It is reported that the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox is deliberating on moving its Patriarchate of Antioch from Damascus to either to Switzerland or Netherlands as a result of the present civil war in Syria which inflicted much damage to several of its centers including its Patriarchal palace in Damascus.
The patriarchate which was originally at Antioch (in present Turkey), had been transferred to Mardin, a heavily Syriac/ Aramaic region , called Thurabdeen, after the Muslim expansion in the 8th century. Later it was transferred to Homs, Mosul and other predominantly Syriac centers until it found its relatively secure location in Damascus, where most Antiochian patriarchates of Antioch have their headquarters. Now due to the struggle between the two factions of Muslims in Syria, Christians and their centers have been targets of attack. The Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch in Damascus was also a victim of such attacks. At present only a few monks are left back in the Patriarchate in Damascus. Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I currently lives in Germany, who initially went there for medical treatment.
Let us pray for this ancient Patriarchate and the Syriac Church.