Patriarch of Syria-based Eastern Orthodox church, Ignatius Hazim, dies in Beirut at 91

Syria's official news agency says the patriarch of a Damascus-based Eastern Orthodox Church, Ignatius Hazim, has died in a Beirut hospital. He was 91.

Hazim was named Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East for the Greek Orthodox in 1979. His church is known as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Antioch.

The SANA news agency says the cause of Hazim's death was a stroke. He died in Beirut's St. George's hospital on Wednesday.

Hazim hailed from the Syrian town of Mhardeh near Hama.

The agency says his remains will be brought from Lebanon to Syria for burial.

There are a number of Eastern Orthodox churches in the Middle East, including Greek Orthodox and Maronite church.