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Catholicos-Patriarch Meets with Russian Orthodox Hierarch Metropolitan Hilarion in Moscow

Courtesy – Department of External Relations, Russian Orthodox Church On May 27, 2014, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, met with the Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV, who is on a visit to Russia at the invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. During a warm talk, His Eminence Hilarion told the high guest about the recent celebrations marking the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ and the changes which have taken place in the Russian Orthodox Church since the previous millennial celebrations which Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV attended. The Primate of the Assyrian Church expressed deep satisfaction at the successes of church renewal in the historical Rus’, noting that Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church constitute a spiritual and moral guideline for many traditional Christian communities in the world. He wished the Russian Orthodox Church further thriving in its service of its millions-strong flock. Special attention was given to the situation of Christians in the Middle East. His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV expressed heartfelt gratitude to Russia and personally President Vladimir Putin for his efforts to help Christians in the Middle East. He said that the stand taken by Russia …

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US Bishops of the Assyrian Church of the East Visit New Syriac Orthodox Patriarch

With the blessing of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, the bishops of the Diocese of California and the Diocese of Eastern USA paid a cordial visit to Patriarch-Elect of the Syriac Orthodox Church, His Holiness Mor Ignatius Ephrem II Karim. The cordial encounter took place on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at St. Mark’s Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in Teaneck, New Jersey. The Patriarch-Elect was attended by Rev. Dayraya Augeen Alkass, the Rev. Malfono Dr. George Kiraz, President and Founder of Beth Mardutho. His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod, and His Grace Mar Paulus Benyamin the Bishop of Chicago and Eastern USA were accompanied by Rev. Addai Francis, priest of Mar Mari Parish of the Assyrian Church of the East in Yonkers, New York, and Mr. Zia Givargizade. The same Mar Mari parish committee (motwa) had kindly hosted the bishops for the whole duration of their stay. During the visit of the Bishops of the Assyrian Church to the Patriarch-Elect, the official letter of felicitation and greeting by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV was handed to the new patriarch. In this letter, His Holiness also expressed …

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Grand Opening and Consecration of St Abdisho’s Church in Victoria, Australia

In a weekend of joy and adulation, the Assyrian Church of the East in Victoria, Australia has celebrated the grand opening and consecration of St Abdisho’s Church in the suburb of Coolaroo. Both events, on 3 and 4 May 2014 respectively, saw thousands of Assyrians and faithful of sister churches join the festivities for the long-awaited milestone in the life of Victoria’s Assyrian community.

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3rd Annual Rejoice Resurrection Festival Attracts Thousands in Sydney

This year’s annual Rejoice Resurrection Festival of the Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association Sydney (ACEYAS) was held on Easter Monday, 21 April 2014, with the event attracting thousands of faithful and members of the local surrounding community. In coming together to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2014’s festival found a new home, the grounds of Saint Hurmizd’s Cathedral and Saint Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School, with the new location proving a resounding success. The day was filled with fun rides and amusements, appearances by movie characters such as Captain America, Superman and the festival’s famous friendly clown. Later in the evening, well known Assyrian singers and entertainers, including Helen Isaac, Flora Simon and Ben Barkho, took to the stage and performed for hours, leaving everyone to dance the night away. A rendition of Disney’s ‘Up’ house was built with a large number of balloons hung to it as a centrepiece; this was used as a donation box with all proceeds going to the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation (ACERO). ACERO also provided attendees with a chance to make a difference to the lives of children and families in the Middle East by …

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Scholar Dr Erica C.D. Hunter Visits Assyrian Communities in Australia

In a visit to Australia the distinguished Syriac Studies scholar Dr Erica C.D. Hunter has visited Assyrian Church of the East communities in Victoria and New South Wales. During her visit Dr Hunter gave two lectures ‘The Christian Library from Turfan Project’. The lectures, held on 14 March 2014 at Ishtar Reception Centre in Victoria and on 22 March 2014 at Edessa Hall in New South Wales were very well attended by members of the Assyrian community and individuals from other communities. Dr Hunter’s lecture in both states was entitled ‘The Christian Library from Turfan: New Discoveries and New Dimensions for the Church of the East’. Special guests at the Melbourne lecture on 14 March 2014 were Ms Beryl Turner, Researcher and Editorial Assistant of the Syriac Language Research Centre, Whitley College at the University of Melbourne along with Syriac Studies scholar Dr Nicholas Al-Jeelo. The Sydney lecture of 22 March 2014 was graced with the presence of His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon and the parish priests of New South Wales. Also present was the longstanding friend of the Assyrian community Professor Rifaat Ebied of the University of Sydney. ‘The Christian Library …

