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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 1943 community sources listed 908 Chaldeans in the Detroit area; by 1963, this number had tripled, to about 3,000 persons.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.Chaldean Americans are a highly religious people proud of their Christian heritage.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.