His Holiness Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, conducted the service of the Installation at St Aphrem Cathedral in Aleppo.
The service included a procession where two archbishops escorted the new archbishop among the people. Then a commendation letter was read proclaiming Mor Boutros Kassis as Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Aleppo and Environs. His Eminence Mor Boutros Kassis delivered a message where he thanked the Lord for his new responsibility.
Seven archbishops from the Syrian Orthodox Church attended.
World Council of Churches (WCC) acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed joy at the installation of H.E. Mor Boutros Kassis, even as Sauca reiterated calls for the release of Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi, who were kidnapped by gunmen on 23 April 2013 when they were on their way back from the Turkish border to their city of Aleppo.
“We pray for these bishops and for all who have been unjustly detained and forcibly disappeared, reduced to silence and oblivion, not only in Syria but throughout the Middle East,” said Sauca. “The archbishops are not forgotten; we continue to appeal for their safe return.”
The WCC 11th Assembly stated that the worldwide ecumenical fellowship has always sought solidarity with the Middle East Christians, who continue an unbroken line of faithful Christian witness in their countries, making vital contributions to the vibrant diversity and development of their societies.
"Upheavals, violent extremism using religion as justification, ongoing military occupations, discrimination and systematic violations of human rights, economic crises and corruption, absence of the rule of law, and other factors have contributed to an existential crisis for all in the region,” the statement reads.