Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mar Awa III Royel addresses Church unity, emigration, and manuscript preservation

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region of Iraq — During a recent meeting, Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mar Awa III Royel discussed several subjects of significance to the Church and Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian. Among the key topics discussed were the ongoing unity efforts between the Eastern Churches, the challenges of emigration faced by the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian community, and a groundbreaking agreement securing the preservation of the Church’s invaluable manuscripts.

During an interview with Amkabad, Patriarch Royel shared insights into the decision by the Holy Synod to relocate the Patriarchal See to Erbil. Emphasizing that the majority of their parishioners reside in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), the move is seen as a strategic step to align with the demographic realities.

Touching upon unity efforts with the ancient Eastern Church, the Patriarch acknowledged a persistent challenge related to the celebration of Resurrection Day and the distinctive rituals observed by each Church. Despite this obstacle, the Patriarch remains hopeful for fruitful dialogues that may bridge these differences.

Addressing the critical issue of emigration, Patriarch Royel emphasized the individual nature of the decision-making process for families. He stressed the importance of creating a conducive environment within Iraq, focusing on enhancing the country’s political, economic, and social landscapes to retain its citizens.

In a significant revelation, the Patriarch disclosed a recent agreement forged with the Digital Manuscript Documentation Center. The accord aims to safeguard the Church’s rich manuscript heritage, ensuring its preservation for future generations. This proactive step aligns with the Assyrian Church of the East’s commitment to maintaining its cultural and historical legacy amid the challenges of the modern era.