Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

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Letter of condolence from the evangelical Lutheran church in America

On behalf of your sisters and brothers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I extend to you and the members of the Syriac Orthodox Church my deepest sympathy and prayers. When I learned of the passing of His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, I recalled his great leadership on behalf of our Lord and Christ’s Chruch.

May our Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – bring you and the members of the Syriac Orthodox Church comfort, love, and peace during these days of mourning, even as we join you in giving thanks for the life and witness of your beloved Patriarch Iwas.

Throughout his life, His Holiness was a great spiritual leader, and in recent years a source of wisdom, compassion, and strength to Syriac Orthodox Christians around the world affected by the tragedies unfolding in Iraq and Syria. We are grateful to be able to partner with the Syriac Orthodox Church as you respond to the needs of the Syrian people.

In our remembrances, we give thanks for Patriarch Iwas’ ecumenical service in the World Council of Churches, including as president, and in the Middle East Council of Churches. In the complexities of political and social unrest in the Middle East and in the world, His Holiness was a tireless worker who helped promote Christian unity and peaceful coexistence among people of different faiths.

I give thanks to God for the life of Patriarch Iwas, who has left us with a treasured legacy. We will continue to hold the Syriac Orthodox Church in our prayers as you select a successor.

Your Faithful Servant in Christ,
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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