Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Aphrem II engages with political and religious figures during Jerusalem visit

JERUSALEM — During his historic visit to the Holy Land, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II has held numerous meetings with notable political and religious figures.

In a significant encounter, the Patriarch met with President of the State of Palestine and the National Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine at the presidential palace in Ramallah. The discussions focused on the historical significance of the Church in Palestine and the latest developments in the Holy Land. Abbas emphasized to Patriarch Aphrem the government’s commitment to strengthen the enduring Christian presence in Palestine and preserve its historic churches.

Addressing the current regional situation, the Patriarch expressed his hope for an end to the suffering of the Palestinian and Syrian people and the restoration of stability in the Middle East countries. He underlined the importance of upholding human dignity and ensuring the fulfillment of basic human rights.

Additionally, Patriarch Aphrem attended a Mass led by Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa at the Patriarchal Headquarters in Jerusalem. Their meeting revolved around the interrelations between Churches and the assistance they provide to pilgrims visiting Jerusalem. They highlighted that true Christ-like testimony is manifested through the sincerity of clergy in serving the people and the reflection of love in their actions.

Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Aphrem II and Armenian Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manukian in the Tomb of St. James in Jerusalem.

Patriarch Aphrem also met with Armenian Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manukian. During the official reception, they visited the Tomb of St. James the Apostle, offering prayers in the service of the saints, and proceeded to tour the cathedral. Their discussions encompassed the historical connections between the two Churches and the special bond that has united the Syriac and Armenian peoples since the early days of Christianity. The influential role of Syriac monks in spreading the Christian faith in Armenia and the contribution of Syriac theologians in establishing the Orthodox faith within the Armenian Church were also acknowledged.