The Chaldeans are adherents of the Chaldean Catholic Church and are a subset of the Assyrian people.
Today in the middle east, the group identifies itself as Sūrāyā in singular and Sūrāyē in plural which is considered to be a synonym of Aššūrāye (Assyrians.) However, the group mistakenly translates the word Suraye as Christians.
They have been settling primarily in Iraq, with smaller communities in Turkey and Iran, for the most part speaking the Chaldean Neo-Aramaic language. A formerly Nestorian denomination, they were reunited with the Roman Catholic Church in 1553 Chaldean Catholic Church was established, its first patriarch was proclaimed patriarch of "Mosul and Athur" (Nineveh and Assyria) on Feb. 20, 1553 by Pope Julius III.
Chaldean Catholics have no direct or absolute lineage with the Neo-Babylonian Empire "Chaldeans", but were designated with the name Chaldean in the 16th century when they reunited with the Catholic Church to distinguish from the adherents of the Assyrian Church of the East.
Mar Raphael I Bidawid, a patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church: “I personally think that these different names serve to add confusion. The original name of our Church was the ‘Church of the East’ ... When a portion of the Church of the East became Catholic, the name given was ‘Chaldean’ based on the Magi kings who came from the land of the Chaldean, to Bethlehem. The name ‘Chaldean’ does not represent an ethnicity... We have to separate what is ethnicity and what is religion... I myself, my sect is Chaldean, but ethnically, I am Assyrian.”
Mar Raphael I Bidawid: “Before I became a priest I was an Assyrian, before I became a bishop I was an Assyrian, I am an Assyrian today, tomorrow, forever, and I am proud of it.”
I recently read Joyce Wiswell's piece entitled "Will - and should - Chaldeans and Assyrians unite?" and I firmly believe that the identity designation of "Chaldean" should not be used interchangeably with "Assyrian.”more...
Many Assyrians argue that the designation of the Chaldean name is religious, and not cultural. At first, when the Catholic Church gave the Assyrian Catholics the name “Chaldean” in 1553, we shared nearly identical traits in our culture with the other Assyrians. But we are currently living half a millennium after the fact. In those 500 years, Chaldeans have developed their own dialect, traditions, and ways. Our culture is directly correlated to our religion, Catholicism. This doesn’t mean that we cannot have a culture to supplement our strong religious values.
In Michigan alone, there are 120,000 Chaldeans. I would venture to guess that 80% refuse to denote themselves as Assyrians. There’s a reason for this choice; we are no longer the same people. Our parents didn’t just decide that we aren’t Assyrians out of thin air. We’ve acknowledged ourselves as Chaldeans for centuries, and we’ve embraced our culture. It’s ours, and we shouldn’t be willing to compromise it by assimilating into an Assyrian identity. In my 18th year as a Chaldean, I’ve been criticized for not calling myself Assyrian, which isn’t only an identity I don’t associate with, but also a name that will become the end to our culture.
Examine the consequences of Chaldeans accepting ancient r...
A lot of Assyrians are too proud of their roots, so they love proving that Chaldeans are really Assyrians.more...
Let me say, if you are Chaldean, more than likely, you are historically Catholic. The name came from the Catholic church back in the 15th century to break ties Chaldeans (babylonians at the time) from their previous ties identities to other groups. Chaldeans maintain full communion with the Pope in Rome today.
But the Assyrian population is not constrained by the Catholic religion. There are many different religious affiliations with the Assyrian identity, such as the Assyrian Church of the East, Assyrian Evangelical Church, and Assyrian Pentecostal Church, to name a few.
Assyrian Catholics and Chaldean Catholics are ancient people, and chaldeans, syriacs, and assyrians came from one people and then split off into 3 groups, but both groups have evolved, so for anyone to say we are the same people are extremely ignorant.
But let's say we are all Assyrian. Taking this information from the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), 45% of Assyrians are Chaldeans (i.e. THE MAJORITY). The Assyrian identity proponents want a majority to change their name?
Finally, as a little anecdote, as my uncle/boss was reading the article (he is around 38 years old), he asked me "what is an Assyrian?" If that doesn't clearly illustrate to you why we shoud not change our name, then I don't know what will. If a man does not even know what an Assyrian is, how can we for...
For the Teans of Bloomfield Hills, which borders West Bloomfield, Chaldeans are christian arabs who make up the majority of West Bloomfield and are most commonly found in Birmingham and attend West Bloomfield High school, Chaldean teans are cocky gotti wannabees whos parents spend all of their money getting these spoiled hardasses nice cars and clothes...Chaldeans also are given cell phones at birth with all 257 cousins on speed dial just in case one of them talk to much shit to the wrong people.
Chaldeans might call their cousins if you talk shit, but they are all talk.