Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land

The Patriarch Sophronius and the ‘Omarite Covenant

Events in Jerusalem A.D. 638, when Patriarch Sophronius met Caliph ‘Omar.

Dr. Geries Khoury

Public lecture at the Swedish Christian Study Centre

Thursday 28th of May, 2015
Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem


At the invitation of the Swedish Christian Center in Jerusalem, Dr. Geries S. Khoury lectured on the life of Sophronius and the many challenges facing him before and after his election as Patriarch of Jerusalem focusing as well on Al-Liqa’s 2015 publication titled “Sophronius: Book of Evidence on Confirming Faith” by Dr. Geries S. Khoury. The author’s study and critical edition of Sophronius’ life, works and Omar’s Covenant was a major focus of Dr. Geries’ lecture. Sophronius and Jerusalem were besieged by Muslim forces. This led the Patriarch to call for reconciliation on the condition that Caliph Omar himself should come to Jerusalem to speak with him. As a result Omar’s Covenant was drawn up. Clearly Omar’s actions reflected a man of honor with a strong faith. The Covenant guaranteed the rights and freedoms of all Christians. Dr. Geries reiterated the importance of the Covenant in laying the foundation of Christian Muslim encounters and dialogs throughout history.

Dr. Geries pointed out that there were some caliphs and governors who did not respect Omar’s Covenant or Christians’ holy places. Some even aggressed against Muslims. At the end of the lecture, a question and an answer session took place. International visitors, academicians and local Christians and Muslims attended this gathering.