DARAMSUQ — After a bitter struggle with brain cancer, Mor Selwanos Boutros al-Nehmeh, Arcbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartus, and Environs, passed away on Monday in Daramsuq (Damascus).
On Monday evening, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II issued a statement addressing the members of the Syriac Orthodox Holy Synod, announcing that, “with great regret, we mourn your dear brother Mor Selwanos Boutros al-Nehmeh, Arcbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartus, and Environs, who passed away in Damascus on Monday evening, Dec 7th, 2020, after a bitter struggle with brain cancer. May God rest his soul, and may he live in His heavenly kingdom, accompanied by good shepherds, and the righteous.”
Mor Selwanos Boutros al-Nehmeh was appointed by Arcbishop Mor Malatyus Barnaba as deacon reader in the Our Lady of the Holy Belt Cathedral (Um al-Zennar) in Hmoth (Homs) in 1982. Two years later, he joined the Monastery of Mor Aphrem in Saydnaya , Daramsuq, and was gradated in his priestly service until his appointment by late Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas as Arcbishop of the Diocese of Homs, Hama, Tartus, and Environs at the Cathedral of Our Lady Um al-Zinar in Hmoth, in 1999.
Mor Selwanos Boutros al-Nehmeh was born in 1968 in the majority-Syriac town of Sadad, some 60kms south of Homs. His hometown twice faced an onslaught from radical jihadist groups. In 2013 the town was overrun by the Islamist militants from the Nusra Front which later labelled itself Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. In 2015 ISIS was gaining territory from the Syrian regime and advanced on the town of 15.000 residents. The Syriac Orthodox Church and the Archdiocese of Hmoth under leadership of Mor Selwanos Boutros al-Nehmeh provided much humanitarian aid during those times of need and displacement.