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Eastern USA

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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Catholicos-Patriarch Calls 3-Day Rogation for Christians of Iraq

His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, has sent an epistle imploring all members of the church and the Assyrian nation to hold a 3 day fast (Rogation) beginning Monday the 1st of September. The purpose of this rogation is to beseech the mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ upon our Assyrian nation and all who are being persecuted in the Middle East, in particular Northern Iraq. May God accept our rogation just as He accepted the rogation of our forefathers the Ninevites.

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Director of Hong Kong based Jingjiao Fellowship Received by Catholicos-Patriarch

In the afternoon of Friday, July 4, 2014, His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, received in audience at the patriarchate Mr. David Tam, director of the Jingjiao Fellowship, who was accompanied by Mr. Faust Chan, a research student on Christianity in China. Also in attendance of the audience were: Their Graces Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California, President of CIRED and Secretary of the Holy Synod, and Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern USA. Mr. Tam apprised His Holiness of the developments of Jingjiao since he first wrote to His Holiness in May 2009, expressing the wish to establish contact with the Church and return to communion. The highlights of events in these few years were His Grace Mar Awa’s visits to Hong Kong in 2010, and to Xian and Hong Kong in 2012. During these visits, His Grace celebrated liturgy the first times in many centuries on Chinese soil, gave seminars on history and sacraments, spoke to seminarians and scholars, and met with prelates of the various Christian Churches in the country. These visits helped raise the awareness of the Church of the East and Jingjiao, and their success …

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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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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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Assyrian Church of the East Represented at 10th World Council of Churches Assembly in Busan, Korea

Commissioned by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch, Rev’d Cor-bishop George Toma, parish priest of St Andrew’s Church in Glenview, Illinois has represented the Assyrian Church of the East at the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches. Under the theme ‘God of life, lead us to justice and peace’, more than 2000 delegates of world churches convened in Busan, Republic of Korea between 30 October – 8 November 2013. The Assembly of the World Council of Churches is a unique moment when the fellowship of member churches unites in prayer, celebration and sets the future agenda for the council. The Assembly is held once every 7 or 8 years. The WCC brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 500 million Christians and including most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches. At the end of 2012, there were 345 member churches. While the bulk of the WCC’s founding churches were European and North American, today most member churches are in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the …

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H.G. Mar Paulus Benjamin Consecrates Eucharistic Liturgy for Elderly Faithful in Chicago

His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of Chicago and Eastern USA consecrated the Eucharistic Liturgy on Tuesday March 26, 2013 at Peterson Park Health Care Center in Chicago where many Assyrian faithful are currently residing. His Grace was assisted by the Rev’d Archdeacon William Toma and Deacon Dadway Daniel.

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Iraqi Kurdistan Minister Johnson Siyawesh Calls On H.G. Mar Paulus Benjamin in Chicago

On Thursday, March 14, 2013, His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, the bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Eastern USA, accompanied by the priests of diocese in the state of Illinois, received Mr. Johnson Siyawesh, the Minister of Transportation and Communication in the Kurdistan Regional Government, at St. Andrew’s Church in Glenview.

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H. G. Mar Paulus Benjamin Attends Washington, D.C. Religious Minorities Exhibit

In light of all the recent challenges religious minorities face throughout the Middle East, on July 19, 2012, the Congress of the United States, Washington DC introduced a resolution (H. RES. 732) that calls for the protection of the rights and freedoms of religious minorities in the Arab world, particularly in Egypt and Iraq. In addition, the new resolution encourages the newly elected Egyptian President and Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to ensure that the Constituent’s Assembly will draft a new constitution that is representative of all parts of Egyptian society, including the religious minorities. Also, the resolution calls upon the local and federal governments of Iraq to prosecute acts of violence against Assyrians and other minorities, and make the protection of ancient ethno-religious minorities in Iraq an urgent priority.

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