Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in
A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches, associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Some Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state; the word deacon is derived from the Greek word diákonos, a standard ancient Greek word meaning "servant", "waiting-man", "minister", or "messenger". One promulgated speculation as to its etymology is that it means "through the dust", referring to the dust raised by the busy servant or messenger, it is assumed that the office of deacon originated in the selection of seven men by the apostles, among them Stephen, to assist with the charitable work of the early church as recorded in Acts 6. The title deaconess is not found in the Bible. However, one woman, Phoebe, is mentioned at Romans 16:1–2 as a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. Nothing more specific is said about her duties or authority, although it is assumed she carried Paul's Letter to the Romans.
The exact relationship between male and female deacons varies. In some traditions a female deacon is a member of the order of deacons, while in others, deaconesses constitute a separate order. In some traditions, the title "deaconess" was sometimes given to the wife of a deacon. Female deacons are mentioned by Pliny the Younger in a letter to the emperor Trajan dated c. 112. “I believed it was necessary to find out from two female slaves who were called deacons, what was true—and to find out through torture ”This is the earliest Latin text that appears to refer to female deacons as a distinct category of Christian minister. A biblical description of the qualities required of a deacon, of his household, can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1–13. Among the more prominent deacons in history are Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Prominent historical figures who played major roles as deacons and went on to higher office include Athanasius of Alexandria, Thomas Becket, Reginald Pole. On June 8, 536, a serving Roman deacon was raised to Silverius.
The title is used for the president, chairperson, or head of a trades guild in Scotland. The diaconate is one of the major orders in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox churches; the other major orders are those of bishop and presbyter and sub-deacon. While the diaconate as a vocation was maintained from earliest Apostolic times to the present in the Eastern churches, it disappeared in the Western church during the first millennium, with Western churches retaining deacons attached to diocesan cathedrals; the diaconate continued in a vestigial form as a temporary, final step along the course toward ordination to priesthood. In the 20th century, the diaconate was restored as a vocational order in many Western churches, most notably in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the United Methodist Church. In Catholic and Anglican churches, deacons assist priests in their pastoral and administrative duties, but report directly to the bishops of their diocese, they have a distinctive role in the liturgy of the Western Churches.
In the Eastern Church, deacons have a profound liturgical presence in the Divine Liturgy. In the Western Church, Pope St. Gregory the Great reduced the liturgical role of the deacon in the Roman Rite, limiting them to serving the bishop, the proclamation of the Gospel, assisting the celebrant at the altar aside from the deacon's calling of charity. Today, deacons are granted permission to preach. Beginning around the fifth century, there was a gradual decline in the permanent diaconate in the Latin church, it has however remained a vital part of the Eastern Catholic Churches. From that time until the years just prior to the Second Vatican Council, the only men ordained as deacons were seminarians who were completing the last year or so of graduate theological training, so-called "transitional deacons", who received the order after they complete their third year at the theological seminary, several months before priestly ordination. Following the recommendations of the council, in 1967 Pope Paul VI issued the motu proprio Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, restoring the ancient practice of ordaining to the diaconate men who were not candidates for priestly ordination.
These men are known as permanent deacons in contrast to those continuing their formation, who were called transitional deacons. There is no sacramental or canonical difference between the two, however, as there is only one order of deacons; the permanent diaconate formation period in the Roman Catholic Church varies from diocese to diocese as it is determined by the local ordinary. But it entails a year of prayerful preparation, a four- or five-year training period that resembles a collegiate course of study, a year of post-ordination formation as well as the need for lifelong continuing education credits. Diaconal candidates receive instruction in philosophy, study of the Holy Scriptures (
A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They have the authority or power to administer religious rites, their office or position is the priesthood, a term which may apply to such persons collectively. According to the trifunctional hypothesis of prehistoric Proto-Indo-European society, priests have existed since the earliest of times and in the simplest societies, most as a result of agricultural surplus and consequent social stratification; the necessity to read sacred texts and keep temple or church records helped foster literacy in many early societies. Priests exist in many religions today, such as all or some branches of Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, they are regarded as having privileged contact with the deity or deities of the religion to which they subscribe interpreting the meaning of events and performing the rituals of the religion. There is no common definition of the duties of priesthood between faiths.
