Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

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American Christian leaders write to President Obama on Peace in the Middle East نيافة المطران أفرام كريم يوقع رسالة موجهة الى الرئيس الامريكي باراك اوباما

Together with many American Christian Leaders, His Eminence signed a letter addressed to President Barack Obama urging him to show “immediate and bold American leadership” in bringing peace to the Middle East . While sharing a common commitment to all the people of the Holy Land—Jews, Christians and Muslims—they expressed particular concerns for the plight of the Palestinian Christian community.

Click here to download the Ecumenical Letter

Click here to download Grassroots Advocacy Resources

Catholicos of India celebrates Holy Qurbono at the Church of the Virgin Mary in Paramus

On Saturday, June 20th at 9AM His Beatitude Mor Baselius Thomas I, Catholicos of India, celebrated Holy Qurbono at our Church of the Virgin Mary in Paramus, NJ. During the celebration, he ordained Mr. Markos Akash Paul to the rank of Reader (Qorouyo). His Beatitude was assisted by His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim and several priests and deacons. The celebration was attended by the family of the new deacon and over a hundred parishioners from both the Malyaly and the Syriac communities. At the end of the celebration, all were invited to lunch offered by the family in the social hall…

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His Holiness the Patriarch Receives Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim

On the First day of his visit to Syria, His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim was received by the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas in Damascus – Syria on Wednesday July 8, 2009.

After inquiring about His Holiness’ health, the Archbishop conveyed to the Holy Father the love and good wishes of members of the Archdiocese of the Eastern USA. His Holiness thanked the Archbishop and offered his Apostolic blessings and fatherly prayers to all. He also assured the Archbishop that results of the medical tests done to His Holiness during…

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Knanaya Archbishops visit the Archdiocese Headquarters

On Friday 26th of July, His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim received their Eminences Mor Severios Kuriakose, Chief Metropolitan and Mor Selvanos Ayoub, Assistant Metropolitan of the Knanaya Archdiocese of our Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. They were accompanied by Rev. Fr. Jacob of St. Peter’s Knanaya Syrian Church in Yonkers, NY. During the visit several issues were discussed concerning the presence and witness of our Church in North America.

After a short time at the reception hall, the guests were invited to a fasting lunch. Following lunch, they were given a tour of the new Archdiocesan Center in Midland Avenue, Paramus,…

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Mor Gabriel Church in Hackensack, NJ Celebrates 15th Anniversary of the Ordination of Fr. Aziz Hadodo

On Sunday the 24th of May, 2009, the Church of Mor Gabriel, Hackensack, New Jersey, celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the ordinations of their priest, Rev. Fr. Aziz Hadodo. On this occasion, the Holy Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim who gave s sermon highlighting the meaning of priesthood and commending Rev. Fr. Aziz Hadodo on his fruitful ministry. His Eminence also congratulated members of Mor Gabriel parish for honoring their priest on his anniversary. After the Divine Liturgy, everyone was invited for a lunch given by the Church in honor of Fr. Hadodo. During the lunch several…

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Syriac Monastery Loses Forestry Case

Midyat, Turkey, Wednesday 24 June, 2009

Midyat, Turkey – In an astonishing verdict, the Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA), a recognized NGO at the United Nations that represents the Aramean (Syriac) people worldwide, reports that the court trial held today on Wednesday, June 24 2009, in Midyat,Turkey, has resulted in a lose of the “Forestry Case” by the Saint (Mor) Gabriel Monastery. However, in another puzzling decision, the Court also ruled today in favour of the Monastery on the “Treasury” Case.

The Midyat Court decided as follows:

  • The Monastery has lost its appeal against the earlier decision of the Forestry Department which claimed ownership over some 34 Hectares of Land from the Monastery (“Forestry Case”). The Court decided that the Forestry Department, on behalf of the Turkish State Government, owns the land and now has completed is cretion over what it will do with the land;
  • The case involving the Head of the Religious Foundation of the Monastery, Mr. Kuryakos Ergün, as a defendant, for the “intentional violation of the Forestry law”, has been postponed to 30 September, 2009; and
  • The Turkish State Treasury Department has lost its case against the Monastery claiming the 12 Parcels of land inside and outside the wall of the Monastery, amounting to some 24 Hectares of Land.

In the Forestry Case, the Judge proclaimed that the State considers the land as a “forest” and therefore by definition it has become “Forestry” land owned by the State. The result of the case has deeply troubled the Monastery, with Kuryakos Ergün stating: “These are scary times. We are not sure what to do now. The State Government can now break down our protective wall and give a substantial amount of our land to third parties to cultivate it. Who knows what is next for us. All I know is that we now live with fear and an insecure future.”

Daniel Gabriel, SUA’s Human Rights and NGO Director, expands on this: “While we are pleased that we won the Treasury case, we are equally concerned by how we lost the Forestry Case. The court ruling shows us how the Turkish Government continues to mistreat its minority groups. I understand that we will appeal this decision to the Court of Appeal in Ankara. This is just a first step. Recent European Court of Human Rights decisions have shown us that the EU will not tolerate such discriminatory decisions by the Turkish State. On several occasions, the European Union, which Turkey seeks to join, has called on the Government to return seized properties to minorities and expand their religious and cultural freedoms. This is no different.”

Johny Messo, President of the SUA, expressed his concerns stating: “With the loss of this case, we question the sincerity of the Turkish State when it claims it intends to secure the future of the indigenous Aramean people in their traditional homeland. We surely cannot and will not accept this remarkable verdict. By all peaceful means, we will intensify the pressure on Ankara, where the final decisions are taken. I call upon all politicians and media, and in particular the Turkish people, to stand united behind the Mor Gabriel Monastery and act accordingly to uphold justice.”

The SUA again requests all media, human rights organizations and politicians to increase their public outcry over the injustice which is faced by the Aramean (Syriac) people. The victory of the Boundary and Treasury Cases, proves that international pres sure can affect other cases.

The SUA will continue to keep you updated in relation to all events related to these trials. If you require any further information, please contact Mr. Daniel Gabriel (SUA’s Director of Human Rights and NGO) on +44 7795 602 078 or on . For more information, especially on historical matters, you can also contact Mr. Johny Messo (SUA’s President) on +31 611 539 771 or on .

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