Source: First Things
by Luma Simms
Originally published on September 18, 2018
In 1977 my parents came to the difficult conclusion that there was no future for them and their children in Iraq. Under the guise of vacation we left for Greece, where we lived as refugees for a year and a half. During our time there we met American Evangelical missionaries, who were kind to us. But they told us we would not be real Christians until we became “born again.” They informed us that my parents’ ancient faiths—Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox—were just dead traditions. My parents trusted them for guidance, so we became “born again,” and started attending Evangelical churches. I do not scorn this part of my past because I believe God uses such means to draw us closer to him. But after a short stint in such churches after we arrived in America, my parents returned to their small, poor Middle Eastern churches.
I was ashamed of them. I wanted desperately to become fully American, and in my mind that meant shedding all the vestiges of my Iraqi heritage, including our religion, and embracing the lingua franca of America: Evangelical Protestantism….