Christmas is coming soon, but even in Iraq after the war, Christians will hold a Christmas Mass in northern Mosul, etc. in northern Mosul.
In the last 20 years, Iraq’s Christian population has decreased by 80%. According to the 1987 census, the Christian population was about 1.4 million, but now it is about 250,000. Many fled from violence such as war and IS (“Islamic State”) and emigrated to North America, Western Europe and Australia.
Iraqi Christians are ethnically Assyrians and belong to the Eastern Church. The term of worship is the Old Aramaic language that Jesus Christ allegedly spoke. Aramaic is still spoken in parts of Lebanon and is a Semitic language similar to Hebrew and Arabic used in Syria and Mesopotamia. The modern Assyrians speak the colloquial Aramaic.
An Iraqi Christian female doctor (the name of the female doctor is hidden for safety) who studied in Japan and studied at Shinshu University at the invitation of JICA (International Cooperation Organization) for four years until March 2013, also avoiding the violence of IS (“Islamic State”) from Mosul in July 2014, she returned to Matsumoto City with the support of “Certified NPO Japan Chernobyl Solidarity Fund (JCF, Matsumoto City)” and conducted research activities as a specially appointed lecturer at School of Medicine Shinshu University.
In Iraq, the number of pediatric acute leukemia patients is increasing, but the female doctor who learned that chemotherapy may cure the patient, has been conducting research on pediatric acute leukemia treatment in the research group of Shinshu University.
In Fallujah, which was the fierce battlefield of the Iraq War, the theory is that the disability of newborns has risen to one in five, and the cause is the depleted uranium ammunition used by the US military in battle. Documentaries dealing with the disability of newborns in Fallujah include “What’s happening in Fallujah-The scars of the Iraq War” (NHK).
If the female doctor continued to live in Iraq, she could save the children suffering from illness in Iraq. Nevertheless, the Japan Chernobyl Fund received support from the Rissho Koseikai’s “One Meal Peace Fund” and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “NGO Cooperation Grant Aid” to train medical personnel specializing in pediatric cancer in Iraq at medical facilities in Nagano Prefecture. The fund is inviting Iraqi medical personnel, giving anesthesia machines to hospitals in Mosul, Iraq, which allow children to have their bone marrows examined without pain due to medical test.
According to Haifa Zangana Haifa Zangana, “Why does Iraq top the lists of the world’s’worst’ countries?”, Iraq has serious environmental destruction such as climate change, drilling enterprize such as oil industry, water shortage, and the Iraq War emitted 114 million metric tons of carbon dioxide between 2003 and 2007, which was made up 60% of the world during the same period.
The Japanese government has endorsed this Iraq war, but the issue of childhood cancer is not irrelevant to Japan after the nuclear accident in 2011, and I hope the Japanese and people of the rest of world will be interested in the issue of Iraqi children’ cancer problem.