Official Statement from the Meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch held on October 15-17, 2013

Antiochian Patriarchate

Source: Patriarchate of Antioch Facebook Page Statement by the Secretariat of Holy Synod of Antioch Balamand, October 17, 2013 The Holy Synod of Antioch held its second session from October 15th through 17th, 2013. His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X presided over the meeting, with the participation of Their Eminences, the Metropolitans and Fathers of the Holy Synod of Antioch: Spiridon of Zahleh and its dependencies; Georges of Jbeil, Batroun and their dependencies; Yuhanna of Lattakia and … [Read more...]

Suicide bomb kills 4 in Syrian capital’s Old City

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Source: San Francisco Chronicle By ALBERT AJI, Associated Press DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up near the headquarters of Syria's Greek Orthodox Church in Damascus' Old City, killing at least four people Thursday, minutes after the patriarch had entered the cathedral, state-run TV and a church official said. The blast in the ancient quarter of narrow streets and historic buildings was the first reported suicide attack of the Syrian civil war inside the Old City, … [Read more...]

[Patriarch] Ignatius Hazim lain to rest in Damascus

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Source: The Daily Star BEIRUT: Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Levant and Antioch Ignatius IV Hazim’s body was taken to Damascus Sunday, after a Mass at Beirut’s St. Nicholas Cathedral. In the Syrian capital, hundreds of faithful flocked to the Mariamite Cathedral to bid farewell to the man who served as patriarch for 33 years. Hazim, who was born in the Hama village of Mhardeh, will be buried in Damascus Monday. He died last week after suffering a stroke at the age of 92. In a … [Read more...]

The Orthodox priest kidnapped in Damascus found dead

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Source: Agenzia Fides Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - The body of the Greek-Orthodox priest Fr. Fadi Jamil Haddad, pastor of the church of St. Elias in Qatana, was found today in the Jaramana neighborhood (north of Damascus) not far from the place where he was kidnapped, on October 19, by unidentified armed group (see Fides 24/10/2012). This was confirmed to Fides by Fr. Haddad’s Greek-Orthodox confrere, who asked for anonymity. "His body was horribly tortured and his eyes gouged out," he told … [Read more...]

Syrian Christians Afraid of Possible Islamist Rule

Syrian Church

Source: RIA Novosti DAMASCUS, May 14 (RIA Novosti) Tags: Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Damascus Christians living in conflict-torn Syria are afraid that their community would fall victim of religious extremism if President Bashar al-Assad regime collapses and Islamists come to power. “I am afraid that we will suffer bad times,” a member of Damascus’s Christian community, who identified himself as Jorge, told RIA Novosti. A full-fledged civil war will break out in Syria if Assad’s … [Read more...]

‘Divine Intervention’ Saves Syrian Convent

Our Lady of Saidnaya Convent

Source: News24 Saidnaya - Divine intervention prevented a shell that pierced the walls of a Syrian convent from detonating, swears the mother superior of Our Lady of Saidnaya, a spiritual retreat near Damascus. "The Virgin Mary stopped the shell from exploding with her own hands," said Mother Verone, who interpreted the close call as a divine message that "God is watching over sacred places" amid the unprecedented unrest rocking Syria. The sound of explosions and gunfire from nearby … [Read more...]