City Council of the City of Yonkers, NY adopts resolution supporting Assyrian Christians in Iraq
and condemning ISIS and the atrocities perpetrated by ISIS.

Wednesday September 10th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
at Yonkers City Hall, 4th floor

Mark E. Constantine, Esq. A Proud Assyrian

618 Midland Avenue, Yonkers, New York 10704

Constantine Law Firm

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WHEREAS, the Assyrians, the indigenous people of Mesopotamia including the area now known as Iraq, were among the first Christians in the First Century A.D.; and

WHEREAS, throughout history, the Assyrian and Iraqi Christians have generally enjoyed religious freedom in their homeland; and

WHEREAS, on October 19, 1933, following the merciless massacre of Assyrians and Iraqi Christians in Iraq, the Assyrian National Emergency Committee called its first general mass meeting in Yonkers; and

WHEREAS, Yonkers then became home to the first Assyrian American National Federation Committee, and has continuously been home to the local chapter of that organization; and

WHEREAS, in 1966, a groundbreaking ceremony took place in Yonkers to begin construction on one of the first Assyrian churches in the country, and the site remains home to the Mar Mari Assyrian Church to this day; and

WHEREAS, an integral part of the Yonkers mosaic, the Assyrian and Iraqi Christian community concerns itself with preserving its heritage and the land of its forefathers, wanting peace and prosperity for that region; and

WHEREAS, the Assyrian and Iraqi Christian Community in Yonkers, through its church, youth, cultural and philanthropic organizations has contributed in an extraordinary manner to all facets of life in our City, and most importantly, to the unique sense of community which exists in Yonkers; and

WHEREAS, in defense of freedom, the United States authorized the use of military force against Iraq to effectuate the purposes of regime change, subsequently leading to the start of the Iraq War on March 19, 2003 and the hunt for Saddam Hussein; and

WHEREAS, on December 18, 2011, the last U.S. troops left Iraq, ending an 8 year war on terror and thereby restoring hope of religious freedom amongst the Assyrian and Iraqi Christian people; and

WHEREAS, in the years following the war, the Assyrians and Iraqi Christians have enjoyed a period relatively free from oppression and religious persecution while consistently striving to ensure democracy and prosperity for all of the country's citizens; and

WHEREAS, any semblance of peace, prosperity and religious freedom restored throughout Iraq after the Iraq War was fleeting; and

WHEREAS, on June 9, 2014, Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and home to thousands of Assyrian and Iraqi Christians, fell captive to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS); and

WHEREAS, ISIS seized control of government offices, police stations and the airport, forcing approximately 500,000 Assyrian and Iraqi Christians to flee their indigenous land; and

WHEREAS, all Assyrian and Iraqi Christians remaining in Iraq have been given three options; leaving their native land, converting to Islam, or death; and

WHEREAS, the violence has since intensified, and the barbaric, unspeakable acts of ISIS have driven out close to all of the Assyrian and Iraqi Christian population from the country; and

WHEREAS, ISIS has destroyed numerous churches and Christian institutions throughout Iraq, with all church serves ceasing for the first time in sixteen hundred years; and

WHEREAS, Assyrian and Iraqi Christians now turn to neighboring lands seeking refuge from the genocide that is spreading like wildfire across Iraq; and

WHEREAS, the acts of terror carried out by ISIS have now impacted America, with the death of journalist James Foley on August 19, 2014, and multiple other U.S. citizens being held captive in Iraq and suffering the same fate as the thousands of Assyrian and Iraqi Christians in the Middle East; and

WHEREAS, the Assyrian and Iraqi Christians of Yonkers have already demonstrated in both Washington, D.C. and the United Nations to raise awareness of this tragedy, and look to people around the world to recognize these atrocities and support all future efforts to bring them to an end;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Yonkers pause in its deliberations to express with the Assyrian and Iraqi Christian community in their desperate struggle for religious freedom and dignity during this crisis;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Yonkers stands in solidarity with the Assyrian and Iraqi Christian community and calls upon all citizens of Yonkers and the world to respect their personal liberty and the right to practice their faith, and to condemn the aggressive invasion, persecution and religious purging at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to the Yonkers Assyrian American Association, the Mar Mari Assyrian Church, Congressman Eliot Engel, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Assyrians of Yonkers something from the past. - August 27, 1940
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