Baylor Hosts Panel Discussion on “The Crisis Facing Churches in Iraq and Syria”

Sept. 19, 2014
Abdul Saadi, Ph.D.Abdul Saadi, Ph.D. courtesy photo.

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Contact: Terry Goodrich, Assistant Director of Media Communications, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Sept. 19, 2014) — “The Crisis Facing Churches in Iraq and Syria,” a panel discussion on the plight of Christians amid the conflict in Iraq and Syria, will be held at Miller Chapel in Tidwell Bible Building, 600 Speight Ave., at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23.

The event is free and open to the public.

“We want to give our students and faculty a deeper understanding, not only of the present crisis affecting Christians and others, but also how we might respond as a community,” said D.H. Williams, Ph.D., professor of religion in patristics and historical theology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Speakers will include Abdul Saadi, Ph.D., assistant professor of Arabic in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, whose home is in Syria and who has just returned from that region; the Rev. Jalil Dawood, pastor of the Arabic Bible Church of Dallas; and Mar Awa Royel, bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East, Diocese of California.

Abdul Saadi was born and raised in Syria in an area bordering Turkey and Iraq. He has translated the New Testament into spoken Arabic and spoken Aramaic and completed a book on a Syriac biblical commentary from the ninth century in response to Islamic restricted policy. For the past 15 years, he has made an annual visit the regions of Syria and Turkey.

Jalil Dawood was born in Baghdad to an ethnically Chaldean family with a Syrian Catholic background. He grew up in Iraq during the Saddam Hussein and fled from Iraq in 1982 during the Iraq- Iran war. Jalil became the Pastor of the Arab Church of Dallas era 2007 and is the founder of a Nonprofit Organization called World Refugees Care.

Born and raised in Chicago, Mar Awa Royel is the consecrated Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East for the Diocese of California. Royel also serves as Secretary to the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church and has just returned from Iraq, where many parishioners of his church are now refugees.

The event is hosted by Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning, the Office of Spiritual Life and the department of religion.

For more information, email

by Sarah Czerwinski, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The Institute for Faith and Learning was founded in 1997 to assist Baylor in achieving its mission of integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment, and its goal of becoming a university of the first rank committed to its Baptist and Christian heritage. Since its founding, the Institute has developed several major programs in support of this mission, cultivating high-quality research, sponsoring conferences, mentoring students, and encouraging teaching faithful to the Christian intellectual tradition.

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