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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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Antiochian Village Bookstore Offers St. Raphael's Theological Thesis in English

The theological thesis of St. Raphael of Brooklyn is available for the first time in English. Translated from the Greek by Fr. Patrick Viscuso, The True Significance of Sacred Tradition and Its Great Worth was written by the beloved saint when he was a student at the Theological School of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Halki. In the thesis, St. Raphael presents an Orthodox response to Roman Catholic and Protestant proselytization efforts aimed at converting Orthodox Christians.

As Fr. Patrick explains in his introduction, complex historical and theological forces were at work in St. Raphael's world. Beginning in the sixteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church—supported by Western powers—began to proselytize the Orthodox Christians of the Ottoman Empire. By the late nineteenth century, Protestant missionaries from the United States also joined in this effort. Saint Raphael's thesis and his refutation of Catholic and Protestant positions present an interesting and active dialogue with Western Christianity.

Presentation Features the Manuscript Heritage of Endangered Syriac Christianity in the Middle East

A lecture titled "Out of the Flames: Preserving the Manuscript Heritage of Endangered Syriac Christianity in the Middle East," will be offered on Monday, February 6, 2017, at 6 p.m., at Fordham University's Lincoln Center Campus. The speaker is Columba Stewart, O.S.B., professor of theology and executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota.

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Syriac Christians have a manuscript heritage that is among the richest in the Christian world. But they are also one of the most vulnerable minorities in the Middle East. This lecture will cover the significance of Syriac Christianity as a counterpoint to historically dominant Greek and Latin Christian cultures, as well as current efforts to prevent Syriac Christian manuscripts from being destroyed.

Statement from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph on the Recent Bombing of the Coptic Church in Egypt

A nun reacts as Egyptian security forces inspect the scene of the bomb explosion. (Khaled Desouki/Getty Images)A nun reacts as Egyptian security forces inspect the scene of the bomb explosion. (Khaled Desouki/Getty Images)Lest they be forgotten, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph urges the clergy and the laity of the Antiochian Archdiocese to continue to pray for peace for the people of Egypt, especially after the bombing of St. Peter Coptic Orthodox Church, next to St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, in Cairo. There, 25 Coptic Christians lost their lives, and 49 others – mostly women and children – were wounded during Sunday worship.

“These are defenseless people who did not deserve to have their lives ended or drastically altered forever,” Sayidna Joseph said. “All over the world, but especially in the Middle East, harmless Christians are crucified daily for their faith. When we ask ‘why,’ we know there is never a good answer.

“The injustice continues and the international community is silent. The Christians of the Middle East will live in this never-ending nightmare of terror – especially in the name of religion – without courageous powers stepping forward.

The 2016 Nativity Letter of His Beatitude Patriarch John X

His Beatitude Patriarch John XHis Beatitude Patriarch John XWith the mercy of God
 

John X

The Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

To my brethren the pastors of the holy Antiochian Church.

To my sons wherever they are in this Apostolic See.

"When it was time for thy presence on earth the first enrollment of the world took place. Then it was that thou didst decide to enroll the names of men who believe in thy nativity"

Every winter, the Baby of the cave visits us to wipe away with His simplicity, our distress and difficulties, to touch with His humility our souls, and to illumine our world with His divine peace.

The Lord used the cave to walk into the caves of our souls, to clean them and to crystallize them with His divine love.

On Christmas we are always called to remember that the Lord of the cave has come to join us and to be with us, to build up his home in our souls, and plant His seeds in the heart and in the whole human person. 

Metropolitan Joseph Offers Encouragement, Solutions for Christians Struggling in Holy Land

Although a shadow of death constantly hovers over them as a religious minority in the Holy Land and the Middle East, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph shared a saying of Christians living there: "We live in a land that has already experienced resurrection, so we always have hope." During his recent visit to Washington, D.C., Sayidna Joseph accepted an award for the Antiochian Archdiocese and gave the keynote address to the 18th International Conference of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF).

On Friday night, October 14, 2016, His Eminence gratefully received the "Living Stones Solidarity Award" as HCEF honored the Archdiocese's long history of caring for Palestinian Christians seeking spiritual support in North America. "This award is not bestowed only upon me as a Metropolitan," Sayidna said, "but upon our Archdiocese, which encompasses faithful believers from all cultures, nationalities, and races."

Refugee Charity Dinner to be Hosted by Holy Trinity in Pottstown, PA

A charity dinner to benefit refugees is being hosted by Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Pottstown, PA.

"Refugee Aid: How the Orthodox Church Can Help"
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
Pottstown, PA
Saturday, November 12, 2016 
3:45 p.m.

Presentation and Vespers to follow

 

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.