SYRIA: Syriac Union Party releases statement about Syriac language education agreement

ZALIN, Syria — The Syriac Union Party (SUP) issued a statement about the renewed tensions over the implementation of the 2018 agreement concluded between the Olaf Taw Association and the schools of the Syriac Orthodox Church. According to the agreement, the private schools of the Syriac Orthodox Church were to use the curriculum developed by Olaf Taw for the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria by 2021/2022 school year. The Church is now refusing to implement the curriculum.

The SUP said it supports any step that would enhance cooperation between Olaf Taw and Church officials, including clergy and local church councils, as well as all intellectuals who care about the Syriac language.

The SUP statement clarified that, based on a complaint submitted by the Olaf Taw Association, a member of the Local Council of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Zalin (Qamishli) was detained by the Internal Security Forces (Sutoro). His statement was taken, and he was released several hours later. Statements were also taken from other members of the Council, said the SUP.

The SUP condemned the actions of those it accused of making accusations, stirring tensions, and spreading false information. They try to appear as defenders on the people and their interests while rejecting to take any step towards developing education in the Syriac language, said the SUP statement, specifically pointing to the Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO).

The statement concluded by emphasizing that the SUP is ready for any understanding and cooperation with everyone who has the willingness and free will to pursue the legitimate rights of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people. This includes political parties, institutions, and Church organizations, read the statement.

A special meeting was held on Wednesday evening attended by the Archbishop of the Diocese of Gozarto (Jazira) and Euphrates, SUP officials, and members of the Local Council of the Syriac Orthodox Church to reach a final solution. No outcomes of the meeting are yet to be announced.