Syria Interfering in Assyrian Church Affairs
Posted GMT 6-1-2007 19:17:45
(AINA) -- The Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, based in
Syria, has suspended Archbishop Julius Hanna Aydin of Germany,
according to the EasternStar News Agency. According to Archbishop
Aydin, his suspension is because a powerful block of pro-Syria
bishops in the Church opposes him because he is not a Syrian national.
Archbishop Aydin was one of the founders of the Aramean movement in
Europe, which held that Assyrians are Arameans. This caused a schism
within the Assyrian community and within the church body. Today
Archbishop Aydin his recanted his support for the Aramean movement
and regrets having caused divisions within the Assyrian community.
"Assyrians, Arameans and Chaldeans, no matter what we call ourselves
we are one people and must be united." he says.
According to some Assyrians in Germany, the Syrian secret service
(mukhabarat) has undue influence over bishops in Syria and is
attempting to divide Germany into three different Episcopal sees to
more easily control the Assyrians. Some church officials have stated
that Syria does not want the Assyrians to unite. Archbishop Aydin,
they point out, constituted no threat to the Syrian government and
its representatives within the Syriac Orthodox Church in Germany when
he was an anti-Assyrian. It was when he advocated unity, when he
started building bridges between different groups that he was stopped.