The Heirs of Patriarch Shaker concerns Assyrian prelates who have opposed and damaged the Assyrian national identity over the last hundred years, mainly through their cooperation and collusion with Turkish or Arab nationalist regimes. Traditionally, patriarchs were the official representatives of their Millet (religious community) under the Ottoman Empire. No political parties were permitted. Thus, the acts of a single patriarch could affect the entire future of his people. The author has examined rare documents in several languages and presents a unique study, focusing on four Syrian Orthodox patriarchs. The book starts with Patriarch Elias III Shaker, known as the Church leader who renounced any minority rights for his community in the newly formed Turkish Republic. Turkish historian Sait Çetinoğlu comments on this issue: “The initiatives and actions of Patriarch Shaker were not only a personal loss to him (when he was no longer useful, he was deported and died in India disillusioned). Assyrians should not forget that the damage his actions caused were as much to his people who were uprooted from their ancient geography.”
In contrast to these religious leaders, we find the struggle of the secular Assyrian national movement, which endeavored to unite its divided nation in order to save it from assimilation and annihilation. The successor of Patriarch Shaker, Afrem I Barsom, became an enemy of Assyrian intellectuals and patriots such as Farid Elias Nozha, Hanna Abdelke and Yuhanon Qashisho. Today, Assyrian ecclesiastical leaders still interfere in politics, showing submission to various regimes and making it difficult for secular Assyrian political parties to operate effectively.
Publisher: Nineveh Press
Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: September 2017
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 7.44 x 9.68 in
Page Count: 362