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Timothaus Mar Shallita

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Name  Timothaus Shallita

Timothaus Mar Shallita

Timothaus Mar Shallita Youwala (born 1936) is Archbishop of the Ancient Holy Apostolic Catholic Church of the East for Germany and all Europe. He currently resides in Mainz-Kastel, Germany.



Archbishop Timothaus Mar Shallita Youwala was born July 14, 1936 in Barwari Bala, Iraq in the village of Galja where the church of Mar Qayoma is situated. Many bishops of the Mar Youalla family, which has served the Church of the East for over four hundred years, have emerged from there. He was consecrated a Deacon on September 3, 1954 in the village of Harir, Iraq, by Metropolitan Mar Yosip Khnanisho, the uncle of Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII. After the death of Bishop Mar Yalda Yawallaha in 1950, two nephews were to qualify for succession; Andreos and Shallita. After a vacancy of six years, Metropolitan Mar Yosip Khanisho and Patriarchal representative in Iraq decided to consecrate Andreos as bishop on July 14, 1957. Mar Andreos served as bishop until his death in June 1973.

Shallita and his supporters did not accept this decision as Andreos was younger than Shallita. In protest of the decision, Shallita and his supporters joined the Syriac Orthodox Church. Consequently, Timothaus Mar Shallita was consecrated Archbishop in the church St. Petrus and Paulus in Beirut, Lebanon, by Patriarch Ignatius Ya`qub III on October 23, 1958. Participants to the ceremony were Archbishop Mar Paulus from Iraq, Archbishop Bahnnan from Lebanon, Bishop Paulus from Jerusalem and the current Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church Zakka I Iwas, a former secretary and monk. Over 2000 guests attended the consecration, Camille Chamoun, the president of Lebanon, being one of them. Timotheus Mar Shallita was welcomed into communion, but did not join the Holy Synod of the church.

Timothaus Mar Shallita returned from Lebanon to Iraq in 1958. At that time, King Faissal II had been murdered by General Kassim and the former monarchy called itself a republic. He met with General Kassim, who had taken over power and had also murdered the Prime Minister Nuri-Es-Said, to demand freedom of speech and press. After this, the archbishop gave a speech in Aramaic and Arabic which was broadcast on the Radio and Television in Baghdad.

From Baghdad he returned to Barwari-Bala. Three years later, the conflict between the Kurds and the Iraqi government began, which caused Mar Shallita to temporarily leave to Mosul in 1963, later relocating to the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus. There he met Patriarch Ignatius Ya`qub III, who contacted the World Council of Churches in Geneva on his behalf. Almost immediately, representatives of the Evangelical Church in Germany invited the Archbishop to come to Darmstadt. There he arrived in 1967 and attended evening school to learn German. Shallita later left the Syrian Orthodox Church In 1969 and entered into communion with the Ancient Church of the East based in Baghdad. However, he did not join the Holy Synod until 1995 and was officially recognised as Metropolitan of Germany and Europe.

This entailed the foundation of new Assyrian communities in Europe. An example is the opening of the St. Georges church in Joenkopings, Sweden, where Timothaus Mar Shallita attended the opening ceremony. Furthermore, he has consecrated an Archpriest, Khoshaba M. Georges, in London and a priest, Jacob Warda, in Denmark, a priest, Oz Sabri, in Marseilles along with eleven deacons all over Europe. On June 8, 1997 the cornerstone ceremony for the church Mar Shallita in Los Angeles took place. President Emanuel Bet Maleck, Sarkis Mikkael Fard, Mr. David S. Younan and the whole community of Los Angeles were attending this joyful ceremony.

At the time when Archbishop Timothaus Mar Shallita was consecrated, there was only a small division. But today, a huge split has emerged, caused by the fact that two patriarchs claim to lead one Assyrian church and people. Nevertheless, Timothaus Mar Shallita, who disapproves of the division into two parts, has tried to unite the church and the people by negotiating with both Patriarchs.

Timothaus Mar Shallita speaks Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Arabic, Kurdish, German and English.

Refugee Aid

For many years Assyrian refugees have been writing to Timothaus Mar Shallita in search for help from persecution. In 1978, the archbishop lived in the monastery of Pandely in Greece for a few months where he supported about 8000 Assyrians who had fled to Greece with the help of the United Nations and the Red Cross. He had talked to the Greek government beforehand in order to arrange possible housing and working places for the refugees, who not only fled from Iraq but also from Iran, Lebanon and Syria.

In 1983 he headed to Italy, again to support the approximately 2000 refugees and to improve their situation. Thereafter, he went to France to continue his mission. In 1991 he arrived in Turkey to visit the ten Assyrian refugees camps accompanied by staff members of the UNHCR. Silopi was one of these camps. Before his arrival, Timothaus Mar Shallita had received a list with the name of over 40000 refugees, asking him for help. While visiting all of the camps, he informed himself about their situation. Afterwards, he talked to the Turkish administration and succeeded in gathering the Assyrian refugees into two camps instead of ten and also insisting on accommodation in houses and no longer in tents for he worried about the health and the lives of the weaker and older refugees as the harsh East Anatolian winter was not far away.

After this problem was addressed, he started negotiations with the ambassadors of many nations. Months before his travel to Turkey, Timothaus Mar Shallita had already informed them about the situation of the Assyrians including the Chaldeans by introducing for the first time this ethnic minority, for most countries did not know that the Assyrians still existed. In these negotiations, he succeeded in talks and thousands of Assyrians were admitted as refugees in European countries.


  • Verena Fehlmann-Meyer "Church of the East in Europe and America"
  • Writings by Prof. Dr. Donart and Dr. Transchuk
  • Summaries by Sabine Juli
  • References

    Timothaus Mar Shallita Wikipedia