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Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Issues Statement After Assassination Attempt

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Patriarch Aphrem, head of the Syrian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Aphrem, head of the Syrian Orthodox Church.

(AINA) — Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II Karim of the Syriac Orthodox Church issued a statement on the assassination attempt on his life last week. On June 19, while the Patriarch was leading a commemoration service for the Turkish genocide of Assyrians in World War One, a suicide bomber attacked the service but was stopped by the Assyrian Sutoro military forces in Qamishli, Syria (AINA 2016-06-19).

Here is the text of the statement.

The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
Damascus, Wednesday June 22, 2016After returning safely to the Patriarchate in Damascus following his pastoral visit to the city of Qamishly, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, offered prayers of thanksgiving and condemned the suicide bombing which took place during His Holiness’ visit. On Sunday June 19, 2016 following the celebration of the feast of the Pentecost and after the inauguration of a monument for the Syriac Genocide Sayfo which His Holiness presided over, the faithful were gathered inside the auditorium of St. Gabriel School to celebrate the 101st annual Sayfo commemoration when a suicide bomber set himself off a short distance from the place. Two members of the Sutoro Protection Units fell martyrs and several were injured. This terroristic act is planned and executed by people who want to spread hatred and create division among the people of the region. Such acts cause great suffering to the people and aim at destroying the unity of our beloved country Syria.

His Holiness gives thanks to God Almighty for protecting him and all the others who participated in the said event, by His divine care.

He prays for the souls of the martyrs, especially the two young people who lost their lives as a result of this act of terrorism, and offers condolences to their families. He likewise prays for the quick recovery of the injured. His Holiness expresses his thanks and gratitude to their Holinesses and Beatitudes the Patriarchs of the sister churches, as well as different governments and community leaders who offered their sympathies and prayers for His Holiness’ safety by calling or writing. He, likewise, thanks the hierarchy, members of the clergy, and the entire faithful of the church who offered their prayers and expressed their concerns through phone calls, emails or text messages.

His Holiness prays the Lord to bless Syria with peace and security so that these difficult times come to an end and life returns to normal in this dear country Syria.

1 Comment

  1. Patriarch Karim calls himself “His Holiness”. Why can’t we who are Christians simply call ourselves, “Servants of Christ” as our apostle Paul did. In fact, Paul simply said “Paul and Timothy, the “doulos” slaves of Jesus Christ”.(Philippians 1:1).

    Brother Karim represents a counter religious “power structure” in the minds of murderous Muslims who have their power hungry clergy, hierarchies also. I am grieved and sorrowful for the potential attack, and attempted murder of Patriarch Karim, but the article referred to him as “His Holiness” over 20 times. It is obvious that :murderous Muslims: will burn eternally in Hell with more than seven demonic spirits, but if we respond in kind to their “power-structured-religion” we are sending the wrong message, and make it impossible to convert them to the “Lowly Jesus”.

    There is great power in prayer, and this POWER can be tapped by any, humble, spirit filled Christian. Except for the apostles (Acts 2:42-43, 5:12-13, 8:14-18) there was no Religious Autocracy in the First Century congregation, and Apostolic Succession is NOT taught anywhere in the New Testament. All obedient Christians were “Priests of God” (I Peter 2:2-9), and The apostle who said this is supposed to be the HEAD of the congregation, and yet he became an Elder of the congregation in his later life (1 Peter 5:1).

    When Murderous Muslims look at Christianity all they see is Cathedrals, Power Struggles, Pope-ordered-Crusades, Competitive Ecclesial Struggles, and the same kind of Autocracies that drove the Jewish Priests and Clergy to clamor for the crucifixion of our Christ.

    Yes, it was wrong for Murderous Muslims to kill two innocent people, and equally as wrong to attempt to kill Patriarch Kariim. Islamic Murder is wrong …it is evil….it is satanic, but the weapon that will destroy the Sword of Allah, is the Sword of the Spirit in the hand of ordinary, obedient, Covenant Children of Christ, who in the New Testament “Went every where preaching and ceased not preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42).
    Why cant we all be just “Christians”? (Acts 11:26)

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