A former Iraqi refugee, Fr. Ayoob Shawkat Adwar, has become an Anglican priest at a Church in British Columbia, Canada. “The event was a “small but significant piece of history,” says Archdeacon Stephen Rowe, rector of the Anglican Parish of the Church of the Epiphany in Surrey, reports Anglican News.

Adwar is thought to be the first Chaldean priest in history to have become a member of the Anglican clergy. Adwar was ordained as a priest in 2008. His family began to arrive in Canada about five years ago, and Adwar himself followed in 2014, when he was granted refugee status.

Anglicans and Chaldeans at the church started attending each other’s services and learning more about each other’s traditions. Adwar had declared an interest in becoming an Anglican priest, and began a discernment process. Amazingly, he was confirmed as an Anglican in December, 2016

Adwar, who is fluent in both Arabic and modern Aramaic—a Middle Eastern language derived from the language of Jesus—will serve as a curate in the diocese of New Westminster, working with an experienced Anglican priest.

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