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Press Release - February 25, 2015

Bible Historian And Creator Of Says Last Generation Of Aramaic Speaking Christians Are The Target of Persecution

As horrific atrocities continue across world news headlines this week - raids on villages across the Middle East, people kidnapped, children beheaded - Bible historian and international authority on Biblical Aramaic and Hebrew languages, Ewan MacLeod, B.Sc. Hons., M.Sc., said, "The recent news about the barbaric way that ISIS repeatedly kidnaps Assyrian Christians highlights the plight of this minority of Christians and that they are the target of persecution. These people are the last generation of Aramaic speaking Christians in the Middle East, whose liturgy is still in Aramaic, and who still follow the Aramaic New Testament after 2000 years. The world should be protecting the lives and rights of these Christians."

MacLeod recently launched a distinguished, interactive website,, which covers the history and background of Aramaic, the language that Jesus and His disciples spoke and the language in which the Gospels were first preached. The website was created to bring Aramaic to the mainstream world in a way that anyone can learn it.

On hearing about the plight of the Assyrian Christians, MacLeod believes the contrast between ISIS and Israel could not be any clearer. He continued, "While ISIS is persecuting and killing this last generation of Aramaic speaking Christians in the Middle East, Israel recognizes them as a minority within Israel and protects their culture and identity."

"Aramaic speaking Christians arose out of Israel 2000 years ago and amazingly they exist as a distinct group in Israel even today," MacLeod said, noting that Israel recently created a new category for the Aramaic speaking Christians called "Arameans" to distinguish them from Muslim Arabs.

"On the Jesus Spoke Aramaic website," MacLeod said, "most pages have a banner at the top saying, 'Did you know that Aramaic is still spoken by communities throughout the Middle East and the diaspora today?' The "Assyrians" who are persecuted by ISIS and the "Arameans" who are protected by Israel are the world's last remnant of Aramaic speaking Christians, scattered in villages across Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Many have long since emigrated to places like the United Kingdom and the United States, where their sizable communities make up the Church of the East – still conducting their liturgy in Aramaic down to the present day, as they always have done.

You can discover more about Aramaic culture and language at

A link to the original Press Release can be found on Christian News Wire.


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