On December 16, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received the keys of the building which the Government of Hungary gave to the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate to administer as a Syriac Center for the period of 50 years. This is the first Syriac Center in Hungary.
His Holiness was accompanied by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
After the official key handling ceremony, His Holiness and the accompanying delegation conducted a blessing service of the center. Following a discussion concerning the support of Hungary to the Christians in the Middle East, the participants were shown around the new center.
Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary personally handed over the keys in the presence of Tristan Azbej, Hungarian State Secretary for the Aid of the Persecuted Christians.
Previously, on 15 December the Patriarch visited the headquarters of the State Secretariate for the Aid of the Persecuted Christians in Budapest.
The Patriarch also visited the chapel at the State Secretariate and prayed the Lord’s prayer in Syriac and asked the Lord to bless the staff of the different offices and grant them success in their important ministry to their persecuted brothers and sisters.
Discussion followed about the different projects that are executed by the cooperation between the Syriac Orthodox Church and the government of Hungary through Hungary Helps Agency.
Speech of His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church at the 2nd International Conference on Persecuted Christians in Budapest, Hungary