These include blessing worshipers with prayers of joy at marriages, after a birth, at consecrations, teaching the wisdom and dogma of the faith at any regular worship service, mediating and easing the experience of grief and death at funerals – maintaining a spiritual connection to the afterlife in faiths where such a concept exists. Administering religious building grounds and office affairs and papers, including any religious library or collection of sacred texts, is commonly a responsibility – for example, the modern term for clerical duties in a secular office refers to the duties of a cleric; the question of which religions have a "priest" depends on how the titles of leaders are used or translated into English. In some cases, leaders are more like those that other believers will turn to for advice on spiritual matters, less of a "person authorized to perform the sacred rituals." For example, clergy in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are priests, but in Protestant Christianity they are minister and pastor.
The terms priest and priestess are sufficiently generic that they may be used in an anthropological sense to describe the religious mediators of an unknown or otherwise unspecified religion. In many religions, being a priest or priestess is a full-time position, ruling out any other career. Many Christian priests and pastors choose or are mandated to dedicate themselves to their churches and receive their living directly from their churches. In other cases it is a part-time role. For example, in the early history of Iceland the chieftains were titled goði, a word meaning "priest"; as seen in the saga of Hrafnkell Freysgoði, being a priest consisted of offering periodic sacrifices to the Norse gods and goddesses. In some religions, being a priest or priestess is by human election or human choice. In Judaism the priesthood is inherited in familial lines. In a theocracy, a society is governed by its priesthood; the word "priest", is derived from Greek via Latin presbyter, the term for "elder" elders of Jewish or Christian communities in late antiquity.
The Latin presbyter represents Greek πρεσβύτερος presbúteros, the regular Latin word for "priest" being sacerdos, corresponding to ἱερεύς hiereús. It is possible that the Latin word was loaned into Old English, only from Old English reached other Germanic languages via the Anglo-Saxon mission to the continent, giving Old Icelandic prestr, Old Swedish präster, Old High German priast. Old High German has the disyllabic priester, priestar derived from Latin independently via Old French presbtre. Αn alternative theory makes priest cognate with Old High German priast, from Vulgar Latin *prevost "one put over others", from Latin praepositus "person placed in charge". That English should have only the single term priest to translate presbyter and sacerdos came to be seen as a problem in English Bible translations; the presbyter is the minister who both presides and instructs a Christian congregation, while the sacerdos, offerer of sacrifices, or in a Christian context the eucharist, performs "mediatorial offices between God and man".
The feminine English noun, was coined in the 17th century, to refer to female priests of the pre-Christian religions of classical antiquity. In the 20th century, the word was used in controversies surrounding the women ordained in the Anglican communion, who are referred to as "priests", irrespective of gender, the term priestess is considered archaic in Christianity. In historical polytheism, a priest administers the sacrifice to a deity in elaborate ritual. In the Ancient Near East, the priesthood acted on behalf of the deities in managing their property. Priestesses in antiquity performed sacred prostitution, in Ancient Greece, some priestesses such as Pythia, priestess at Delphi, acted as oracles. Sumerian en were top-ranking priestesses who were distinguished with special ceremonial attire and held equal status to high priests, they owned property, transacted business, initiated the hieros gamos with priests and kings. Enheduanna was the first known holder of the title en. Nadītu served as priestesses in the temples of Inanna in the city of Uruk.
They were recruited from the highest families in the land and were supposed to remain childless, own
Louis Raphaël I Sako
Louis Raphaël I Sako is a Cardinal, is the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and head of the Chaldean Catholic Church at his election on 1 February 2013. Pope Francis made him a cardinal on 28 June 2018. Sako was born in the city of Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan, he comes from a Chaldean Christian family that has roots in a religious community that has had a presence in the city of his birth since the 5th century AD. Before he was consecrated bishop, Sako had demanded to see President Saddam Hussein after the Iraqi Government refused to allow him to teach religious education. Saddam refused his request but Sako responded by doing a separate doctorate and, because it had little religious content, the Government gave him his teaching licence, which enabled him to teach the subject. On 1 February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI granted him ecclesiastica communio which the leaders of the Eastern-rite Catholic churches seek as a sign of their unity with the wider Catholic church. Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako speaks Chaldean, French, English and Arabic.
