A cleric stands near the body of Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church Ignatius Zakka I Iwas at a church in Damascus March 27, 2014. (REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri)
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The patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, who led one of the world's oldest Christian sects, was buried in a village near Damascus Friday after a memorial service in the capital's cathedral.A large banner bearing the patriarch's portrait hung on metal gates at the cathedral's main entrance pledging that Christians will remain in Syria.Iwas, a native of Iraq and a vocal proponent of Christian-Muslim coexistence, has lived in Damascus since he was enthroned as patriarch in 1980 .There are more than 4 million members living in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, although there are also significant communities in Germany, Sweden and the United States.
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