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Holy Synod Announcement: Passing of Catholicos- Patriarch

It is great sorrow and a heavy heart that His Beatitude Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of India and Patriarchal Vicar, in unison with all the members of the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East (absent were Mar Aprim Nathniel and Mar Narsai Benyamin due to visa difficulties), announce the falling asleep in the Lord of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. The late Patriarch passed at 10:04 am, this morning (Thursday, March 26, 2015) at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. His Holiness was surrounded by the prelates, clergy and family members. The prelates and clergy were in constant prayer at His Holiness’ bedside. The Patriarch’s viewing will take place on 7th April at St Andrews Church, Illinois and funeral will take place 8th April at St George Cathedral. By Grace, +Mar Awa Royel Secretary of the Holy Synod

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NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES USA MEETS WITH THE ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST’S CIRED

On Friday, January 16, 2015 the Ecclesial Relations Committee of the National Council of Churches USA met with representatives of the Assyrian Church of the East. The cordial, all-day meeting took place at the rectory on the campus of St. Mary’s church, in Roselle, Illinois. The Assyrian Church of the East was represented by His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and the President of CIRED (Commission on Inter-Church Relations and Educational Development), and His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern USA. The National Council of Churches was represented by Jim Winkler, the General Secretary and President of the NCC-USA, Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, the Associate General Secretary of the NCC-USA, and other members of the Ecclesial Relations Committee. ​The meeting began with a general overview of the goals, mission and mandate of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, founded in 1950 in the US in order to foster ecumenical cooperation among the various member Churches and to address social issues and concerns in the United States. There are 37 member Churches or communions who are members of the NCC-USA thus far, which include the various Orthodox, Protestant and Historical African …

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PRESS RELEASE Visit of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Rome 1- 4 October 2014

PRESS RELEASE Visit of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Rome 1 – 4 October 2014 His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, came to Rome from 1-4 October to meet His Holiness Pope Francis. His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV arrived with his delegation on Wednesday 1 October. On Wednesday evening a dinner was hosted by His Eminence Cardinal Koch in honour of the Patriarch. On Thursday morning 2 October, there was the private meeting of His Holiness Mar Dinkha with the Holy Father, followed by the meeting of the delegation with the Holy Father, comprising speeches, an exchange of gifts and a group photo. On Thursday afternoon and Friday morning two meetings were held at the office of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The members of the delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East were His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon, His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod, His Grace Mar Yohannan Yousif, Auxiliary Bishop of India, Very Rev. Archdeacon William Toma and Very Rev. Cor-bishop George Toma. The Catholic …

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H.G. Mar Paulus Benjamin Testifies at US Senate Human Rights Caucus

On 10 September 2014, His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of Eastern USA testified before the United States Senate Human Rights Caucus. The said caucus included an inaugural discussion on the Islamic State (IS), which has driven 200,000 Assyrians from their homes. The Caucus was launched by Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.). Testimony was given by the following persons: • Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor • Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom • Pascale Warda with the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization • Manal Omar from the United States Institute of Peace • His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East • Sarah Margon from Human Rights Watch The full text of His Grace’s testimony is below: Senator Mark Kirk, Senator Chris Coons, Brothers and sisters, honored guests, friends: I come before you today to tell you of the horrors and difficulties my people, the Christians of Iraq, are undergoing. We are an ancient people and we have suffered much. Whether we are called Assyrian, Chaldean, or Syriacs, we are one. We are a Christian people that still speak and …

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H.G. Mar Awa Royel Addresses Washington D.C. ‘In Defence of Christians’ Summit

On 11 September 2014, His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod addressed the ‘In Defence of Christians’ summit held in Washington D.C. between 9-11 September 2014. According to ‘In Defence of Christians’, “The primary purpose of the Summit is to bring all members of the Diaspora together in a newfound sense of unity. Whether Orthodox or Catholic; Evangelical, Coptic or Maronite; Syriac, Lebanese, Chaldean or Assyrian – all Middle Eastern Christians will be called on to join together in solidarity. “This solidarity will strengthen advocacy efforts with policy makers and elected officials and make more palatable grassroots outreach to the American public. Thus united, Middle Eastern Christians will invite all people of good will to join the cause to defend the defenseless, to be a voice for those who are voiceless. “The survival of these historic Christian communities is not merely a moral imperative; it is in the interests of all nations and peoples of the West and the Middle East.” This is the text of His Grace’s speech: Your Holinesses, Your Beatitudes, Your Excellencies and Graces, Reverend Fathers, Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen: It is a great honor and privilege to be …

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U.S. Bishops Visit Office of the National Council of Churches USA

While attending the In Defense of Christians (IDC) Summit in Washington D.C., His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California, Secretary of the Holy Synod and President of CIRED, along with His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of Chicago and the Eastern USA, visited the headquarters of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 11:00 am. ​The two bishops were received by Mr. Jim Winkler, the President and General Secretary of the NCC USA. The purpose of the visit was a courtesy call, and an exchange of information regarding the plight of the Christians in Iraq and the Middle East at large. For their part, the NCC president apprised the bishops of the work of the Council among the various Churches in the US. The NCC just moved into their headquarters on Maryland Avenue in Washington D.C. ​The NCC USA was first founded in 1908 as the ‘Federal Council of Churches’, and then reorganized into the ‘National Council of Churches’ in the 1950’s. Some 40 different Churches and denominations are members of the NCC in the United States. The membership of the Assyrian Church of the East in the …

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