Chaldeans also fled their homeland to escape religious persecution from the Muslim majority in the Middle East.The combination of religious freedom, an established Lebanese Moronite community, and economic opportunity made the United States, particularly metropolitan Detroit, inviting.In this process, members of a community who have already established themselves in a new location assist relatives and friends left behind to migrate as well.The assistance they provide can take many forms, including the provision of jobs, a place to stay, or, at the very least, information and advisement.It also had an established Middle Eastern community during this period, consisting primarily of Christian immigrants from Lebanon.In 1943 community sources listed 908 Chaldeans in the Detroit area; by 1963, this number had tripled, to about 3,000 persons.Chaldean Americans are descendants of people from the northern Tigris-Euphrates Valley, presently located in the Middle Eastern nation of Iraq.
According to legend, they were converted to Christianity by the Apostle Thomas on one of his missionary journeys to the East. Addai, an associate of Thomas, is revered as a Chaldean patron.) In the third century, they were followers of Nestorius, a patriarch of Constantinople who was declared a heretic by the Roman Church for teaching that Jesus Christ was not concurrently God and man.
While Chaldeans are believed to have immigrated to the United States as early as 1889, the first significant migration wave did not occur until around 1910, when Chaldeans began settling in metropolitan Detroit.
At the time, Detroit was popular among a number of immigrant groups because of the growing automobile industry.
Some of the earliest members of Detroit's Chaldean American community recall hearing stories from their grandparents about the conversion of their town from Nestorianism.
This occurred in about 1830, when the town recognized the Roman Pontiff as the head of the Church.