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The Chaldo-Assyrians, one of the first peoples to convert to Christianity, still speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. Members of the Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac Orthodox or Syriac Catholic Churches, these refugees from Iraq, Turkey, Syria or Iran claim to be descendants of the peoples of ancient Mesopotamia. Rejected from the Universal Church at the 5th century, they were the first to evangelise China and Mongolia during the Golden Age of the Arabic Empire.
In 1915, together with the Armenians, they were victims of a genocide and many fled to Europe and the United States.
There are still around 700 000 Chaldo-Assyrians in Iraq today and the Assyrian Democratic Movement is working to help to maintain their culture. Nowadays they are threatened by Islamic extremists, and in fleeing toward Western countries they run the risk of loosing the culture and traditions that they have managed to preserve until now.
They are known under various names : Syriacs, Arameans, Suryoyo, Jacobites, Nestorians, etc.