ANKAWA, Iraq — At the end of the week of prayer for Christian unity, an ecumenical prayer was held in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist of the Syriac—Assyrian Church of the East in Ankawa, Erbil.
The ecumenical prayer was presided over by Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mar Awa Royel, Archbishop of the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil Bashar Warda, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Erbil and Kerkeslokh (Kirkuk) Nicodemos Daoud Matti Sharaf, Syriac Catholic Coadjutor Archbishop Nathanael Nizar Semaan, Archbishop of Diana and Kirkuk of the Assyrian Church of the East Abris Youkhna, Archbishop of Baghdad, Ukraine and Georgia Shimon Daniel, and Syriac Melkite Orthodox Archbishop of Baghdad, Kuwait and their environs Ghattas Hazim.
The prayer began with the blessing by Patriarch Mar Royel, after which the archbishops read the prayer, amid hymns in Syriac, Arabic and Armenian, recited by the choirs of all the participating churches. Archbishop Nicodemos Daoud Matti Sharaf recited a text from the Gospel of Matthew, and delivered a speech on the unity of Christians 1,500 years ago. He also spoke about the circumstances that led to the division of the Holy Universal Church.