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Stories on the Church of Antioch and the Middle East

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America is an archdiocese of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East. It traces its roots to first century Antioch (modern-day Antakya, Turkey), the city in which the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). The Patriarchate is led by His Beatitude John X from Damascus, Syria. In addition to its continuing presence in Syria and Lebanon, the Antiochian Patriarchate has archdioceses in Europe; Asia; North, Central and South America; and Australia and New Zealand.

The Church of Antioch was established by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas in 42 A.D., with St. Peter serving for the next eight years as its first prelate. The Church of Antioch is one of the five ancient Patriarchates of the Christian Church, along with Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Rome. Antiochians are in full communion with other Orthodox Christian jurisdictions, such as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Orthodox Church in America, as well as many other Orthodox jurisdictions around the world.

 

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Patriarch John and Metropolitan Joseph to Speak at D.C. Event: "The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America"

The Orthodox Convent of Our Lady, Seydnaya, Syria (photo: De Agostini/C. Sappa)The Orthodox Convent of Our Lady, Seydnaya, Syria (photo: De Agostini/C. Sappa)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register for the Event

What place do Christians and the Antiochian Church have in the future of Syria? What role has the Church played in humanitarian assistance to the millions in need? Why is Orthodoxy finding renewed appeal in Western countries? For answers to these and many other questions regarding the future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America, Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom will host a conversation with His Beatitude, John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan of All North America and Archbishop of New York. Hudson Senior Fellow Samuel Tadros will moderate the conversation.

The Hudson Institute is a non-profit American think tank based in Washington, D.C. An independent research organization, the Institute promotes ideas and dialogues for the advancement of global security, prosperity and freedom.

For more information, view the Hudson Institute video or visit the Institute website.

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His Beatitude Patriarch John to Visit the United States in October, 2017

Patriarch John X (left) and Metropolitan JosephPatriarch John X (left) and Metropolitan JosephEnglewood, NJ   His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, is pleased to announce the visit of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, to the United States on October 21–31, 2017.

(View the full schedule.)

The purpose of the visit is to meet with the leadership of the United Nations as well as members of the current administration of the United States to: 1) promote a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, 2) highlight the current humanitarian crisis, and 3) discuss the future of Christians in Syria and the Middle East. His Beatitude will also be an honored guest at the “In Defense of Christians” Summit in Washington, D.C., from October 24–26. The Summit is titled "American Leadership and Securing the Future of Christians in the Middle East."

Liturgical Schedule of Livestreamed Services with Patriarch John X: October 21-22, 2017

His Beatitude Patriarch John X will be presiding over Great Vespers and the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy this weekend in the greater Washington, D.C. area, at Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac, Maryland. Services will be livestreamed here at Antiochian.org on Saturday, October 21, beginning at approximately 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, and Sunday, October 22, beginning at approximately 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. Join us here to enter into the live services!

Official Schedule for the Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X to the United States

Englewood, NJ — The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America's Office of Planning, Policy and Public Affairs has released the schedule for the visit of his Beatitude Patriarch John X to the United States, October 21–31, 2017. (Subject to change.)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, WASHINGTON, D.C. | POTOMAC, MD

Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 10620 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 765-3400 | www.peterpaulpotomac.org
Great Vespers at 5:30 p.m., followed by:
A concert by The Nativity of the Theotokos Choir, St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Hunt Valley, MD
A reception follows the concert

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, WASHINGTON, D.C. | POTOMAC, MD

Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 10620 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 765-3400 | www.peterpaulpotomac.org
Sunday Orthros at 9:30 a.m.
Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at 10:30 a.m., celebrated by His Beatitude Patriarch John X

Luncheon to follow, in honor of His Beatitude Patriarch John X
Fundraiser Event for the Patriarchal Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (DERD)

Schedule for the Historic Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X to New York

Make your plans now to join His Beatitude Patriarch John X of the Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East, as well as His Eminence and Beatitude, Patriarch Bechara Peter Cardinal Rai of the Maronite Church, for a festive luncheon celebrating their historic visits to New York on Sunday afternoon, October 29, 2017. Proceeds will support the victims and relief efforts of the ongoing war in Syria. Sponsorships are available.

That morning at 11:00 a.m., Patriarch John will celebrate the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn, 355 State Street. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and other hierarchs, clergy and faithful, will join him. Orthros will begin at 9:45 a.m.

