On October 15, 2023, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II consecrated St. Aphrem Church in Istanbul.
His Beatitude Sahag II, Armenian Orthodox Patriarch of Istanbul, His Eminence Archbishop Apostol Danieladis, representative of His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, His Excellency Levon Zekiyan Armenian Catholic Bishop of Istanbul, were present. The Mayor of Great Istanbul Mr. Akram Imamoglu was also present and congratulated the Syriac leadership and community on the new church.
During the consecration, His Holiness was assisted by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Philoxenus Yusuf Cetin, Patriarchal Vicar of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Patriarchal Advisor, Mor Timotheos Samuel Aktas, Archbishop of Turabdin, Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Dionysius Issa Gurbuz, Patriarchal Vicar of Switzerland and Austria, Mor Philoxenus Saliba Ozmen, Archbishop of Mardin, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Julius Hanna Aydin, Director of External Relations in Germany, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Chrysostomos Youhanna Ghassaly, Patriarchal Vicar of Argentina, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, and Mor Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Assistant.
His Holiness and the Archbishops proceeded with the prayers of the consecration and anointed the altar and side walls with the Holy Myron.
In his speech, His Eminence Mor Philoxenus Yusuf Cetin thanked His Holiness for the great historical event of the consecration of this new church. He spoke about the different stages of the edification, mentioning the great support received to be able to accomplish the construction of this church.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the importance of this new church which is the first church to be built in the Republic of Turkiye since its establishment. In fact, it is the first church to be built in more than 150 years and he thanked all those who facilitated and contributed to its construction. He explained how the church was consecrated and became the house of God where we come to pray and meet the Lord.