Chaldeans are Aramaic-speaking, Eastern Rite Catholics that are indigenous to Iraq. Chaldeans have a history that spans more-than 5,500 years, dating back to Mesopotamia, which was known as the cradle of civilization and is present day Iraq.
Chaldeans are Eastern Rite Catholic and united with the Roman Catholic Church but have separate Bishops and a Patriarch (Patriarch of Babylon for the Chaldeans) who oversees the Chaldean Catholic Church and resides in Iraq.
Like many ethnic groups, Chaldeans began immigrating to the Metropolitan Detroit area in the 1920s in search of better economic, religious and political freedom and opportunities. While some were lured by Henry Ford’s famous $5-a-day working wage, in true Chaldean fashion entrepreneurial endeavors quickly took hold – particularly mom and pop food markets. Today, nearly two-thirds of Chaldean households own one business and 39% own two or more. According to a March 2016 dbusiness article, Chaldeans contribute more than $10.7 billion annually to Michigan’s economy.
Metro Detroit has the world’s largest population outside of Iraq, with an estimated 160,000 people. An estimated 500,000 Chaldeans/Assyrians reside throughout the United States, particularly in Arizona, California, Illinois and other states. The population enjoys steady growth thanks to a constant influx of Christian refugees who have fled Iraq in the face of religious persecution.
Worldwide, Syria represents the 2nd largest Chaldean/Assyrian/Syriac population with 1.6 million Christians.
Chaldeans enjoy large, close-knit families. They are bound by their faith and unique culture. The Chaldean community is driven by its faith, with more than twelve Chaldean Catholic Churches in Metro-Detroit.
There are 12 Chaldean parishes in metro Detroit. They are:
- Sacred Heart Chaldean Catholic Church – Warren
- Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church – Oak Park
- Saint George Chaldean Catholic Church – Shelby Township
- Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church – Southfield
- Saint Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church – Troy
- Holy Martyrs Chaldean Catholic Church – Sterling Heights
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chaldean Mission – Warren
- Saint Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church – West Bloomfield
- Holy Cross Chaldean Catholic Church – Farmington Hills
- St. Paul Chaldean Catholic Church – Grand Blanc
- St. Mary Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East – Warren
- St. Toma Syriac Catholic Church – Farmington Hills
Other Faith-based organizations include:
- Eastern Catholic Re-Evangelization Center (E.C.R.C.) – Bloomfield Hills
- Chaldean Sisters Daughters of Mary Immaculate Conception – Farmington Hills
- Camp Chaldean – Brighton