His Grace Mar Odisho Oraham, Bishop of Europe, has highlighted the difficult conditions observed by Middle East Christians residing in Europe, while taking part in a council of Eastern Churches in Berlin, Germany.
The purpose of the conference, titled “Dialogue with the Oriental Churches” and held on 7 July, was to bring awareness to the need for aid that developed countries are able to offer Christians living in and/or seeking refuge from the Middle East.
The meeting was organized and headed by many parliamentary bodies from both political and religious sides and included attendees from seven Eastern Churches in Europe, the chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) and former president of the European Parliament Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, and the chairman of the CDU/CSU-Parliamentary Group of the German Bundestag, Volker Kauder.
The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East’s representative, His Grace Mar Odisho, expressed his concerns of the Church’s parishioners in Germany.
His Grace said most of the parishioners have spread throughout Germany, leading to communities being scattered and at the verge of extinction.
While our parishes complete their spiritual deeds by offering worship services to our faithful, aid is required from the German Government to keep our communities together and fulfill their day-to-day needs.
His Grace further stressed that financial aid by the Government will be highly appreciated by the parishioners seeing as the majority of faithful are not skilled and are financially unable to build a centre for worship on their own.
However, His Grace said faithful must thank the German Government for its charitable aid.
“The blessed country has accepted us with open arms, as we fled our homeland; let’s repay them by being obedient to the laws and regulations of the country. Being loyal citizens is the command of the Lord,” said His Grace.
Also in attendance were Rev. Daniel Shimshon, parish priest of St Shimon Bar Saba-eh Parish; Mr Youkhana Cebu, President of the Parish; and Mr Shlemon Younan, President of the Assyrian Clubs who acted as the official translator from German to Assyrian and vice versa for His Grace.
While in Germany, His Grace visited the city of Wiesbaden and offered the Holy Eucharist at St Elizabeth Church, a rented premises for local parishioners.
The visit, which fell on the commemoration of Saint Yosip Khnanisho, attracted many faithful who gathered on this joyous day to remember such a humble saint, while seeing their beloved bishop and partaking in the body of Christ.
At the conclusion of the Holy Mysteries, His Grace, along with priests, deacons and faithfuls gathered at Nineveh Hall, an Assyrian Centre for community activities.
His Grace notified the parishioners of the purpose in his visit and explained what was spoken about at the Eastern Church’s Council.
His Grace urged the faithful to stay strong in the Lord and in the Church.
“Holding on to our religion and our nationality as Assyrians defines who we are in the world,” said His Grace.
Further, he thanked the committee of the Nineveh Hall for their hospitality and blessed them with all achievements in the future for the glory of our Church and nation.
His Grace departed Germany on that same evening and made his way to the United Kingdom, to further visit and fulfill the spiritual needs of our parishioners at St Mary Church, London, where he offered the Holy Eucharist on 17 July.[nggallery id=233]