The Ancient Syrian Orthodox Church “Mor Efrem”, the first in the history of the Republic of Turkey, whose foundation stone was laid with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2019, will be opened with a ceremony on October 8, Sunday, reports Anadolu.
Regarding the opening of the church, built in a place where there is a Latin Catholic Cemetery in the Yeşilköy district of Istanbul, the head of the Istanbul Syriac Kadim Foundation Sait Susin, expressed that they are very excited.
Announcing that the process of building the church has lasted for 10 years, Susin said that 7 years have passed through certain formalities and procedures.
He recalled that the foundation stone of the church was laid by President Erdoğan in 2019. “We were going to open on February 19, but the earthquakes of February 6 stopped us. It was a great pain for the country. It was out of the question to open in a such an environment. Then came Ramadan, Eid. The opening was left for Sunday. Inshallah, on Sunday again with the participation of our president, we will realize the opening. Of course, we are very excited, very happy,” he said.
According to him, all the Assyrians in the world have followed the process with emotions and among them there are also those who want to be found in the opening. “We receive a lot of calls. This is also a prestige for our country. It is a good message for our country against prejudice from outside. May it be good for our country, for us and for everyone. I hope that the prayers that will be offered here will be useful for increasing the unity and solidarity of our country”, said Susin.
Susin said that at the opening there will be a representative of the Patriarchate as well as a wide participation from inside and outside the country.
During the opening, Susin explains, there will also be participation from state officials, while the community will be accepted on the upper floor of the church, and in the church 750 people can sit and worship at the same time.
He added that the church will largely meet their needs, as they do not own any other land. Susin said the first service, which they call the “blessing of the church,” will be held on Sunday after the opening.
One floor, out of a total of five floors of the church, was allocated to the cultural hall, where the community will gather after the service, where ceremonies such as baptisms, funerals and weddings will be held, as well as meetings and conferences.
The church also includes the metropolitan area, guest rooms and parking lot.
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