Erbil – The new Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East will be called Mar Gewargis Sliwa III, and the liturgical ceremony for his inauguration will be held in Erbil on 27 September. He succeeds Mar Dinkha IV, who died in March in the USA, after a patriarchal mandate which lasted 39 years.
The Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East chose its new Patriarch on September 16. Mar Gewargis Sliwa, former Metropolitan of Iraq, Jordan and Russia, was the only Assyrian Metropolitan still residing in Iraq. The patriarchal Assyrian seat, following the exile of Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, left the Middle East in 1933 and since 1940 has been established in Chicago, in the United States. Since 2006 the project of building a patriarchal residence in Erbil has begun, which is still being carried out today and there are rumors about a possible transfer of the patriarchal seat in the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Gewargis Sliwa was born on 23 November 1941 in Habbaniya, Iraq. He completed his studies first in Baghdad and then in the USA. He was ordained a priest in June 1980, and Metropolitan Archbishop for Iraq in 1981.