Sako was ordained a priest on 1 June 1974 for the Chaldean Archeparchy of Mosul. After his election and subsequent confirmation in 2003 he was consecrated the Chaldean Catholic Archeparch of Kirkuk on 27 September 2003, he was elected to the position by a synod of bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church on 24 October 2002. He was awarded the Defensor Fidei prize in 2008 and in 2010, he was awarded the International Pax Christi Award. In August 2009, at the beginning of Ramadan, Sako sent out an appeal for national peace and end to violence along with other religious leaders in Kirkuk. Archeparch Sako explained." We are all brothers, sons of the same God we must respect and cooperate for the good of the people and our country. " "Iraq – said Msgr. Sako – needs reconciliation and dialogue”; the participants included representatives of Ali Sistani and Muqtada al Sadr. Sako has stated that he would go against a centuries-old tradition of wearing the traditional Chaldean head cover "shash"; the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church, convoked in Rome on 28 January 2013, elected him to succeed Emmanuel III Delly as Patriarch of Babylon.
Sako chose Louis Raphael I as his regnal name. In July 2014 Sako led a wave of condemnation for the Sunni Islamists who demanded Christians either convert, submit to their radical rule and pay a religious levy or face death by the sword. At the Vatican, Pope Francis decried what he said was the persecution of Christians in the birthplace of their faith, while U. N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Islamic State's actions could constitute a crime against humanity. Hundreds of Christian families left Mosul ahead of the ultimatum, many of them stripped of their possessions as they fled for safety, they formed the remnants of a community which once numbered in the tens of thousands and traced its presence in Mosul to the earliest years of Christianity. In September 2014 Sako said “The U. S. is indirectly responsible for what is going on in Iraq as it said it would ensure democracy and the well-being of the people, but 10 years have passed and on the contrary we have gone backward,” Sako told reporters at Beirut's airport.
He was responding to a question following remarks attributed to him in the local daily Ad-Diyar in which he accused the U. S. of supporting ISIS. Sako had criticized Muslim countries for lack of support. “Our Muslim neighbours did not help us,” he said, as he urged Muslim preachers to issue a religious ruling against the killing of all innocent people. “Issuing a fatwa preventing Muslims from killing fellow Muslims is not enough,” Sako said. In October 2014, Sako suspended 10 priests that fled Iraq after they refused an order to return to the country; the priests, including Fr. Noel Gorgis, who has lived in the United States for 20 years, appealed to Pope Francis for relief from the order. In January 2015, Pope Francis granted permission to the 10 to remain in the United States. Patriarch Sako renewed his order despite the Pope's decision. In 2015, Sako proposed a "merger" or reunion of his own Chaldean Catholic Church with the Ancient Church of the East and the Assyrian Church of the East to create one united "Church of the East" with a single patriarch in union with the Pope.
His proposal would have involved both his own resignation and that of Mar Addai II, followed by a joint synod of all of the bishops of all three churches to elect a new patriarch for the reunited Church of the East. On 14 November 2015, the Synod of Bishops announced that Pope Francis had named him as one of his three appointments to that body's council. Pope Francis made Sako a cardinal bishop in a consistory on 28 June 2018. Cardinals created by Francis Chaldean Catholics Chabot, Jean-Baptiste. Synodicon orientale ou recueil de synodes nestoriens. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale. "Sako Card. Louis Raphaël I". Sala Stampa della Santa Sede. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018
In some Christian churches, a reader is responsible for reading aloud excerpts of scripture at a liturgy. In early Christian times the reader was of particular value due to the rarity of literacy. In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the term "lector" or "reader" can mean someone who in a particular liturgy is assigned to read a Biblical text other than the Gospel, but it has the more specific meaning of a person, "instituted" as a lector or reader, is such when not assigned to read in a specific liturgy. This is the meaning. In this sense, the office was classed as one of the four minor orders and in recent centuries was conferred only on those preparing for ordination to the priesthood. With effect from 1 January 1973, the apostolic letter Ministeria quaedam of 15 August 1972 decreed instead that: What up to now were called minor orders are henceforth to be called ministries. Ministries may be assigned to lay Christians. Two ministries, adapted to present-day needs, are to be preserved in the whole Latin Church, those of reader and acolyte.
