It is appropriate to provide a brief overview for our audience who may not be familiar with the Assyrians, the Middle East, or the Eastern Orthodox religion. For clarity, please note that our site does not represent the Church of the East.
The official name of the Church of the East is the Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church of the East. The Apostles, St. Peter, St. Thomas, St. Thaddeus, St. Bartholomew, and St. Mari of the Seventy founded it. King Abgar, sovereign of the little state of Oshroene, with its capital known as Orhai or Edesssa, in the northwest of Mesopotamia, believed in Christ and His mission. As one of the earliest converts, the Assyrian people embraced Christianity in 33 A.D. For these reasons, Assyrians today claim the privilege of joining the Galileans as followers of our Lord in their conversion to the Haymanutha Mshihayta (the faith of the Anointed One). As speakers of the Aramaic language, which was also spoken by Jesus and His apostles, our Liturgy is still said today in that tongue. Likewise, the New Testament and parts of the Old Testament were written in the Aramaic language.
The history of the succession of Patriarchs of the d’Mar Shimun family began in 1318, commencing from the Patriarch Mar Timatheus II in the city of Arbil, northern Iraq. Two reasons prevailed for the establishment of the succession within one family.
In 1975 prior to his assassination Mar Eshai Shimun had already begun working towards reforms for the Church of the East to eliminate this practice and establish an electoral process outside of the d’Mar Shimun family.