Syria’s Greek Orthodox Church enthroned a new patriarch during a ceremonial mass in Damascus on Sunday amid civil war.
John Yazigi, 57, replaces Ignatius Hazim as the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. Hazim died in December.
The inauguration ceremony was held at the Holy Cross Church in Damascus with official and popular participation.
Patriarch Yazigi said “our message is to work together for welfare of humanity, we will pray together to be united…Damascus road leads each straying person, if any.”
He added “We are certain that Syria will find the way of salvation through dialogue and the peaceful political solution as always.”
Patriarch Gregory III Laham of Antioch and All the East for Melkite Catholic said “We will continue working for the Christian-Islamic unity in Syria for ending the crisis and for Syria to remain unified.