His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Newly Elected Patriarch of Assyrian Church of the East: Strong Voice for All Middle Eastern Christians
HG Mar Awa, Bishop of California has been elected as the 122nd Catholicos-Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East. Congratulations, Qassy.
On November 30, 2008, David Royel was elevated to the rank of Bishop, taking the name Mar Awa Royel. He is the first American-born Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East, now also the first American-born Patriarch of the ancient church.
As Bishop, Mar Awa has made many attempts to raise awareness of the plight of the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.
In September 2014, he spoke at the inaugural In Defense of Christians Summit in Washington DC.
On March 9, 2015, Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications met with Mar Awa as well as Mar Paulus Benjamin. Together, the Bishops briefed Rhodes on the dire situation facing Christian communities in Iraq and Syria. They also discussed the crisis along the Khabour River in northeastern Syria, where the terrorist organization ISIL had attacked in late February 2015. The attack led to thousands of displaced people, and a hostage crisis.
Rhodes condemned ISIL’s targeting of religious minorities, and outlined the US Administration’s plan to protect and aid the civilians impacted by the terrorist organization.
We extend our warmest congratulations to Patriarch Mar Awa Royel. We are very happy that another one of our churches has chosen as their leader, an advocate for all Christians of the Middle East.