Photo: Josef Aslan, http://soku.org
H.E. Mor Dioscoros Benyamin Atas was born on 3rd January 1964 in Bakisyan, Turkey. He was raised in a very religious and pious atmosphere by his God-fearing parents. At a very young age he started studying Syriac in the local church school; he was also very active in church services then. His elementary education was in the local village school from where he learned the basics of Turkish language.
During this period he had an intuition that somebody is calling him to accept the monk life. But his parents discouraged him then thinking he is too young to become a monk. The family later immigrated to Sweden. His education continued in a Swedish school which helped him to learn Swedish language and also to get in touch with the local culture. Being a very ambitious and intelligent student, he obtained high grades in school. During these days he also studied Syriac under priest Melke Yilmaz.
Yet again in his early twenties, H.E. felt the calling of the monklife. His parents, who understood the aspirations of their son, helped him to join the Saint Ephrem monastery in Netherlands. In 1986 he was accepted at the monastery as a novice by the archbishop Mor Julius Yeshu`Çiçek. Staying there, H.E. began the study of religion and continued his Syriac studies with brother Said Cakici who worked a lot with him in spiritual matters. H.E. gained trust of the brothers in the monastery; in 1988 he stepped in to the holy monk life as per the request of His Holiness Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. The ceremony took place in the Saint Ephrem monastery, led by the archbishop H.E. Mor Julius Yeshu`Çiçek.
In 1989 H.E. Mor Dioscoros Benyamin Atas was ordained a priest. As a priest he was deeply involved in looking after the spiritual needs of the diocese where he preached the faithful, the Christian teachings and the true faith. He also inspired the faithful, irrespective being young or old, to study the Syriac language. When the Syriac letters were available on computers, H.E. started to write books, some of which were published later. During these days he studied German and English languages also. Later he went to U.S.A for three years to have his theological studies in a Roman Catholic university in New Jersey. While in U.S.A he served the church assemblies in Washington, New York, Chicago, Florida and New Jersey.
In 1995 he headed for the patriarchate in Syria on the request of His Holiness the Patriarch. Being in the patriarchate H.E. was dressed with the holy cross and sent to the new diocese in Sweden as a substitute.
The year after that, on February 11, 1996, H.E was consecrated Metropolitan by His Holiness the Patriarch and was appointed as the Patriarchal-Vicariate for the Archdiocese of Sweden.
Below are some important dates in H.E. Metropolitan's spiritual progress and consecrations:
1984: Consecrated to kuroyo (second degree diacon) by H.E. Timotheos Aboodi.
1986: Consecrated to afodiaqno (third degree deacon) by His Holiness the Patriarch.
1988: Consecrated to monk by H.E.Mor Julius Yeshu`Çiçek.
1989: Ordained by H.E.Mor Julius Yeshu`Çiçek.
1995: Dressed with the holy cross by His Holiness the Patriarch.
1996: Consecrated Bishop by His Holiness the Patriarch for the diocese in Sweden
Kolo Suryoyo (1993) nr. 92.