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The Assyrian Church of the East

The Assyrian Church has a scattered presence outside its Iraqi homeland. Mar Paulus Benjamin is the Bishop of the Diocese of the Eastern USA (7201 North Ashland Blvd., Chicago, Illinois 60659). Mar Aprim Khamis is Bishop of the Western United States (18221 N. 59th Drive, Glendale, Arizona 85308), and Mar Awa Royel is Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod (1457 Mable Avenue, Modesto, California 95355). Altogether there are about 20 parishes in the country. Mar Emmanuel Joseph is Bishop of Canada, where there are four parishes and a mission (16 Hibiscus Court, Toronto, Ontario M9M 1R9). The Diocese of Australia and New Zealand (with six worshiping communities in Australia and two in New Zealand), is headed by Mar Meelis Zaia (PO Box 621, Fairfield NSW 2165). There is also one Assyrian parish in London (St Mary’s Church, Westminster Road, Hanwell, W7 3TU) under the jurisdiction of Mar Odisho Oraha, who resides in Sweden.

Mar Dinkha IV, who had served as Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East since 1976, passed away on March 26, 2015. The election of a successor was originally scheduled to take place in June, but was delayed until September pending the outcome of a dialogue with the Ancient Church of the East regarding possible reunification. Unfortunately that dialogue was not successful, and the bishops of the Assyrian Church of the East elected Bishop Gewargis Sliwa as the new patriarch on September 18, 2015. One of his first acts in office was to announce that the headquarters of the church would be moved from Chicago (where Mar Dinkha IV had resided) to the city of Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Location: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, North America, Australia, India
Head: Mar Gewargis III (born 1941, elected 2015)
Title: Catholicos-Patriarch of the Church of the East
Residence: Erbil, Iraq
Membership: 400,000

Last Modified: 23 Nov 2015

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