Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Aphrem II receives warm welcome during historic visit to Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM — During his recent visit to Bethlehem in Palestine’s West Bank, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Aphrem II received a warm welcome from several officials and dignitaries, including Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Mohammad Shtayyeh, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Rula Maayah, and Mayor of Bethlehem Anton Salman.

The visit began with an official procession from the city center to the Church of the Nativity, where Patriarch Aphrem performed the Prayer of the Virgin and the Saints. He presided over the evening prayer in the Church of the Virgin Mary, followed by a brief promotion ceremony for Archbishop Mar Antimos Jack Yacoub on the Archdiocese of Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Land.

During his visit, Patriarch Mar Ephrem II also met with Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia Atallah Hanna at the Monastery of St. Mark in Jerusalem. Archbishop Hanna praised the Patriarch’s visit as historic and described the major role of the Antiochene See throughout the ages in supporting the Christians of the region.

The visit is seen as an important event for Christians in the Holy Land, offering encouragement and support for the community.