Delegation of RCH Visited Syria

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II held a reception in honor of Bishop Zoltán Balog, Ministerial President of the Synod of RCH during a visit of the Hungarian delegation in Syria, led by the Bishop.

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On January 8, 2022, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II held a reception in honor of His Grace Bishop Zoltán Balog, Head of the Reformed Church in Hungary who is accompanied by a delegation from Hungary who is visiting Syria for a pilgrimage to the ancient Christian sites.

The reception was held at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma - Damascus.

His Beatitude Patriarch Joseph Absi, Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, and their Excellencies: Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Assistant Moussa Al-Khoury, Greek Orthodox General Patriarchal Vicar Bishop Mousa Alkhesy, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Damascus Joseph Arnaouti, and Head of the National Evangelical Church in Damascus Rev. Boutros Zaour, attended the reception.

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Bishop Zoltán Balog and His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II


Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Christian Education, Mor Cyril Babi, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, also attended the reception.

His Holiness welcomed His Grace and the accompanying delegation to the biblical land of Syria and hoped that their visit will bring blessings to their lives and to the people of Hungary. He thanked them for their support to the Syrian people in their distress and assured that solidarity gives strength and hope.

The delegation started their pilgrimage yesterday visiting different parts of Old Damascus including the holy sites where the conversion of St Paul happened as well as the Patriarchates and different church leaders.


Rev. Boutros Zaour, pastor of Damascus Presbyterian Church (in the middle)

They continued their pilgrimage to Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya where they visited St Peter and St Paul Cathedral, the altar of the Sayfo Syriac Martyrs and the Grotto of the Lady of the Zunoro.

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Church Leaders' meeting convened by His Holiness in an ecumenical spirit in Homs

Fotó: Harout Selimian

The delegation of the Reformed Church in Hungary (RCH) also visited the construction site of the Latakia Community Center supported by the Hungary Helps Agency. This news was originally published on the website of the Syrian Orhodox Patriarchate of Antioch, and reported in the Newsletter of the Middle East Council of Churches.

Rev. Boutros (Peter) Zaour, pastor of Damascus Presbyterian Church in Syria, member of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL), a partner church of RCH, was also invited to the reception. Members of the Hungarian delegation met Rev. Haroutune Selimian, President of the Armenian Protestant Community in Syria, the other Partner Church of RCH in Syria, at the ecumenical meeting of Church leaders convened by the Patriarchate in Homs.

As part of the pilgrimage, the delegation of RCH also paid a visit in Beirut at the headquarters of its Partner Churches in Syria and Lebanon; the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon and the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East on 11 and 12 January to be reported soon.

The delegation included Bishop Balog, András Gér, General Secretary of RCH and Dóra Appel, head of the Bishop's secretariat.

You can read more about the solidarity with Christians in Syria here.