Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (krg.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechrivan Barzani yesterday received Mar Gewargis Sliwa, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, and his accompanying delegation of Assyrian bishops from the United States, Canada, Europe, Syria, Iran, and the Kurdistan Region.
The meeting focused on the general situation of Christians in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole, with particular attention on the Assyrian Church of the East and its followers. Mar Gewargis Sliwa summarized the situation of Christians and the activities of the Assyrian Church of the East in cities across the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
Mar Gewargis Sliwa expressed his gratitude for the support of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the direct assistance of Prime Minister Barzani in particular his cooperation in the construction of a church for the people of the Assyrian Church of the East in Erbil.
Mar Gewargis Sliwa and his accompanying delegation expressed their pleasure at the level of peace and stability in the Kurdistan Region. They noted the success of the Peshmerga forces in the fight against terrorism. The vdelegation also commended the Kurdistan Region on its considerable progress and development as noticed by the visiting delegation while consecrating Mar Abris Awshalem as the Bishop for the Assyrian Church of the East in Erbil. He also hoped the situation in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq would improve allowing the return of displaced persons to their homes.
Prime Minister Barzani congratulated the inauguration of Bishop Mar Abris and wished him success in his new role. He also reiterated the KRG’s support for all Christian churches. He commended the decision of the Church of the East to relocate their headquarters from the United States to the Kurdistan Region, despite security threats in the region. He also acknowledged the church’s trust in the Kurdistan Region and its government.
Despite the KRG’s support for Christian IDPs in the Kurdistan Region, Prime Minister Barzani said he supports their return to their homes. In this regard, he reiterated his desire to help them to rebuild their homes.