Syrian Orthodox Patriarch visits Turkish Premier

H. H. Ignatius Zakka I Iwas in talks with Prime Minister of
Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara on
the Mar Gabriel Monastery Land Dispute.
Aleppo - His Holiness Ignatius Zakka, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch concluded his official visit to the Turkish government in Ankara on 31 March 2011.

During his three-day visit, His Holiness met with the Prime Minister of Turkey Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on 30 March . Accompanied the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church of the Metropolitan Mor Gregorios Hanna Ibrahim of Aleppo, Mor Philoxenos Mattias Nayis, Secretary of the Patriarch of Syria, Mor Philoxenos Yusuf Cetin of Istanbul and Ankara and Mor Timotheos Samuel Aktas of Tur Abdin, together with the Diocesan Council Presidents of the two dioceses in Turkey, and the chairman of the foundation of the monastery Mor Gabriel monastery Kuryakus Ergün and attorneys Rudi Sümer.

They had gone to discuss the disputes over the land belonging to Mor Gabriel Monastery in Tur Abdin. The monastery’s bishop, Mor Timotheos Samuel Aktas was among the delegation, which also included the presidents of the diocesan councils of Tur Abdin and Istanbul and the lawyers acting for Mor Gabriel monastery. Representing the Turkish Forestry Commission, which is in dispute with the monastery, was the Turkish Secretary for the Environment.
The Prime Minister said that he had been following the case and would do his utmost to find a proper outcome to settle the dispute after the court had issued its verdict, when he would be happy to meet again with the Patriarch.

Apostolic visit to Turkish Republic started


Easter Papal Message for 2011

Easter Message
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
April 2011

My beloved children in the lands of immigration, both clergy and laity.

I congratulate you for the Glorious Feast of the Resurrection, wishing you all that the Lord returns it upon you with all goodness and blessing.

The resurrection of the Lord Christ was distinguished with an amazing power. He is the only One who was victorious over death by Himself. In His resurrection, He crushed death, and arose with the power of His Divinity. Also, by His power, He came out of the closed tomb which had a great stone upon it, without anyone seeing Him. Also with the same power, He entered the upper room where the disciples were, while its doors were shut. After He spent forty days with them speaking to them about matters pertaining to the Kingdom of God, He ascended to the heavens with a great power, which is against all the laws of gravitational force. Of course, it is the power of His Divinity.
Therefore, St. Paul the Apostle said about Him, in the Epistle to the Philippians 3:10 “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings...” This is why we also praised Him throughout the Holy Week, confessing His power and saying to Him: “To You is the power ... Thok te tee gom.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ, who arose with power, and ascended with power, also grants us power. The Church started its history with power, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the pure disciples. The Bible says: “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.”
This power remained in the life of the Church. With great power, St. George was able to tear the decree of the emperor. Even all the martyrs received death with power, and they did not fear it. Instead, they reiterated the expression “...having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” (Philippians 1:23)

Therefore, my beloved children and brethren, always be powerful. I mean, that you have spiritual power by which you defeat Satan, all the power of the enemy, all the wars of the ego, and all evil desires.
And in your victory, do not attribute this to your own personal power, but to the power of God which works in you, now and always.

Lastly, be well and absolved from the Holy Spirit; and pray for me.


His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
Glorious Feast of Resurrection
April 2011

Easter Papal Message for 2011 in English

Read the Easter Papal Message for 2011 in Arabic