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Good Samaritan: Assyrian Canadian Christian - Mansour Zindo
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Leviticus 19: 33-34: ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Matthew 25: 35-36: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’


Mansour Zindo is an Assyrian Canadian Christian who came to Canada in 1999. He is fiercely loyal to his Assyrian heritage, yet he is equally as fiercely loyal to his adopted homeland of Canada. Mansour and his good friend, Sarge Khanania, also a strong Christian man, have so far sponsored 42 Assyrian refugees to Canada.

The plight of the Assyrian people is not well known in the West. While the genocide of the Yazidi peoples is well documented, and justifiably so, the refusal of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) to characterize the suffering of the Assyrians as genocide has kept them generally out of the press. Mansour says that there is only around five percent of the previous Assyrian population remaining in Syria.

Much of the difficulty is that generally ethnic minorities in the region, such as the Kurds, Yazidi, and Assyrians have no representation in the governments in the areas in which they live. This lack of protection and representation has led to much political and religious persecution. Further complicating the plight of the ethnic minorities is the fact they are generally unable to access the refugee camps that the United Nations uses to identify and prioritize refugee claimants for resettlement.

While the inhumanity perpetrated by Daesh (commonly called ISIS) and their slaughter of ethnic minorities is well documented the oppression predates the terrorist organization by many decades. Starkly illustrating the oppression forced migratory pattern of the Assyrian people is the places of birth of both Mansour and Sarge’s family members. Both sets of grandparents were born in Turkey, both sets of parents were born in Iraq, both men were born in Syria, and now both reside in Canada.

So what can you do? Canada has the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program which allows private groups and individuals help bring those who are qualified to Canada (https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/refugees/help-outside-canada/private-sponsorship-program.html).

There are many organizations that can help with the process, and websites such as http://ccrweb.ca/en/outreach-private-sponsorship-groups and http://www.rstp.ca/en/refugee-sponsorship/the-private-sponsorship-of-refugees-program/ provide an excellent starting point.

As well, advocating for the Assyrian people with your local Member of Parliament can bear fruit. While we often assume the government is well aware of every aspect of every issue advocacy can bring things into focus for them. It is quite likely that many in our government are not aware that the Assyrians in Syria are being squeezed out of existence by the various factions and require international intervention.

Lastly, Mansour asks that you pray, especially for courage and strength among Assyrian Christians. He says that many Kurds have come to Christ witnessing the resolve and faith of Christians and prays the Assyrians would see the same.