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Patriarch from Syria Arriving Today to Preside over Biennial Convention in Boston

July 16, 2015

The head of one of the oldest Christian churches on earth will arrive in the United States today to preside over the 52nd biennial Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

The Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, His Beatitude Patriarch John X, will come from Damascus, Syria, for a pastoral visit to his spiritual children in the United States and Canada. The Convention will be held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts from Monday July 20 through Sunday July 26.

The Convention will bring together more than 2,000 clergy and lay delegates from around the U.S. and Canada to address a wide ranging array of topics which confront the Orthodox Church in North America. Among these issues is the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court to legalize same‐sex civil marriages across the United States. The Church is expected to issue a strong statement with regard to this decision later next week. Also to be discussed is the ongoing human tragedy in Syria which has so deeply affected all of the God‐loving citizens of Syria regardless of their religious or political affiliation.

The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese in North America has eight bishops, over 400 clergy, and 266 parishes and missions throughout the United States and Canada.

The Antiochian Orthodox Church worldwide is headed by His Beatitude Patriarch John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. He leads churches around the world including the entire Middle East, Europe, North, South and Central America as well as Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. The Antiochian Orthodox Church was founded by Ss. Paul and Barnabas in 42 A.D. and its first bishop was St. Peter the Apostle, who later went on to be Bishop of Rome.

The Bible states in Acts 11:26 "And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch." The Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian Church in the world with over 250 million adherents.