Headquarters of Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch to be Sifted from Damascus

Beirut,August 24, 2012: The Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch may shift their headquarters to Beirut, Lebanon as the Church administration has been deeply affected by the political crisis in Damascus and the rest of Syria.

The Holy Synod of the Church will begin on 11th of September at Beirut and several important decisions are expected to be made.The Church headquarters have been functioning at Beirut since the development of the internal crisis in Syria.

Patriarch Ignatius Zakka Iwas will not return to Damascus after the treatment in Germany. The Ancient Syrian Orthodox Church where the belt of Holy Theotokos rests has been destroyed in bombing. The holy belt has been saved since it was moved from the Church in advance. The Aleppo Diocesan headquarters of the Church has suffered . More then 400 houses of Syrian Orthodox Christians have been destroyed and robbed. Most of the faithful have already migrated to Europe and USA. There are only a handful of Monks remaining at the Church headquarters in Damascus.

Plans for Germany

It has been rumored in some media that the headquarters of the Church shall be sifted to Germany. Due to the unstable political conditions in Middle East some believe that Germany will be an ideal place for the Church headquarters to function smoothly. Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch has considerable number of faithful residing in Lebanon, Germany, Sweden and rest of the Europe.

The Patriarchate of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch has been shifted from one place to another at several instances in history due several political, religions reasons. The Patriarchate was transferred to different monasteries in Mesopotamia in early days. In the 13th century it was transferred to the Mor Hananyo Monastery , in southeastern Turkey near Mardin, where it remained until 1933. It was transferred to Homs, Syria and in 1959 was transferred again to Damascus. The Patriarchate has also functioned at Lebanon during the time of Patriarch Ignatius Yacob III and also at Tur Abdin Monastery.

Source: OCP News Service


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