HAVRESK, Iraq—From Aug. 1-8, His Eminence Archbishop Avak Asadourian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Iraq, paid a pastoral visit to the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq, mainly to inspect the work of a new church that is being built in the village of Havresk (Hye Verejh) in the province of Duhok.
On Thurs., Aug. 4, Avak Serpazan traveled to the village of Havresk and met with the residents of the village in the “Levon Pasha” hall. During the meeting, he listened to the villagers and offered some solutions to their concerns.
His Eminence also visited the Armenian communities of Erbil and Duhok cities in a non-official capacity. On Aug. 5, Serpazan Hayr delivered a sermon during the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the St. Nersess Shenorhali Armenian church in Duhok city.
Due to a state of insecurity, especially in Baghdad and Mosul cities since 2003, the Armenian communities in Iraq have been experiencing inner migration, as is the case with other Christian denominations and minorities. As a consequence, a number of Armenians relocated to the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq. Hence, the Armenian Diocese of Iraq is faced with the obligation and Christian duty of building new churches for the faithful.
The new house of worship is being built through a generous donation by the Association of Churches in Germany and Switzerland, with the able coordination of the CAPNI Foundation. The Diocese is appreciative of this Christian act of extending a helping hand.
During his visit, Serpazan supervised the progress of the work and offered details pertaining to arrangements specific to the mother church.
Due to limited funding, the church was not built in an entirely Armenian architectural style. The church is expected to be completed early next year.
His Eminence was accompanied by the parish priests of the churches of Zakho and Duhok, Fr. Artoon Khalatian and Fr. Masis Shahinian, respectively. Also accompanying Serpazan were two parish council members from Erbil.
Returning to Erbil, His Eminence presented his condolences to the families and relatives of two recently departed Armenian men on August 6 and 7 in the community center.