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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.

 

Latest News

Are You a Descendant of New York City’s “Little Syria” Community?

If you, your parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents once lived in Little Syria on Manhattan's Lower West Side, the Arab American National Museum is interested in connecting with you! As part of their effort to tell the story of the "Life and Legacy" of the neighborhood, the museum is collecting photos and stories about those who lived there, and their descendants.

You can send high resolution (at least 600 dpi) photos of Little Syria residents and descendants to Elizabeth Chilton at echilton@accesscommunity.org. Please include the names of the people in each photo, their connection to Little Syria, and any stories you would like to share about them.

Some of the photos and stories may be added to the museum's Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community's Life and Legacy exhibition which opens at Ellis Island on October 1, 2016. 

Thank you!

Statement of the Secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch + June 27, 2016

From AntiochPatriarchate.org:

Balamand, 27 June 2016

At the end of the seventh extraordinary session which begun on May 25th 2016, the Holy Synod of Antioch convened on June 27, 2016 in Balamand. The Synod was presided by His Beatitude Patriarch John X, with the participation of the Bishops of the Holy See of Antioch.

The fathers congratulated their children on the occasion of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the holy, glorious and all-praised leaders of the Apostles, and the founders of the Holy See of Antioch. This See is where the disciples were called Christians first, and where its children continue to witness for the Risen Christ, especially in our beloved Antioch, and in Syria the martyr, in Lebanon the sufferer, in Iraq the injured, and in all the Gulf countries and the Archdioceses abroad, in the Americas, Australia and Europe. The Fathers recalled their brother Metropolitan Paul (Yazigi), the Archbishop of Aleppo who has been kidnapped for more than three years, amidst willful blindness by all. His Eminence Metropolitan Paul, along with his brother Metropolitan Youhanna (Ibrahim), and all those kidnapped constantly remain present in the prayers and supplications of the faithful and in the daily Church testimony. The fathers lift up their prayers for the repose of the souls of all those martyred because of being called Christian, and ask their prayers before the Divine Throne, that God may strengthen His Church and give His children the power and wisdom to faithfully witness, here and now, Christ Risen from the dead.

Ancient Faith Radio Special Features Podcasts on Antiochian Saints

Five talks on Antiochian saints were given at the Annual Conference of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland. Held at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire, UK, from May 23-25, 2016, the Conference featured the theme, "Lights from Antioch," and was recorded for Ancient Faith Radio. The saints featured are: Hieromartyr and God-bearer, Ignatios of Antioch, St. John Chrysostom, St. Ephrem the Syrian, St. John of Damascus, and St. Raphael of Brooklyn.

Listen to Lights from Antioch

Statement of the Secretariat of the Antiochian Holy Synod

Statement of the Secretariat of the Antiochian Holy Synod
Balamand, on the 6th of June 2016

Decision

In the sequence of its seventh exceptional session still open since the 25th of May 2016, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch held a meeting on the 6th of June 2016 presided by His Beatitude Patriarch John X and in the presence of Their Eminencies the Bishops, to study the positions of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches related to the Holy and Great Pan-Orthodox Council (mentioned hereafter as ”The Great Council”) and the issues listed in its agenda, and in order to take the appropriate Antiochian position in this respect, taking into consideration the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of 31st May 2016 about “the formation of a committee of representatives of the Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem, with the Ecumenical Patriarchate as responsible for the coordination, which would meet immediately after the Great and Holy Synod”, to working on a solution to the violation of the Church of Jerusalem of the canonical jurisdictional boundaries of the church of Antioch in the Emirate of Qatar.

Fordham University Announces New Book Series: Christian Arabic Texts in Translation

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University is proud to announce its latest initiative: the new book series Christian Arabic Texts in Translation (CATT).

Editor: Stephen J. Davis, Yale University

Advisory Board:

Jimmy Daccache, Yale University (formerly of CNRS, Paris)

Mark Swanson, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Alexander Treiger, Dalhousie University 

The goal of this new series is to provide a forum for making the Christian Arabic literary heritage more widely available in the English-speaking world.

Metropolitan Joseph Celebrates Liturgy at Balamand Monastery

On Sunday May 15, 2016, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided over a Divine Liturgy in Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery in Lebanon. Also present was His Eminence Metropolitan Antonio Chedraoui Tannous, Archbishop of Mexico, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean. 

Holy Trinity Seminary Press Releases Major Contribution to Middle Eastern Christian Studies

A comprehensive study of the history of the Orthodox Churches under Ottoman rule is now available. Arab Orthodox Christians under the Ottomans: 1516-1831 focuses on the middle period of the Ottoman Empire spanning the years from the Ottoman conquest of Syria in 1516 to the Egyptian invasion of 1831. It offers a vivid and compelling account of a vital but still little known and frequently misunderstood spiritual and political culture. The book is illustrated with full color pictures and maps. A glossary of terms is also provided.

The new English language edition is complemented by a Foreword from His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and all the East. He writes:

The Church of Antioch has faced many challenges throughout its two thousand year history, but through such hardship firm and unshakeable faith in the Lord is produced. As much as this was the case in the past it is true today, when our Antiochian people in the Middle East are enduring countless trials that cause some to even call into question their continued existence in the land of their ancestors.

Memory Eternal! +Metropolitan Constantine (Papastephanou)

+Metropolitan Constantine (Papastephanou), 1924 – 2016

It was with great sadness that we learned of the falling asleep in our Lord Jesus Christ of His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine (Papastephanou) on Sunday April 17th, 2016.  I was personally blessed to know Metropolitan Constantine during my time in Damascus, and I can certainly testify to his holiness, and prayerfulness.  It can truly be said that he was a man of God. 

Metropolitan Constantine was born in 1924 in Damascus, Syria where he was educated in the city's parochial schools. Desirous of entering upon an ecclesiastical career, His Eminence was blessed to study in Greece before he was ordained to the holy priesthood in 1951 by Patriarch Alexander III (Tahan) of Antioch.  He then served as a priest in Damascus and its vicinity for eighteen years. During the late 1950s he was appointed as the director of the Balamand Clerical School in north Lebanon, and in 1964 was assigned by Patriarch Theodosios VI (Abourjaily) VI as abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of the Great-martyr George al-Humayra in the "Valley of the Christians" in Syria.

Memory Eternal! + Rose Mousi Yazigi, Mother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His holy ones" (Psalm 116:5).

Memory Eternal! Rose Mousi Yazigi, the mother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, has reposed in the Lord. In a letter of condolence to His Beatitude, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph wrote: "It is with a sadness that we have learned of the falling asleep in Christ of your beloved mother, Rosa. On behalf of myself, my brother bishops, the clergy, the members of the Board of Trustees, the heads of the departments and organizations, and all of the faithful of this Archdiocese, we offer our prayers and condolences as you struggle with the departure of your beloved mother, especially at a time when so many events are weighing so heavily on your shoulders."

Service information will be published as it becomes available.

Read Metropolitan Joseph's Letter of Condolence

Letter of Condolence from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to His Beatitude Patriarch John X

April 8, 2016

His Beatitude John X
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Beloved Sayedna and Father in Christ:

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His holy ones” (Psalm 116:5)

It is with a sadness that we have learned of the falling asleep in Christ of your beloved mother, Rosa. On behalf of myself, my brother bishops, the clergy, the members of the Board of Trustees, the heads of the departments and organizations, and all of the faithful of this Archdiocese, we offer our prayers and condolences as you struggle with the departure of your beloved mother, especially at a time when so many events are weighing so heavily on your shoulders.