The Chaldean Church, like some other autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches, is under the jurisdiction of its own patriarch and hierarchs in peace and communion with Rome and retains its own distinctive theological, liturgical and canonical traditions. Unlike the Byzantine, Roman and Coptic Churches, the Chaldean Church has no distinctive liturgical arts traditions in decorating its churches, but borrows heavily from the Byzantine and Roman traditions. The Assyrian Christians, however, eschew all representational art in their churches, possibly under the negative influence of Islam. The Chaldean and Assyrian Churches have similar liturgies of the same East Syriac origin, however, the Chaldean has been altered to conform to the theology of Ephesus and later Councils. Its version of the Nicene Creed, like that of the Armenian Church, is in the formulation which emerged from the Council of Nicea unamended by the later Council of Constantinople. The liturgical language of both Churches is Aramaic.And
The Christian minorities in Iraq today are among the oldest in Christendom. They make up about 6% of the population numbering fewer than one million out of a population of 17 million. They consist of two main groups:[The Assyrian Church of the East, of course, is the one most famously with the anaphora (Eucharistic prayer) of Addai and Mari, which does not contain an institution narrative. After a long study, the Holy See approved intercommunion between the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. You can listen to the anaphora being chanted in Syriac here. Sounds Arabic right? Simply haunting. Another reason I just love Eastern Christianity ... :)]
1. The Catholics (650,000)
A. Chaldean Rite: more than 600,000 with one patriarch (Babylon in Baghdad); four archdioceses (Kirkuk, Mosul, Basra & Arbil; and five dioceses (Alqosh, Amadijah, Aqra, Sulaimaniya & Zakhu)B. Syrian Rite: more than 47,000 with two archdioceses (Baghdad and Mosul)C. Latin (Roman) Rite: more than 4000 with one archdiocese (Baghdad).D. Armenian Rite: more than 3000 with one archdiocese (Baghdad).
2. The Other Christians (200,000)
A. The Church of the East, formerly Nestorian. More than 150,000.B. Syrian Orthodox: More than 40,000.C. Armenians. More than 5000.
The above figures are derived from CHALDEANS PAST AND PRESENT by Fr. Michael Bazzi (1993)
An article on the Assyrian Church from CNEWA (The Catholic Near East Welfare Association), whose magazine is an incredibly informative source on the goings on in the Eastern Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental Christian worlds.
Pope Benedict recently met with the lone Christian member of Iraq's cabinet to urge the fair treatment of religious minorities in Iraq, and to press for religious freedom.