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Within the Assyrian population, Assyrianism meets resistance as the result of confessional boundaries, in particular the christological division between the Syriac Orthodox Church ("West Syriac") and the Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church ("East Syriac"). The first two churches are not divided by a formally declared schism, but their doctrine has moved so far apart for mutual accusations of heresy.
According to Raif Toma, Assyrianism goes beyond mere Syriac patriotism, and ultimately aims at the unification of all "Mesopotamians", properly qualifying as "Pan-Mesopotamianism". This variant of Assyrianism is independent of Christian denomination and qualifies as ethnic nationalism, in that it identifies the Assyrian people as the heirs of the Assyrian Empire, and as the indigenous population of Mesopotamia, as opposed to the Arabs, which are identified as an intrusive element due to the Muslim conquests. This is expressed e.g. in the Assyrian calendar introduced in the 1950, which chooses as its era 4750 BC, the estimated date of construction of the first (pre-historical, pre-Semitic) temple at Ashur.
According to Dr. David B. Perley, one of the founding fathers of Assyrianism, Assyrian is defined as:
When a person is of Assyrian blood, he retains his birthright, self-esteem, and the heritage of his fathers. It is for this very reason that he may be called a Jacobite-Assyrian, Nestorian-Assyrian, Assyrian-Presbyterian, or Chaldean-Christian. Calling someone a Jacobite-Assyrian should be no more amazing than calling someone else an Irish Catholic. It is a mere matter of hyphenated description, not a hyphenation or division. A hyphen does not divide; it unites. The use of the term Nestorian-Assyrian is the simplest way of designating a Nestorian, who comes from, or who has, an Assyrian background. The term Assyrian is one single unity. The approach of this oneness of all Assyrians regardless of their religious adherence is through the avenue of blood, and through the majesty of common memories. Religions is a faith acquired and is changeable. Nationality is one's flesh and blood; it is his total nature. Even death cannot undo it.
Organisations advocating Assyrism are the Assyrian Universal Alliance (since 1968) and Shuraya (since 1978). The Assyrian flag was designed by the Assyrian Universal Alliance in 1968.
The past year has seen a very unusual surge in Assyrianism among youth in the Diaspora. In Australia, the Assyrian Church of the East has encouraged Assyrian nationalism through youth groups and associations, and the building of the St Hurmizd Primary Assyrian school (the first in the world), whose curriculum stresses the importance of religion and also nationalism through the teaching of Assyrian history and language at the school.
- Assyrian independence
- Assyrian naming dispute
- Assyrian - The Struggle for Identity
- Armenian nationalism
- Greater Syria
- Freydun Atturaya
- Naum Faiq
- Assyrian Socialist Party
- Syrian Social Nationalist Party
- Nationalism and ancient history
- ^ Aprim, Fred (2005). Assyrians: The Continuous Saga (in English). United States: Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 1413438571. OCLC 58448793. cited from back cover
- Assyrian Nationalism: A Mechanism For Survival
- The Origins and Development of Assyrian Nationalism, by Robert DeKelaita
- Martin Tamcke, YAUNO interview (2004)
- Raif Toma: Assyrismus
- Neo-Assyrianism & the End of the Confounded Identity