The functions heretofore assigned to the subdeacon are entrusted to the reader and the acolyte... The reader is appointed for a function proper to him, that of reading the word of God in the liturgical assembly. Accordingly, he is to proclaim the readings from sacred Scripture, except for the gospel in the Mass and other sacred celebrations, he may insofar as may be necessary, take care of preparing other faithful who are appointed on a temporary basis to read the Scriptures in liturgical celebrations. That he may more fittingly and fulfill these functions, he is to meditate assiduously on sacred Scripture. Aware of the office he has undertaken, the reader is to make every effort and employ suitable means to acquire that warm and living love and knowledge of Scripture that will make him a more perfect disciple of the Lord. Canon 1035 of the Code of Canon Law requires candidates for diaconal ordination to have received and have exercised for an appropriate time the ministries of lector and acolyte and prescribes that institution in the second of these ministries must precede by at least six months ordination as a deacon.
Instituted lectors, who are all men, are obliged, when proclaiming the readings at Mass, to wear an alb. Others who perform the function of lector, but who are not instituted in the ministry of lector, are neither required nor forbidden by universal law of the Latin Church to wear an alb: "During the celebration of Mass with a congregation a second priest, a deacon, an instituted reader must wear the distinctive vestment of their office when they go up to the ambo to read the word of God; those who carry out the ministry of reader just for the occasion or regularly but without institution may go to the ambo in ordinary attire, but this should be in keeping with the customs of the different regions." Like other lay ministers, they may wear an alb or "other suitable attire, legitimately approved by the Conference of Bishops". Neither the England and Wales episcopal conference nor that of the United States has specified a particular alternative attire. While in the dioceses of the United States of America, a cassock and surplice may be worn as "appropriate and dignified clothing"The General Instruction of the Roman Missal speaks as follows of those who, without being lectors in the specific sense, carry out their functions at Mass: "In the absence of an instituted lector, other lay people may be deputed to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture, people who are suited to carrying out this function and prepared, so that by their hearing the readings from the sacred texts the faithful may conceive in their hearts a sweet and living affection for Sacred Scripture."The General Instruction thus makes no distinction between men and women for proclaiming the scriptural readings in the absence of an instituted lector.
In its sections the same document lists the lector's specific duties at Mass. Traditionalist Catholic organizations such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney are authorized to use the pre-1973 rite for their members who receive the office of lector; the Society of St. Pius X and other traditionalist Catholic bodies in dispute with the Holy See, such as sedevacantists, use it without seeking authorization. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in the Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine tradition, the reader is the second highest of the minor orders of clergy; this order is lower than the subdeacon. The reader's essential role is to read the Old Testament lessons and the Epistle lessons during the Divine Liturgy and other services, as well as to chant the Psalms and the verses of the Prokimen and certain antiphons and other hymns during the divine services. Due to this fact, it falls to the reader within a parish to construct the variable parts of the divine services according to the very compl
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis. The term referred to the bishop of the chief city of a historical Roman province, whose authority in relation to the other bishops of the province was recognized by the First Council of Nicaea; the bishop of the provincial capital, the metropolitan, enjoyed certain rights over other bishops in the province called suffragan bishops. The term is applied in a similar sense to the bishop of the chief episcopal see of an ecclesiastical province; the head of such a metropolitan see has the rank of archbishop and is therefore called the metropolitan archbishop of the ecclesiastical province. Metropolitan bishops preside over synods of the bishops of their ecclesiastical province, are granted special privileges by canon law and tradition. In some churches, such as the Church of Greece, a metropolis is a rank granted to all episcopal sees, their bishops are all called the title of archbishop being reserved for the primate.
