Patriarchate News

On August 29, 2019, upon the invitation of Dr. Souraya Bachaalani, Acting General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church and President of MECC for the Oriental Orthodox Family of Churches participated in a meeting of the Presidents of MECC, hosted by His Beatitude John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and President of the Middle East Council of Churches for the Orthodox Family of Churches, at Saint Elias Chwayya Monastery – Lebanon.

His Beatitude Cardinal Mar Louis Raphael I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and President of the Council for the Catholic Family of Churches, and Rev. Dr. Habib Badr, Senior Pastor of the National Evangelical Church of Beirut, President of the Council for the Evangelical Family of Churches, also participated in the meeting, in addition to the members of the Strategic Support Group: His Excellency Mgr. Boulos Sayyah, Dr. Jean Salmanian and Dr. Michel Abs.

During the meeting, the Presidents of the Council discussed the general situation of the various churches in the Middle East. They spoke about the preparations for the next General Assembly which will take place in Summer 2020. They also discussed the administrative issues as well as the major projects that MECC is undertaking and the different ways of financing these projects.

His Holiness was accompanied by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

 

On August 27, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Dr. Hamad Saeed Al-Shamisy, UAE Ambassador to Lebanon, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh, Bikfaya – Lebanon.
 
The meeting was attended by His Eminence Mor Barthelmaus Nathanael Youssef, Patriarchal Vicar in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary, and Media Office Director.
 
During the meeting, His Holiness spoke about the good relations that exist between the Syriac people and the United Arab Emirates. He also pointed out that the UAE has a special place in the hearts of Christians, especially within the framework of the “Year of Tolerance”.
 
His Excellency spoke about the role of UAE in spreading the spirit of tolerance among the countries of the region.
At the end of the meeting, His Excellency visited the different parts of the Patriarchal Residence and a banquet was given in honor of his visit.
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On August 24, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the Panel Discussion entitled: “Persecutions of Christians Today; Where We Stand”, during the International Pilgrimage for Politicians and Family Summit, organized by the International Catholic Legislators Network, in Fatima – Portugal. The panel was moderated by His Excellency Mr. Tristan Azbej, Hungarian State Secretary for Aid to Persecuted Christians.
 
His Holiness gave an overview about the situation of Christians in the Middle East over the past few years and emphasized that the International community should play a more positive role in establishing peace in the various countries of the Middle East.
 

On August 24, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the Strategy Group focusing on the region of the Middle East, during the International Pilgrimage for Politicians and Family Summit, organized by the International Catholic Legislators Network, in Fatima – Portugal.
 
The main theme discussed was the support of returning Christian families and the discussions were moderated by His Excellency Mr. Tristan Azbej, Hungarian State Secretary for Aid to Persecuted Christians.
 
His Beatitude Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al Rai also participated the group meeting.
 
His Holiness spoke about the challenges that the Syrian and Iraqi families are facing in their homeland and the obstacles that come in their way when they choose to return to their countries in the Middle East. He spoke about the role of the churches in offering help to all citizens alike, especially in helping new families and young people to establish themselves and remain in their countries.
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On August 23, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II and His Beatitude Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, met His Excellency Mr. Mick Mulvaney, Acting Chief of Staff of the White House, in Fatima – Portugal.

During the meeting, His Holiness discussed with His Excellency the current situation in the Middle East. He also hoped that more efforts are vested to establish peace in the region, especially in Iraq and Syria.

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On August 23, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met His Excellency Mr. Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, in Fatima – Portugal. The meeting was also attended by their Beatitudes Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch.

During the meeting, His Holiness discussed with His Excellency the current situation in the Middle East. He hoped to have efforts by the international community to establish peace in the region. His Holiness thanked the government of Hungary for their support of persecuted Christians and their assistance in projects of reconstruction in Iraq and Syria.

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On 22 August,2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended the Divine Liturgy of the Opening of the International Pilgrimage for Politicians and Family Summit, held at the Lady of the Rosary Basilica in Fatima – Portugal.

The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence Christopher Cardinal Schonborn, Catholic Archbishop of Vienna, with the participation of His Beatitude Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan.

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On 20 August,2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Mr. Antoine Mrad, Counselor of the President of the Lebanese Forces and Director of the Office of Communication with the Religious Authorities, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh, Bikfaya – Lebanon. He was accompanied by the members of the Communications Office: Dr. Jean-Claude Saab, Mr. Elie Charbachi and Mr. Pierre Daou.
 
The meeting was attended by Very Rev. Raban Cyril Babi, Director of the Legal Department, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
During the meeting, Mr. Antoine invited His Holiness to attend the annual Holy Qurobo for the Martyrs of the Lebanese Resistance. His Holiness and his guests also spoke about the historical presence of Christians in Lebanon as well as the importance of being united in order to preserve the Christians in Lebanon and the Middle East.
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On August 20, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Dr. Mike Bassous, General Secretary and CEO of the Bible Society in Lebanon, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh.

His Holiness and Dr. Bassous spoke about the work of the Bible Society and the publication of new editions of the Bible in the Syriac language.

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On August 18, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited the commemorative monument of the Syriac Genocide Sayfo in Berlin.
His Holiness was accompanied by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, Mor Julius Hanna Aydin, Director of External Relations in Germany, and Mor Polycarpus Augin Aydin, Patriarchal Vicar in Holland, as well as priests and faithful from Berlin.
His Holiness prayed the special teshmeshto (service) of the Martyrs for the martyrs of the Syriac Genocide Sayfo.

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