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Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
 Archdiocese of the Western United States





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His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II and the Patriarchs of the East meet with President Barak Obama

September,13 2014

The Patriarchate - On Thursday September 11, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II and the delegation of the patriarchs of the East met with US President Barak Obama in the White House. The Patriarchs who were present are: Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Armenian Catholicose Aram I, Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorius III Lahham, representative of the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II Anba Angelos, representative of Greek Orthodox patriarch John X Joseph Zahlawi and Chaldean bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim. The meeting came at the end of the “In Defense of Christians” Summit which took place in Washington DC from 9 to 11 September 2014.

At first, the patriarchs and bishops met with the US National Security Advisor Suzan Rice; she listened to their demands and discussed the problems that Christians in the Middle East are facing. She also reviewed their recommendations and suggestions to solve the crisis and help Christians in the Middle East.

The patriarchs then handed over to President Obama a memorandum which includes their demands and recommendations. They then met with him for more than 35 minutes.

Patriarch Aphrem II presented his heartfelt condolences on the occasion of the 13th commemoration of the September 11 attacks. He then asked the president to help in finding and working for the immediate release of the two abducted bishops Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji who have been abducted for more than 500 days. Moreover, Patriarch Aphrem II demanded international protection for Christians and other minorities in the Nineveh Plains and asked President Obama to opt for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.

In turn, President Obama declared that the United States of America fights terrorism and seeks to ensure that basic rights and freedom are respect as well as spreading the principles of democracy in the world.


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The Western Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, providing spiritual guidance and leadership to the Syriac Orthodox community, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization comprised of 18 churches and parishes in 17 western states. It was established in 1952 as the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church encompassing the entire United States and Canada. In November 1995 by the Holy Synod, the Western Archdiocese was formed to exclusively serve the 17 states of the western half United States.

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