See also: Catholic Church hierarchy and Diocesan bishop In the Latin Church, an ecclesiastical province, composed of several neighbouring dioceses, is headed by a metropolitan, the archbishop of the diocese designated by the Pope. The other bishops are known as suffragan bishops; the metropolitan's powers over dioceses other than his own are limited to supervising observance of faith and ecclesiastical discipline and notifying the Supreme Pontiff of any abuses. The metropolitan has the liturgical privilege of celebrating sacred functions throughout the province, as if he were a bishop in his own diocese, provided only that, if he celebrates in a cathedral church, the diocesan bishop has been informed beforehand; the metropolitan is obliged to request the pallium, a symbol of the power that, in communion with the Church of Rome, he possesses over his ecclesiastical province. This holds if he had the pallium in another metropolitan see, it is the responsibility of the metropolitan, with the consent of the majority of the suffragan bishops, to call a provincial council, decide where to convene it, determine the agenda.
It is his prerogative to preside over the provincial council. No provincial council can be called. All Latin Rite metropolitans are archbishops. Titular archbishops are never metropolitans; as of April 2006, 508 archdioceses were headed by metropolitan archbishops, 27 archbishops lead an extant archdiocese, but were not metropolitans, there were 89 titular archbishops. See Catholic Church hierarchy for the distinctions. In those Eastern Catholic Churches that are headed by a patriarch, metropolitans in charge of ecclesiastical provinces hold a position similar to that of metropolitans in the Latin Church. Among the differences is that Eastern Catholic metropolitans within the territory of the patriarchate are to be ordained and enthroned by the patriarch, who may ordain and enthrone metropolitans of sees outside that territory that are part of his Church. A metropolitan has the right to ordain and enthrone the bishops of his province; the metropolitan is to be commemorated in the liturgies celebrated within his province.
A major archbishop is defined as the metropolitan of a certain see who heads an autonomous Eastern Church not of patriarchal rank. The canon law of such a Church differs only from that regarding a patriarchal Church. Within major archiepiscopal churches, there may be ecclesiastical provinces headed by metropolitan bishops. There are autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches consisting of a single province and headed by a metropolitan. Metropolitans of this kind are to obtain the pallium from the Pope as a sign of his metropolitan authority and of his Church's full communion with the Pope, only after his investment with it can he convoke the Council of Hierarchs and ordain the bishops of his autonomous Church. In his autonomous Church it is for him to ordain and enthrone bishops and his name is to be mentioned after that of the Pope in the liturgy. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the title of metropolitan is used variously, in terms of rank and jurisdiction. In terms of rank, in some Eastern Orthodox Churches metropolitans are ranked above archbishops in precedence, while in others that order is reversed.
Primates of autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches below patriarchal rank are designated as archbishops. In the Greek Orthodox Churches, archbishops are ranked above metropolitans in precedence; the reverse is true for some Slavic Orthodox Churches and for Romanian Orthodox Church, where metropolitans rank above archbishops and the title can be used for important regional or historical sees. In terms of jurisdiction, there are two basic types of metropolitans in Eastern Orthodox Church: real metropolitans, with actual jurisdiction over their ecclesiastical provinces, honorary metropolitans who
Mar Dinkha IV, born Dinkha Khanania, was the Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. He was born in the village of Darbandokeh and lead the Church in exile in Chicago for most of his life. Dinkha Khanania was born in Iraq and baptized in the Church of Mar Qaryaqos located in the village of his birth, Darbandokeh. Khanania gained his elementary education under the tutorship of Benyamin Soro. In 1947—at the age of eleven—he was entrusted to the care of Mar Yousip Khnanisho and the Patriarchal representative for all Iraq, the second-highest-ranking ecclesiastic of the Assyrian Church of the East. After two years of study, he was ordained deacon in the church of Mar Youkhana in Harir by Mar Yousip on 12 September 1949. On 15 July 1957, he was ordained to the priesthood, appointed to minister Urmia, Iran, he was the fourth in the line of succession to the Bishopric of Urmia. Dinkha's priesthood as Metropolitan of Iran and Tehran reestablished a line of succession which had ceased to exist after the 1915 assassination of his predecessor.
