New Patriarch of the Assyrian Church Consecrated

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq – Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani attended the consecration ceremony of His Holiness Patriarch Gewargis Sliwa, the new Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, in Saint Yohana Church in Ainkawa-Erbil.

The ceremony was also attended by representative of His Holiness Pope Francis, representatives of the President of Iraq and Iraqi Prime Minister, and the Iraqi Council of Representatives.  Also attending, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, a number of ministers and members of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament, and officials of the Kurdistan Region. The ceremony also included representatives of diplomatic missions in the Kurdistan Region, and a number of religious figures and dignitaries of the Region.

His Holiness Patriarch Gewargis Sliwa spoke of the return of the Chair of Assyrian Church of the East to the Middle East at Erbil as an important and sacred event.

He highlighted the role played by the Kurdistan Region in protecting Christians and promoting religious and ethnic coexistence. He praised Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani and Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in protecting the rights of ethnic and religious communities in the Kurdistan Region.

His Holiness Patriarch Gewargis Sliwa stressed the need for cooperation and coordination among Christian churches, particularly at this moment.

He expressed his wish that security and prosperity will return to Iraq, and that religious, cultural and ethnic diversity will be protected.

Following a banquet lunch which was served in honor of His Holiness Patriarch Gewargis Sliwa in Saad Abdulla Hall in Erbil, the representative of His Holiness Pope Francis expressed his support and wish for success of the Assyrian Church of the East, and that it plays its role in returning peace to the region during these difficult times.

Erbil Governor Nawzad Hadi described the return of the Chair of Assyrian Church of the East to Erbil as a significant and historic event. He expressed his and the Governorate’s full support to the Assyrian Church of the East.