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India’s Voice of the East Now Available on ACN

Assyrian Church News, the official news website of the Assyrian Church of the East is pleased to announce that the Voice of the East periodical is now available on Assyrian Church News. Voice of the East is a socio-religious bi-monthly magazine published by the Assyrian Church of the East, Archdiocese of India. The present patron and publisher of the Voice of the East is His Beatitude Dr Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of Malabar and All India. The magazine was first published by the Youth Association of the Church of the East in India in October 1954 and has been published continuously since. In October 2014, it will mark its 60th anniversary. The founding editor was Mr M.P. Inasu (then General-Secretary of the Youth Association) and the first publisher was Mr Jose Davis Mooken (elder brother of the current Metropolitan of Malabar and All India). In its early years of publication, the Voice of the East also included articles in the Assyrian language. However, this has not been the case in recent years with the contents now solely in English. Assyrian Church News has made all back-issues of Voice of the East since 2010 available here for unrestricted viewing and for free …

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Metropolitan of Iraq Meets Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk in Moscow

On 20 February 2014, His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa, Metropolitan of Iraq, Russia and Jordan met with His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church’s (Moscow Patriarchate) Department for External Church Relations. The meeting took place at the DECR premises. The hierarchs discussed the situation in Iraq after the events occurred in 2003, as well as the situation of Christians in the country and prospects for overcoming the crisis. Among the issues raised at the meeting was the social and political situation in Syria. Metropolitan Hilarion discussed the initiatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, aimed at defending Christian minorities in the Middle East. Also taking part in the meeting were Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations; Rev’d Alexander Vasiutin, a DECR staff member; and Rev’d Fr Samano Odisho, parish priest of St Mary’s Church, Assyrian Church of the East in Moscow.

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NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell Visits Assyrian Primary School in Sydney

On Thursday the 13th February 2014, St Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School (SHAPS) along with St Narsai Assyrian Christian College (SNACC) warmly welcomed The Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP, Premier of the State of New South Wales to a special reception held at the Assyrian Church of the East’s Edessa Hall in Greenfield Park, New South Wales, Australia. Premier O’Farrell was received by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon accompanied by reverend priests, SHAPS Principal Mr Sargis Makko, SNACC Principal Mr John Haskal, church trustees, members of the Assyrian Schools Board and a large congregation of students, staff and parents. The program commenced with the performance of the Australian National Anthem, Assyrian Church Anthem and the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the Aramaic language by the school choir, followed with a welcoming speech given by Mr Makko. In his remarks Mr Makko noted that the growing size of both schools and growing population of the Assyrian community in Australia was cause for both joy and happiness. Mr Makko went on to thank the Australian government for the significant contribution it has made in making the existence of the Assyrian Schools possible …

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Assyrian Church of the East Hosts Major Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Event in Beirut

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 The Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon has hosted an ecumenical celebration marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The event, on 26 January 2014, was held at St George Cathedral of the Assyrian Church of the East in the Beirut suburb of Sed el-Bouchriyeh. The ecumenical gathering, the largest of its kind ever held in Lebanon, saw representatives of 10 churches come together to celebrate the important event. These churches were: – Antiochian Orthodox Church – Armenian Orthodox Church – Assyrian Church of the East – Chaldean Catholic Church – Coptic Orthodox Church – Maronite Catholic Church – Melkite Catholic Church – National Evangelical Church of Lebanon – Syriac Catholic Church – Syrian Orthodox Church Senior prelates and clergy from the noted churches were represented at the event. The ecumenical prayer event commenced with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in Arabic, followed by an address from The Rev’d Fr Michel Jalakh, Secretary-General of the Middle East Council of Churches. The Secretary-General welcomed all prelates and distinguished guests present stressing that the spirit of ecumenism should be the …

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Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon Calls on Chaldean Catholic Archbishop in Sydney

His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon has called upon His Excellency Mar Jibrail Kassab, Archbishop of the Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle for Chaldeans and Assyrians of the Chaldean Catholic Church for Australia and New Zealand. The Metropolitan called upon the Archbishop on 30 December 2013 offering the fraternal greetings of the Assyrian Church of the East on the occasion of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ and the New Year. The Assyrian Church of the East delegation was received by a number of clergy of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy and church administrative committee members. During the meeting His Beatitude offered his congratulations to the sister Chaldean Catholic Church and His Beatitude Mar Louis I Raphael Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church on the occasion of the holy season. A colloquium was held on the circumstances facing the Christian communities in both Iraq and Syria, with both prelates praying that the faithful of all churches living in these countries may be protected from various dangers facing them at the present time. The delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East included the Rev’d Cor-bishop Ashoor Lazar, the …

