Syriac-Catholic Patriarch of Antioch to Discuss Mideast Refugee Situation and Persecution of Christians

With Pope Francis’ messages of love and mercy still resounding in our ears, the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East for Syriac Catholics, His Beatitude Mar Ignatius Youssef III Younan, will hold a briefing for local New York and New Jersey media to discuss the continuing plight of victims of sectarian and religious persecution in the Middle East. Recalling the centennial of the genocide of Christians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I, this briefing also will focus on the challenges affecting the millions of refugees from the area seeking to escape the violence and establish new lives in Europe and elsewhere.

The briefing will take place on Monday, September 28 at 1:15 p.m. in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 89 Ridge Street, Newark.

A native of Syria, His Beatitude is shepherd of all of Syriac Catholics in an area that has historically been witness to persecution of Christians. From his See in Beirut, the Patriarch looks to the spiritual and physical well-being of some of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Pope Benedict XVI named His Beatitude the Patriarch of Antioch in 2009. Prior to that appointment, he had served as the Bishop of Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Diocese, which embraces all Catholics of the Syriac Rite in the United States and Canada. The diocese is located in Bayonne.

Joining His Beatitude at this media briefing will be: The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark; His Excellency Archbishop Yousif Abba, Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, Iraq, and; His Excellency Mar Barnaba Yousif Habash, current Bishop of Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Diocese.