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Visiting Speaker - Stephen Griffith

"Twenty Years of Observing the Tur Abdin Syriac Community"

When he became Anglican Chaplain in Syria in 1997, Stephen was asked to report to the British Council of Churches on the condition of the Syrian Orthodox Community in the Turabdin area of south east Turkey where there had been a drop of population over 20 years of about 90%. He continued covering the area after he left Syria in 2002, and was instrumental in forming the Tur Abdin Focus Group which lobbied for protection for the community until 2015. Set in an overwhelmingly Kurdish context, the Syriac Christians of Turabdin have complex relations with the majority, and often find themselves under pressure from the Turkish government and various Kurdish factions. This lecture talks about the community, its dynamics and relationships as well as its astonishing survival.

Event details

Born and educated in north Wales, Stephen Griffith has worked as a priest in a variety of contexts, including a decade in the Middle East and the Caucasus.  He represented the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Heads of the Churches in Lebanon, Syria, Armenia and Georgia.  On returning, he did post-graduate research at Newcastle University on Gertrude Bell's visit to Tur Abdin in 1909.

Stephen_Griffith___09112016.pdfBrochure (565K)


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