Recent Posts

U.S. Bishops Hold First Episcopal Conference

The bishops of the dioceses of the Assyrian Church of the East in the United States held their first episcopal conference from October 30th to the 31st, in San Diego, California. The conference, blessed by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch, was attended by: His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, Bishop of the Western United States, the chair of the episcopal conference, His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod & President of CIRED, and His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Diocese of the Eastern USA and President of ACERO USA. The bishops were also in San Diego to take part in the rite of the consecration of the altar of the Rabban Hermizd Parish, which took place after morning prayers on the First Sunday of the Hallowing of the Church, November 2, 2014. His Grace Mar Yosip Sargis, bishop emeritus, was also present for the consecration rite. ​The meeting of the bishops’ conference was held at the offices of St. Rabban Hermizd Parish in San Diego, and was hosted by His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis. The items on the agenda for discussion and implantation in the United States dioceses included, among others: …

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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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Bishop of Europe Attends Swedish Heads of Churches Meeting

His Grace Mar Odisho Oraham, Bishop of Europe, attended a heads of churches meeting in the Swedish capital Stockholm on 29 and 30 September 2014. As part of the meeting agenda several topics were discussed including relations between Swedish churches and the current situation of Christians in the Middle East with particular regard to their persecution and displacement. His Grace provided the delegates with copies of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV’s two letters to the United Nations and European Union explaining the tragedy facing Assyrian and other Christian groups in the Middle East and the systematic human rights abuses perpetrated against them. Churches participating in the meeting included the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Sweden, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Salvation Army along with a number of Evangelical churches. It is noteworthy that the Assyrian Church of the East is a member church of the Christian Council of Sweden, an ecumenical group of 26 member churches founded in 1992. The Swedish Ecumenical Council is the predecessor of the current body and was formed in 1932.

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Inaugural Indian Youth Conference A Resounding Success

The Youth Conference of the Archdiocese of India was held in Thrissur, Kerala between 3 and 7 September 2014 under the theme ‘Life In Its Abundance (John 10:10)’. In particular, the theme was considered with respect to its multifaceted implications in the religio-political and social life. The inaugural Youth Conference of the Church of the East in India was staged with the imprimatur of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East and under the patronage of His Beatitude Dr Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of Malabar and India. His Grace Mar Awgin Kuriakose, Auxiliary Bishop of India gave leadership to the organising committee with the support of The Rev’d Dr Sr Jincy Otthotil. The conference’s opening day commenced with more than 200 Indian youth participants registering. Joining the Indian delegates were 5 Assyrian participants visiting from abroad; 2 from the United Kingdom, 2 from Australia and 1 from Latvia. A large number of attendees were expected to be present but were prevented from attending owing to the ongoing crisis facing the Assyrian community in Iraq. Regrettably, a number of delegates from the United States were also unable to attend having been refused visas by the Indian …

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H.B. Mar Gewargis Sliwa Calls on New Iraqi President in Baghdad

On 10 September 2014 His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa, Metropolitan of Iraq and Russia called on His Excellency Dr Fuad Massum, the newly appointed President of the Republic of Iraq. Opening the meeting, the President discussed the situation affecting displaced peoples in the Nineveh Governorate and other areas controlled by ISIS describing what has occurred in the areas a disaster. His Excellency stressed that his entire efforts are being directed to protect Christians, Yazidis, Sabaeans and other minority groups and to facilitate their return to their homes. His Beatitude thanked the President for his role in aiding the suffering Christian community during the present difficult circumstances. During the colloquium, His Beatitude conveyed to His Excellency the felicitations and best wishes of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East on the occasion of His Excellency’s ascension to the high presidential office. Also presented to His Excellency during the meeting was a personal message of congratulations from His Holiness the Catholicos-Patriarch.

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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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