalism. Given its dependence on oil revenues, it is highly unlikely that the Iraqi government will cede any of its territory- especially in the lucrative northern oil region- to the Assyrians. Contrapuntally, it is equally unlikely that the Assyrians will drop their nationalistic demands. This paper will examine contemporary Assyrian nationalism as conducted through the Church of the East, its implications, and its future.
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