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‘The Martyred Church’: Archdiocesan Youth Conference Held in Melbourne, Australia

The 2nd Youth Conference of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon convened in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 12 – 15 December 2013. The four-day conference brought together 120 young faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East from Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto (Canada), Auckland (New Zealand) and Beirut (Lebanon) under the theme ‘The Martyred Church’. The conference theme, based upon the text of the same name by Dr David Wilmshurt (of the Chinese University of Hong Kong) inspired the proceedings of the Conference. His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon was guest of honour for the entire duration of the Conference and was accompanied by 6 parish priests from Victoria and New South Wales; being Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis, Rev’d Fr John Kushaba and Rev’d Fr Ninos Elya of New South Wales and Rev’d Fr Korkis Toma, Rev’d Fr Hurmizd Jarjeis and Rev’d Fr Antawan Mikhail of Victoria. Also in attendance were Professor Rifaat Ebied of the University of Sydney and Mr Konstantinos (Dean) Kalymnios as guest academic lecturers at the Conference. The youth attendees arrived in Melbourne on Thursday 12 December from their respective cities. On the evening of the same day …

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Four Sub-Deacons Ordained in Urmia, Iran

His Grace Mar Narsai Benjamin, Bishop of Iran, has ordained 4 young faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East to the rank of Sub-Deacon. The ordination, on 29 November 2013, was conducted in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the city of Urmia, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. In his sermon on the occasion the Bishop of Iran expressed his joy at the ordination and committed to nurturing and guiding the young Sub-Deacons in their religious education and the strengthening of their spirituality. His Grace was assisted in the service by the Rev’d Fr Daryawish Azizyan, parish priest, and a large number of deacons. Also in attendance was Mr Yonathan Bet-Kolia, representative of the Assyrian community in the Majlis (the national legislative body) of the Islamic Republic of Iran along with a large number of faithful from both Urmia and Tehran. Another ordination of Sub-Deacons is to be held in the Iranian capital Tehran on 15 December 2013. Following this ordination the total number of ordained Sub-Deacons of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iran will be brought to 10 in the hope that many will be elevated to the rank of full Deacon in the future. …

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Assyrian Church of the East Delegation Participates in Pro Oriente’s 4th Colloquium Syriacum

The ‘Fourth Colloquium Syriacum’ of the Pro Oriente Foundation was held in Vienna, Austria, from September 19-22, 2013, at the guest-house of the Pallotine Fathers (‘Pallottihaus’). The various Syriac-speaking Churches of the Middle East and India were represented at the Colloquium, along with many expert scholars and invited guests who also attended. The Assyrian Church of the East was represented by His Grace Dr Mar Awa Royel, the Bishop of California, Secretary of the Holy Synod and President of CIRED (Commission on Inter-Church Relations and Educational Development) and the Very Reverend Father Dr William Toma, Parish Priest of Mar Sargis Parish (Chicago) and Archdeacon of the Holy Synod. In addition to the Assyrian Church of the East, other Churches represented were the: Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian Orthodox Church), Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Maronite Catholic Church of Antioch, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch and the Ancient Church of the East. The experts included scholars from Jerusalem, Oxford, Washington D.C., Salzburg and representatives from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Vatican City). This year’s biennial gathering was centered on the theme: ‘Towards a Culture of Co-Existence …

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Eastern USA Diocese Hosts Christian Texts of Turfan Lecture

The Diocese of Eastern USA has hosted a public lecture entitled ‘The Christian Texts of Turfan’ in Illinois, USA on 15 November 2013. The lecture, held at and co-sponsored by the Assyrian National Council of Illinois in Skokie, was given by Dr Erica C.D. Hunter of the Department for the Study of Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. The Christian Library from Turfan Project aims to catalogue some 1092 manuscript fragments in the Syriac, Christian Soghdian and Uigher (Christian Old Turkic) scripts, as well as Pahlavi Persian, that were found in the opening decade of the twentieth century at a monastery site near Bulayiq, Turfan. The texts, dating from the early medieval period (9th – 12th centuries), encompass liturgical texts, lectionaries, hymns and psalters, as well as ascetical texts. The manuscripts are currently held at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Staatsbibliothek, Potsdamer Strasse, Berlin and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst at Dahlem, Berlin. The project addresses various issues, including the transmission of texts between different languages (Syriac, Soghdian and Old Turkic), the usage of liturgical and vernacular languages at Turfan and the links that were maintained with the Mesopotamian homeland of the Church …

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