A special rate has been secured at the Marriott New York Brooklyn Bridge for out-of-town guests. Space is limited, so please do not delay: make your reservations here today!

Axios! Axios! Holy Synod of Antioch Elects Two New Metropolitans

His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan)His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan)The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Basilios (Kodseie)The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Basilios (Kodseie)By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Synod of Antioch, under the presidency of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, elected two new metropolitan archbishops in its current session at St. Elias Patriarchal Monastery in Shwayya, Lebanon. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, participated in the elections.

His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan) is the new metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Mexico, Central America, Venezuela and the Caribbean. He succeeds His Eminence Metropolitan Antonio (Chedraoui) who reposed in the Lord this past June, after leading his archdiocese for 51 years. Sayidna Ignacio served as an auxiliary bishop in Mexico for the past six years and as patriarchal vicar of the widowed archdiocese.

Letter From His Beatitude Patriarch John X to the Texas Faithful

Damascus, Syria

Your Eminence Metropolitan Joseph,
Beloved brothers and sisters in Texas State:

From the Mariamite Cathedral in Damascus, I greet you in the name of our Lord; and heartily express my deepest sympathy and compassion during this devastating time where the destructive Hurricane Harvey hit Texas State.

Despite the sufferings of your brothers and sisters in Syria and all the Middle East, you are in their thoughts and prayers, and along with St. Paul, we repeat: "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulations, be constant in prayer" (Romans 12:12).

You are people of faith, and by God's will, you shall overcome this sad event stronger and united under the parental care of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. You all remain in the heart and prayers of your Patriarch.

May God, the Lord of mercy and compassion protect all of you, help the affected, heal the wounded and bless the souls of those who rested in peace.

Transferring to you all the love, prayer, and compassion of every Antiochian faithful and sending you the Apostolic blessing of the Apostles Peter and Paul, we pray to God to strengthen you and keep you under the maternal protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary.

†JOHN X
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Axios! Holy Synod of Antioch Elects New Metropolitan of Archdiocese of Hama, Syria

By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Synod of Antioch, under the presidency of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, elected His Grace Bishop Nicholas Baalbaki as the new metropolitan archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hama and Dependencies in Syria. Sayidna Nicholas succeeds His Eminence Metropolitan Elia Saliba of thrice-blessed memory who reposed in the Lord on April 1, 2017.
 
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph took part in the election at the Patriarchal Monastery and Seminary in Balamand, Lebanon earlier this week, following the great feast of Pentecost. Sayidna Joseph congratulated his new brother Metropolitan Nicholas on behalf of the hierarchs, clergy, board of trustees and laity of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America.
 
Metropolitan Nicholas was born to a pious Orthodox Christian family in 1957. His brother is V. Rev. George Baalbaki, the pastor of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in San Francisco, California. In addition to serving as clergyman since 1985, His Eminence was a surgeon and director of the Patriarchal Hospital of St. George in Hosn, Syria.

Metropolitan Joseph Leads Prayer Service for Kidnapped Metropolitans

On Bright Thursday, April 20, 2017, the Antochian Archdiocese was joined by co-hosts—the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese and the St. John of Damascus Fellowship of New Jersey—in sponsoring a timely prayer service at St. George Antochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls, for the abducted Archbishops of Aleppo, Metropolitan Paul and Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim. Metropolitan Paul and Metropolitan Yohanna vanished without a trace on April 22, 2013, after they drove together in hopes of negotiating the release of hostages in captivity. Metropolitan Yohanna’s deacon escaped, but his driver was killed. 

(Read the Paschal Message of His Beatitude John X, in which he issues a call for the liberation of Metropolitans Paul and Yohanna, and sign the petition that will be presented to the White House and the United Nations, "Help release the kidnapped archbishops of Syria.") 

Metropolitan Joseph Presides at Fifth Annual Syrian Relief Dinner and Prayer Service

Read the article in the Post-Gazette.

On Sunday, April 2, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided at the fifth annual Syrian Relief Dinner and Prayer Service, held this year at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Pittsburgh, PA. His Grace Bishop Thomas was in attendance, along with other Antiochian clergy and hierarchs and clergy from other jurisdictions. The International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Pittsburgh Metropolitan Committee organized the service and dinner. 

The money will be distributed to programs that aid displaced Syrians internally, as well as to relief efforts that assist refugees in Lebanon, Greece and Jordan, said IOCC spokeswoman Kristen Fianni.