An Assyrian Christian Woman
Luna from St George’s Church in Baghdad looks forward to a brighter futureSt George’s Church
Luna is effervescent. With a smile she tells us her name means ‘moon’. This makes her next comment all the more stark: “We were living in peace until 2003.” With a calm certainty, she continues: “There was brotherhood between different ethnic and religious groups until 2003. After that, a lot of things changed. There was terrorism.”
Luna lived in a suburb of Baghdad called Dora. It has since been renamed ‘New Baghdad’. The name of her home wasn’t the only thing that changed.
She tells us with hurt in her eyes: “Our Shia neighbours started threatening us – they told us to convert to Islam or leave. We wouldn’t give up our faith and so we left.” Luna and her husband lived elsewhere (she does not tell us where). A few years later, they sold the house for much cheaper than they bought it. She is unequivocal about the reason: “We sold it because of the problem with the neighbours – we could not be around them anymore, they did a lot of bad things to us.”
Luna joined St George’s Church in 2008. She speaks warmly about the people there: “The church helped us financially, they gave us food parcels and medical care. The Rev'd. Faez was like a true father to us.” Luna hopes for peace in Iraq so that those living refugee lives abroad can return home: As for herself, she says: “I am of Assyrian background. My family has been here thousands of years. We do not want to leave.”
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