The Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, will describe the increasing violence in war-torn Syria and the threat to Syria's religious communities at an "Up to the Minute" public lecture at the Woodrow Wilson School on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 4:30 p.m., Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall. The event is co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School and the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD). There will be a public reception following the discussion in Shultz dining room.
The Archbishop, who still resides in Aleppo, recently appealed to the world community for concrete diplomatic initiatives in response to the growing violence in Syria. According to a recent news report, “the Syrian Orthodox Bishop described the ever increasing dangers in the city of Aleppo, saying that explosions occur ‘all day.’ The Syrian prelate also said that because they live close to neighborhoods where the Free Syria Army has settled, it has been impossible to open schools or accommodate people in churches. Mar Gregorios said that the situation is worsening in the region and echoed Pope Benedict's called for an international response to the crisis. ‘We leaders of local Christian Churches can do little. Even Muslim leaders appear divided,’ he said.”
Archbishop Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim holds degrees from St. Ephrem Theological Seminary in Zahle, the Oriental Institute in Rome, the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome and Birmingham University in the UK, where he received his Ph.D. and wrote a dissertation entitled, “Christian Arabs in Mesopotamia before Islam.” He has held positions in Iraq, Sweden, Holland Belgium and Lebanon, and has served as Archbishop in Syria since 1979. He is and has been a committee member on many religious boards, including the Global Christian Forum, the Executive Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches, and the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. He has acted as a representative of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch at international, regional and local conferences since 1980. Most recently, he assisted in preparation of the Papal Visit to Lebanon and attended the G8 Religious Summit in Bordeaux, France, as well as the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations in Doha. He participated in the LISD’s Liechtenstein Colloquium on Syria, Iran, and the Macro Region in Triesenberg, April, 2012.
The event will be archived online for later viewing on the Woodrow Wilson School’s web media site – http://wws.princeton.edu/webmedia.