Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
18 September 2015
Michael J.L. La Civita

Assyro-Chaldean Christians attend a liturgy at the cathedral of St. John in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, to commemorate the election of a new catholicos-patriarch.
(photo: Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)

Today, in the Iraqi Kurdistan capital of Erbil, the synod of the Church of the East elected Mar Gewargis Sliwa as the new catholicos-patriarch. The patriarch-elect has served as metropolitan of Iraq since 1981 and succeeds Mar Dinkha IV, who died in March. One of the oldest churches in Christendom, the Church of the East has been centered between the Tigres and Euphrates rivers since receiving the faith from the Apostle Thomas.

After his consecration in Erbil on 27 September, Mar Gewargis III will return the see of the patriarchate to Iraq after a period of exile in the United States.