On July 11, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the divine liturgy in St. Mark Cathedral in New Jersey assisted by their Eminences Mor Theethose Yeldho Archbishop of the Malankara Diocese of North America, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Office Director in Damascus, and Mor Chrysostomos Markose, Metropolitan of the Evangelical Association of the East along with some priests, deacons and the choir of the Cathedral.
During the divine liturgy, His Holiness ordained deacon Gabriel Barsoum Al-Kass as a priest for St. Barsawmo Church in Wyckoff. In his sermon, His Holiness spoke of the qualities of the priests and…
On Sunday July 13, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended the Annual Archdiocesan Picnic in Eastern US held at the “Sisters Servants” Convent in New Jersey. His Holiness celebrated the divine liturgy assisted by Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Office Director in Damascus in the presence of the parish priests and deacons. In his sermon about the feeding of the multitudes, His Holiness pointed out that when we offer to God the little that we have, God bless us and pours on us of His abundant grace. After the divine liturgy, the participants enjoyed many activities prepared for the…
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On Tuesday July 22, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency General Michel Aoun at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh, Bikfaya – Lebanon. Their Eminences Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Office Director, Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for the Indian Affairs, and Mr. Habib Afram, President of the Syriac League in Lebanon and Secretary General of the Union of Lebanese Christian Leagues were also present. His Excellency General Aoun offered his congratulations to His Holiness on the occasion of his enthronement as Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. The Patriarch and his guest discussed the situation of…
His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, called the major countries and the international community to investigate the crimes against humanity that are committed against the Christians in Mosul and more generally in the Middle East.
This call was launched after the meeting convened by the invitation of Minister Bassil on Friday July 25, 2015 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon. The invitation was sent to the ambassadors of the five countries with permanent membership in the Security Council and Mr. Derek Plumbly the personal representative of the UN General Secretary. The…
On July 25, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from the Diocese of Aleppo in the Patriarchate in Damascus. Their Eminences Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Office Director and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury the Patriarchal Secretary attended the meeting. The delegation constituted of: Mr. Said Hadaya, Mr. Nader Ishak and Mr. Majed Lahdo from St. Aphrem Cathedral in Slaymaniyeh, and Mr. Edward Toro, Raymond Gergi and Dr. Georges Kass Barsoum from St. Georges church in Hayy El-Suryan.
At the beginning, His Holiness and the members of the delegation prayed for the release of the abducted bishops of…
Dear Brothers in Christ,
The pace of the threats in Iraq has escalated recently and the attacks and killing of Christians in Mosul has increased. Some terrorists have publicly called upon Christians to leave their homes, seizing and confiscating their property. Christians were issued an ultimatum to become displaced, renounce their faith and convert, pay an exorbitant tax, or die by the sword.
The International Christian Outreach (ICO), and organization under the auspices of the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church believes that the barbaric acts that have been taking place since the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (…
On July 26, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited His Beatitude John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East in his residence in Damascus.
His Holiness discussed with His Beatitude the latest developments concerning the abducted bishops Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji. Moreover, Patriarch Aphrem II told Patriarch John X of the proceedings and outcome of the meeting he convened in Atchaneh about the situation of the Christians of Mosul. In particular, they discussed the invitation to a meeting of the patriarchs to work together and raise a united voice which carries the demands of all…
On July 26, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Mr. Milad Attieh, Head of the Department of International Organizations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Syria in the Patriarchate in Damascus. Were present also their Eminences: Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Office Director and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, the Patriarchal Secretary.
His Holiness discussed with his guest the current situation in Syria and the region, especially in Mosul. Also, they spoke about the general situation and other important social and political matters.
His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki Moon
United Nations Secretary-General
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017 – USA
I am writing concerning the current situation in Iraq and the Middle East, especially the incidences that have been taking place since Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took control of a dear region of Iraq which is the cradle of humanity and the birthplace of our civilization.
First of all, I would like to thank your excellency and the members of the Security Council for the press statement, issued on 20 July by the office of the Secretary General, and 21 July 2014 by the Security Council President, condemning in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of minority populations in Iraq by Islamic State (IS) and associated armed groups.
Today, we are deeply concerned by the rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq and Syria, the rise of extremist religious ideologies and the tragic consequences that religious minorities have been facing.
ISIS systematically forced Christians, Shia, Shabaks, Turkmen, Yazidis and other religious minorities out of the city of Mosul, labelling them with racist signs and symbols, humiliating and luting them. The last Christians have left Mosul after ISIS gave them a choice between conversion to Islam, ruinous taxation, exile, or death. Many have since fled their homes, and for the first time since nearly 2,000 years there is no longer a Christian population in Mosul, the city that used to be the largest Christian city in Iraq and was considered the nucleus of Christian presence for many centuries.
The widespread violence and aggression against Christians and minority groups in both Iraq and Syria is intensifying; ISIS is threatening similar Christian and Muslim communities in different parts of Syria, especially in the east and north-east of Syria, yet the response to this threat by the international community has been totally inadequate and unacceptable. The systematic persecution and the loss of thousands of civilian lives and the crimes against humanity that have been committed by ISIS and associated armed groups can no longer be met with just verbal statements and with divided positions from the international community. We believe these acts require punishment, and we call on the international community to stand together against those who continue to supply weapons and finance ISIS and similar organizations.
Having full confidence in the work of the United Nations for the respect, protection and promotion of human rights , and promotion of peace and justice around the world, we urge you, your Excellency, to ensure that the United Nations fulfills its responsibility in protecting the lives and dignity of the persecuted and displaced minorities in Iraq and other parts of the regions where extremist religious groups inflict daily horror on peaceful population, and to intensify its efforts, in cooperation with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the displaced communities.
We will be happy to meet with Your Excellency at the time and place of your choice to personally carry to you our concerns.
Wishing you all the success in your mission, we assure you that we are keeping you in our prayers, and we remain.
On July 30, 2014, which is the feast of St. Jacob Baradeus and St. Theodora and the Remembrance Day of Bar Hebraeus, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo (Divine Liturgy) in the church of St. Jacob Baradeus Monastery in Atchaneh, Bikfaya, Lebanon. He was assisted by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury Patriarchal Secretary. The Holy Qurobo was attended by Their Eminences: Mor Timotheos Aphrem Aboodi, Mo Philoxenus Matta Chamoun, Mor Severius Kuriakose, Mor Gregorius Kuriakose, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh Metropolitan of Beirut, Mor Ivanios Kuriakose, Mor Silvanus Ayub, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Shemoun Patriarchal Vicar in the…
On July 31, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from the Islamic-Christian Youth Commission for Dialogue headed by its president Mr. Malek Al-Mawlawi and vice-president Mr. Joy Haddad, in the patriarchal residence in Atchaneh, Bikfaya – Lebanon in the presence of His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury.
His Holiness listened to a brief exposition of the work of the commission and its mission. The president of the commission described their work in politics, society and culture.
His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II then spoke of the current situation and the role of religion in spreading the message of…
On July 31, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from the World Lebanese Cultural Union in the patriarchal residence in Atchaneh, Bikfaya – Lebanon. The delegation was headed by the president of the union Mr. Alejandro Kuri Pheres and the president of the New Jersey Chapter Mr. Mourad Koryo. The meeting was attended by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury.
Mr. Pheres gave a brief report on the activities of the union and pointed out that the members of the union are spread in many countries around the world. Also, he spoke of the important role that…