Chaldeans

From Academic Kids

See Chaldean for other references.

Chaldean Assyrians (or Chaldo-Assyrians) are a Semitic people currently living in northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, and northwestern Iran. Historically they were centered on the biblical city of Nineveh (present day Tel Kaif), located near Mosul, Iraq. They pre-date the Islamic conquest of the region, being descended from the original inhabitants of Mesopotamia known as Bet-Nahrain in Syriac. They speak a language known as Syriac, which is rooted in ancient Aramaic and uses the Syriac alphabet. Some 750,000 people speak this language in Iraq, with another 90,000 speakers living in the United States. Chaldean Assyrians are Christian, and are one of the first people to be converted to that religion by Thomas the apostle. All belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church until 1552, when missionaries from Rome reunited their rite with Roman Catholicism. Those who remained with the Orthodox church refer to themselves as Nestorian Assyrians.

The total population of Chaldo-Assyrians is estimated at four million worldwide. There are today some 90,000 living in the United States: 50,000 Chaldean Catholics, and the remainder belonging to the Assyrian Church of the East. Major populations of Chaldo-Assyrians are found around Detroit and San Diego, while Nestorian Assyrians are concentrated around Chicago and Los Angeles.


The Chaldeans are Catholic Assyrians.

Their church is part of the Church of the East, and is also known as the Chaldean Church of Babylon or the Chaldean Catholic Church. Chaldeans make up 25% of the total worldwide Assyrian population. In Iraq there are an estimated 750,000 living mostly in the North (Shimal) of the country. They speak Neo-Assyrian which is also known as Syriac Aramaic.

The Babylonian and Hebrew name for the Chaldeans was "Kasdu" (singular) and "Kasdim" (plural). "Kaldu" was an Assyrian term for the people (from which the Western term "Chaldean" was derived) which meant either mathematician, astrologer, or mystic. Nebuchadnezzar was the King of the Chaldeans, who ruled Babylon and built the famous Hanging Gardens for his Medean wife who was homesick. Marduk was his god, the counterpart of the Assyrian Ashur.

Template:Iraq-stubfa:کلدانی‌ها fi:Kaldealaiset

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