Shimun XIX Benyamin

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Benyamin XIX Shimun
His Holiness
Mar Benyamin Shimun.jpg
Mar Shimun XIX Benyamin on or before 1913
Church Assyrian Church of the East
Diocese Patriarchal Diocese of Qodshanis
See Apostolic See of Seleucia-Ctesiphon
Installed 30 March 1903
Term ended 3 March 1918
Predecessor Mar Shimun XVIII Rouel (1860/1861-1903)
Successor Mar Shimun XX Paulos (1918–1920)
Rank Catholicos-Patriarch
Personal details
Born 1887
Qodshanis, Hakkari, Ottoman Empire
Died 3 March 1918(1918-03-03) (aged 30)
Salmas, Persia
Nationality Assyrian
Denomination Christian, Assyrian Church of the East
Residence Qodshanis, Hakkari, Turkey and later Urmia, Persia
Occupation Cleric

Mar Shimun XIX Benyamin (1887– 3 March 1918) (Syriac: ܡܪܝ ܒܢܝܡܝܢ ܫܡܥܘܢ ܥܣܪܝܢ ܘܩܕܡܝܐ‎) was a Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.


He was born in 1887 in the village of Qochanis in the Hakkari Province, Ottoman Empire (modern-day southeastern Turkey). His paternal uncle and immediate predecessor was Mar Shimun XVIII Rubil, patriarch from 1860 to 1903). His father was Eshai, a brother of Shimun XVIII Rubil, and his mother was Asyat, daughter of Kambar from Iyl. He had six siblings: Isaiah, Zaya, Paulos (who succeeded him as Patriarch), David, Hormizd, Surma.[1] His brother Hormizd was later killed while studying in Istanbul during the Deportation of Armenian intellectuals on 24 April 1915.

He was consecrated a Metropolitan on March 1, 1903 by his uncle, the Catholicos Patriarch, who died on March 16, 1903. He eighteen years old when he succeeded to the position and occupied the patriarchal See of Seleucia-Ctesiphon at Qudchanis for 15 years. In March 1918, Mar Benyamin along with 150 of his bodyguards were assassinated by Simko Shikak (Ismail Agha Shikak), a Kurdish agha, in the town of Salmas (Persia) under a truce flag (see Assyrian Genocide).[2][3]


  • "It is impossible for me and my people to surrender after seeing the atrocities done to my Assyrian people by your government; therefore my brother is one, my people are many, I would rather lose my brother but not my nation."[4]

See also


  1. ^ Shumanov, Vasily. "Mar Binyamin Shimmun". The Lighthouse.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Reforging a Forgotten History: Iraq and the Assyrians in the Twentieth Century by Sargon Donabed. Edinburgh University Press.
  4. ^ Mar Benyamin


  • Baum, Wilhelm; Winkler, Dietmar W. (2003). The Church of the East: A Concise History. London-New York: Routledge-Curzon.
  • Baumer, Christoph (2006). The Church of the East: An Illustrated History of Assyrian Christianity. London-New York: Tauris.
  • Coakley, James F. (1992). The Church of the East and the Church of England: A History of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Coakley, James F. (1996). "The Church of the East since 1914". The Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. 78 (3): 179–198.
  • Wilmshurst, David (2000). The Ecclesiastical Organisation of the Church of the East, 1318–1913. Louvain: Peeters Publishers.
  • Wilmshurst, David (2011). The martyred Church: A History of the Church of the East. London: East & West Publishing Limited.

External links

  • Official site of the Assyrian Church of the East
  • "Patriarchs of the East" at
  • The Invitation of the Patriarch Mar Binyamin at (First-hand account by Malik Daniel Bar Malik Ismail of Mar Benyamin's assassination)
Assyrian Church of the East titles
Preceded by
Mar Shimun XVIII Rubil
Catholicos-Patriarch of the Church of the East
Succeeded by
Mar Shimun XX Paulos

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