The Syriac Orthodox communion consists in Oldenzaal (August 2007) of approximately 120 families. Including 100 families from Oldenzaal come himself and another 20 families from nearby villages such as Ootmarsum and Denekamp. The community is under the spiritual guidance of Abuna Hanna Basut, from the village Kafro Gelayto (Upper Kafro) in Tur Abdin in southeastern Turkey. Before 2001 the church services were held in the building next to the present church. The construction of the church was completed in 2001 and the church services are held from Easter 2001 in Mor Shemgun Zeyte – of St. Simon of Olives – Church. On 1 June 2004 the church was by His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakay I Beth Iwas consecrated. The original church had no community hall, even though there is a great need was. The land was bought and built next to the church. The community hall for memorial services, celebrations and meeting and teaching rooms was opened in 2004.
St. Simon van de Olijven
St. Simon of Olives was the bishop of Harran from 700 to 734. He was born in Habsenas in Tur Abdin in the southeast of Turkey and by his parents entrusted to the monastery of Mor Shemgun of Qartmin. As a child he was saved miraculously from death when he was a crowd under the foot was run at the funeral of the famous Gabriel abbot of the monastery of Qartmin. As bishop of Harran he made in a compassionate manner using a treasure discovered by his cousin David by it to finance a number of development projects; one was planting 12,000 olive trees that eventually were met throughout the demand for oil from all the churches and monasteries of Tur Abdin. Because he was on good terms with the Muslim governor of Nisibis he could restore some churches in Nisibis; In addition, he built a mosque and school for the Muslim population of the city. He also arranged copying manuscripts (found at his death there are 180 copies in its library). Also, a number of cures, there will be attributed to him.
The memorial day (Syriac: Duchrono) Mor Shemgun Zeyte is on 1 June.
The Syriac Orthodox Church St. Simon of Olives
Thijn Avenue 20 7576 ZB Oldenzaal
Priest: Abuna Hanna Basut
Regular prayer times: Saturday: 17:00 to 17:45 Vespers (Winter 16:00 to 16:45) Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 Mass