In 1962, Dinkha moved from northern Iraq to Tehran. During his tenure in Iran, he established a seminary and advocated for Assyrian nationalism and ecumenism. Responding to popular demand, Catholicos-Patriarch Shimun XXI Eshai consecrated Khananya as bishop on 11 February 1962, in the church of Martyr Mar Gewargis in Tehran. Dinkha died on 26 March 2015 in Minnesota. After the assassination of Mar Eshai Shimun XXI, the Church of the East had an urgent need to restore its leadership. In 1976, the prelates of the church convened in London to elect a new Catholicos Patriarch and chose Dinkha as the most qualified candidate to fill the post, he was consecrated on 17 October 1976, in the West London Church of St. Barnabas, Ealing. With this consecration, Mar Dinkha IV became the successor to the Apostolic see of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, he announced that the hereditary line of succession for the Patriarchy which had existed for 500 years was discontinued with his tenure, allowing any cleric from the Church of the East to be elevated to Catholicos-Patriarch.
Dinkha established headquarters—along with four other houses of worship—in Chicago, United States, in part due to the instability of the Iran–Iraq War. This conflict as well as Saddam Hussein's policy of Arabization in Iraq, the Gulf War and subsequent sanctions against Iraq intensified the Assyrian diaspora from the region. Meanwhile, the Islamic Revolution and Shi'a emphasis in Iran created a tense situation for Assyrians in the Middle East. During the reign of Shimun XXI and Dinkha IV, American membership in the Church of the East rose from 3,200 in the 1950s to 100,000 in 2008. In 2005, the Patriarch conducted discussions with President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani on returning to the Apostolic See in northern Iraq and constructing a new residence in Ankawa. On 15 July 2007, Mar Dinkha celebrated 50 years of his priesthood. A ceremony was held at St. George Cathedral in Chicago, where a portion of Ashland Avenue was renamed "His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV Blvd". In 2008, he received an honorary degree from the University of Chicago, in part because of his emphasis on education—he stated a goal of only appointing theologians with doctoral degrees to the position of bishop.
Dinkha made ecumenism a priority during his reign, as well as advocacy for the Assyrian people. Dinkha promoted closer relations with the Catholic Church, both with the Vatican and the Chaldean Catholic Church; the two continued to meet informally over the next decade. After a decision by the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East to have better relations with the Roman Catholic Church in 1994, Dinkha agreed to a Joint Christological Declaration with the Holy See; the "Common Christological Declaration Between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East" declares that it is " basic step on the way towards the full communion to be restored between their Churches. On 29 November 1996, Dinkha signed an agreement of cooperation with the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldean Catholic Church—Raphael I Bidawid—in Southfield and met again on 16 August 1997, to bless an Assyrian church; this "Joint Synodal Decree for Promoting Unity" established a Joint Commission for Unity which helped draft the 2001 "Guidelines for Admission to the Eucharist between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East" that allows Assyrians and Chaldeans to accept the Eucharist from one another.
The prior year and Roman Catholics produced "A Common Statement on Sacramental Life" that assessed the importance of sacraments in both churches. Assyrians have been allowed to study at Baghdad's Chaldean Catholic College and unmarried deacons and priests can study at Catholic universities in Rome; the Church of the East has been a member of the World Council of Churches since its 1948 inception and Dinkha used this membership as a vehicle for bi- and multi-lateral ecumenism that would have been impossible prior to its inception. In 1984, the Assyrian Church applied for membership in the Middle East Council of Churches, but was denied due to objections by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, whose Patriarch, Pope Shenouda III, required the Church of the East to condemn its Church Fathers Diodore of T