Syriac organizations and institutions sent letter to US President Joe Biden urging recognition of Sayfo Genocide

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A number of political, cultural, and military organizations representing the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people, in their homeland of Beth Nahrin (Mesopotamia) and in the diaspora, sent a letter to US President Joe Biden urging him to officially recognize the Sayfo Genocide committed against them by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

The American Syriac Union supervised the writing of the letter, which was signed by 20 parties, organizations, and institutions, including the Bethnahrin National Council (Mawtbo Umthoyo D’Bethnahrin, MUB) and In Defense of Christians (IDC).

The letter began by saying: To Your Excellency the US President Joe Biden, based on the duty of the organizations and institutions that represent the Syriac people, the founders of the ancient heritage of the Beth Nahrin civilizations, we send our greetings in a spirit of love and respect, and we wish you success in your tasks and work.

Commending President Biden’s annual speech on 24 April commemorating the Armenian Genocide, the letter underscores the significance of acknowledging past atrocities as a step towards preventing future ones. It highlights the ongoing repercussions of the Ottoman Empire’s genocidal policies, particularly against Christian communities, and the denial of this dark chapter of history by the Turkish government.

With approximately half a million Syriacs subjected to violence and persecution during the Sayfo Genocide, resulting in forced displacement and religious conversion, the letter urges President Biden to officially recognize this genocide and take concrete steps to address historical injustices.

Amidst the contemporary threats faced by Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) communities in the Middle East, including attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS), the letter emphasizes the urgent need for international efforts led by the United States to ensure security and stability for vulnerable populations.

“While you prepare to deliver the 109th annual speech for this crime, we ask you to address the deep pain that our people have suffered, and emphasize the weight of the burden and the humanitarian responsibility that you bear,” the letter added.

“Therefore, we ask your administration to officially recognize the Sayfo Genocide, take concrete steps to acknowledge historical injustice, and strive for a future of security and stability,” the letter concluded.