Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

Patriarcat grec-orthodoxe d'Antioche et de tout l'Orient

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reputedly 37 AD, Antioch (Syria), by St Peter the Apostle. Once spread throughout Asia and, by the 6th century, included 150 metropolitans and bishops. From 518, forced to move from Antioch to various locations, settling in Mardin (Turkey) during the 13th century. In 1933, transferred to Homs (Syria), and in 1957, to Damascus (Syrian AR). The Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch dates back to the time of the Apostles and is the second established church in Christendom after Jerusalem (Israel) and the earliest of the Apostolic Churches, with Christians first being referred to as Christians in Antioch. Became more localised following: division of the Church; granting of independence to the Churches of Cyprus and Iberia; Islamic advance in the 7th century; formation of the Uniate Church in the 18th century; emigration in the 20th century. Also referred to in English as: Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East; Universal Syrian Orthodox Church.


In accordance with the Nicene Creed, conform to the teachings of the 3 Ecumenical Councils of Nicea (AD 325), Constantinople (AD 381) and Ephesus (AD 431), while rejecting the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451).


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Holy Synod (the highest ecclesiastical authority of Antioch) is the assembly of all the bishops with the Patriarch as President. Priesthood comprises 3 ranks: 'Episcopate' - Patriarch, archbishop, bishop; 'Vicarate' - chor-episcopos, pastor; 'Deaconate' - archdeacon (one per diocese), evangelical deacon, subdeacon, lector or qoruya, singer or mzamrono. Each archdiocese is headed by an archbishop, who is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch and accountable to the Holy Synod. The local Holy Synod in India is presided over by the Catholicos of the East, Malankara (India). Regional Churches: Church in the Middle East; Church in India; Church in the Americas; Church in Europe, including Archdiocese of Central Europe and Benelux Countries and Archdiocese of Sweden and Scandinavia.

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