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Assyrian Patriarch Sends Letter to Turkey Regarding Monastery

12/10/08 Turkey (Assyrian International News Agency) – The Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, has sent a letter to the Turkish government regarding the harassment and persecution of St. Gabriel Monastery by Turkish and Kurdish villagers (AINA 12-2-2008, 9-16-2008). The monastery, founded in 397 AD, belongs to the Syriac Orthodox Church.

The plight of the monastery has galvanized the Assyrian community worldwide and drawn the attention of European lawmakers. In Sweden, home to 100,000 Assyrians, two members of parliament issued a statement (AINA 12-9-2008) condemning the harassment and persecution of the monastery and its clerics.

Click here for pictures of the St. Gabriel monastery.