14 April 2014
The Conference of European Churches congratulates His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II on his election as the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church and All The East, succeeding the late Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I who passed away on 21 March.
Prior to his election His Holiness was the Archbishop and Patriarchal Vicar of the diocese of the Eastern United States of America. Through his leadership, his church has grown both in membership and parishes. He was a committed ecumenist, having been instrumental in the founding of the ecumenical body of churches in the US, Christian Churches Together in the USA, and a member of the World Council of Churches Central and Executive Committees.
"His Holiness’ election comes at a time of great turmoil and suffering for the Syrian people. It is also a particularly grim moment for Christians in the country who have been increasingly targeted by extremists in recent months." the General secretary Rev Dr Guy Liagre said.
CEC, as a community of churches, offers its prayers for His Holiness and his leadership in a time of great challenge and difficulty for both his church and its people. "We pray that the Spirit may grant him the kind of wisdom and discernment he needs as supreme guide of the Syrian Orthodox Church." Liagre stated.
CEC urges his members to pray for peace, justice and reconciliation in Syria and the Middle East.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a communion of 115 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all European countries, and 40 organisatios in partnership. It was founded in 1959. The CEC has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.
For more information:
CEC General Secretariat
Phone: +41 22 791 6228
Fax: +41 22 791 627