Syriac Orthodox Church

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Syriac Orthodox Church
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{{cleanup|reason=Still seems to be clean-up of duplicate redundancy to do post merge with Syriac Orthodox Church in the Middle East. Please remove this notice when assured this is completed.|date=August 2019}}{{Copy edit|for=grammar, style, cohesion, tone.|date=July 2019}}{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2019}}

BEGGIANI >FIRST1=SEELY J. DATE=2014 ISBN=9780813227016 LANGUAGE=EN, SIMON >FIRST1=THOMAS COLLINS URL=HTTPS://BOOKS.GOOGLE.COM/BOOKS?ID=5WZJ8UP7EYIC&PG=PA70&DQ=ST.+PETER+THE+APOSTLE+ESTABLISHED+A+CHURCH+IN+ANTIOCH&HL=EN&SA=X&VED=0AHUKEWIGLKFH4OJHAHUJFHIKHU2HCTEQ6AEIODAC#V=ONEPAGE&Q=ST.%20PETER%20THE%20APOSTLE%20ESTABLISHED%20A%20CHURCH%20IN%20ANTIOCH&F=FALSE LANGUAGE=EN, 1862, Antioch, Roman EmpireCAVE CHURCH OF ST. PETER - ANTIOCH, TURKEYWEBSITE=WWW.SACRED-DESTINATIONS.COM, BBC - RELIGIONS - CHRISTIANITY: EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH >URL=HTTP://WWW.BBC.CO.UK/RELIGION/RELIGIONS/CHRISTIANITY/SUBDIVISIONS/EASTERNORTHODOX_1.SHTML,, | separated_from = Church of AntiochCATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: CHURCH OF ANTIOCH WEBSITE=WWW.NEWADVENT.ORG, | merger = | absorbed =| separations = | merged_into =| defunct =| congregations_type =| congregations = | members = | ministers_type =| ministers = | missionaries =| churches =| hospitals = | nursing_homes = WORK=SYRIAN ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE OF ANTIOCH, 16 October 2014, | primary_schools = | secondary_schools = | tax_status =| tertiary = | other_names = | publications = | website = Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate| website_title1 = | website1 = | slogan =| logo =| footnotes = }}{{Oriental Orthodox sidebar}}{{Eastern Christianity}}The Syriac Orthodox Church (; ), or Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church established by Severus of Antioch in Antioch in 518 A.D., influenced by Jacob Baradaeus (c. 500-578), while tracing its history to Antioch by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the 1st century, according to its tradition.BOOK, Taylor, William, Narratives of Identity: The Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of England 1895-1914, 2014, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 9781443869461,weblink en, WEB,weblink Syriac Orthodox Church - A Brief Overview,, 19 March 2018, BOOK, Gregorios, Paulos, Introducing the Orthodox Churches, 1999, ISPCK, 9788172144876,weblink en, The Church uses the Divine Liturgy of Saint James, associated with Saint James, the "brother" of Jesus and patriarch among the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem.WEB, Saint James apostle, the Lord's brother,weblink Encyclopedia Britannica, en, Syriac is the official and liturgical language of the Church based on Syriac Christianity. The primate of the church is the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch currently Ignatius Aphrem II since 2014, seated in the Cathedral of Saint George, Bab Tuma, Damascus, Syria.WEB,weblink The Hidden Pearl: The Syrian Orthodox Church and Its Ancient Aramaic Heritage, 19 March 2018, Trans World Film Italia, 19 March 2018, Google Books, BOOK, Lukenbill, W. Bernard, Research in Information Studies: A Cultural and Social Approach, 2012, Xlibris Corporation, 9781469179612,weblink en, BOOK, Atiya, Aziz Suryal, A History of Eastern Christianity, 1968, Methuen,weblink en,

Name and Identity

{{see also|Terms for Syriac Christians}}Since the Church has never been the officially adopted religion of a modern-day country, a unique name has long been used to distinguish the Church from the polity of Syria in most languages besides English. This includes Arabic (the official language of Syria), where the Church has always been known as the "Syriani" Church; the term "Syriani" being the same word used in Arabic to identify the Syriac language and people. Being the lone exception until the year 2000, English identified the Church mainly as the "Syrian" Orthodox Church; with "Syrian" being derived from the term "Syrian church" used by English-speaking historians to describe the community in ancient Syria prior to the Nestorian/Jacobite split in the 5th century. (see: Christianity in Syria). Syriac-speaking Christians have historically referred to themselves as Suraye/Suryaye, literally "Syriac", leading to most members favoring the term "Syriac Orthodox". However, some Assyrian nationalists have favored the term "Assyrian Orthodox", arguing it was more accurate because the term Syria is now generally accepted as an Indo-European (Luwian) corruption of Assyria (see Name of Syria). The name "Syrian" Orthodox Church failed to distinguish the Church in English which uses "Syrian" to designate all things generally related to Syria. In a similar way, the term Assyrian Orthodox Church also led to confusion with the Assyrian Church of the East, which itself was renamed in 1976 from the Church of the East. Hence, in 2000, a Holy Synod ruled that the Church should be named after its official liturgical language of Syriac (i.e. Syriac Orthodox Church), as it is in most other languages. The official name of the Church in Syriac is pronounced ʿĒdtō Suryōytō Triṣaṯ Šuḇḥō, and this name has not changed historically, nor has it changed in any language other than English.WEB,weblink SOCNews - The Holy Synod approved the name "Syriac Orthodox Church",, The church is often referred to as Jacobite (after Jacob Baradaeus), but it rejects this name due to its Apostolic origin.There is an ongoing debate over the identity of Syriac Christians. Commonly seen as a part of the Assyrian people,BOOK, Aryo Makko, The Historical Roots of Contemporary Controversies: National Revival and the Assyrian ‘Concept of Unity’, 2010, 1, the community tends to identify as "Syrian" (Suryoye), or more recently "Syriac". Today some also identify themselves as either Othuroyo or Oromoyo, which is synonymous with identifying oneself as "Assyrian" or "Aramean".{{sfn|Donabed|Mako|2009|p=88}} They have also been called "Jacobites", after Bishop Jacob Baradaeus (d. 578) of Edessa, and "Monophysites" (owing to the division of Syriac Church bodies).BOOK, Michael Lapidge, Archbishop Theodore: Commemorative Studies on His Life and Influence,weblink 2 November 2006, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-03210-0, 30–, The identification as "Assyrians" means that they share identity with non-Orthodox Syriacs (such as Nestorians, Syriac Catholics and Chaldean Catholics), while the "Aramean" identity almost solely represents the Syriac Orthodox.{{sfn|Donabed|Mako|2009}}The ethnic identification of Syriac Orthodox as "Assyrians" is contested by the community itself.{{sfn|Donabed|Mako|2009|p=90}} In the diaspora, the Syriac Orthodox identify with the term Suryoye.{{harvnb|Hämmerli|Mayer|2016|loc="Suryoye as a Social Category in the Homeland"}} In Arabic and Kurdish, they were identified as Suryani, and in Turkish as Süryaniler. In Tur Abdin (Turkey), the community did not consider converts to Protestantism (Prut) and Catholicism (Katholik, Kaldoye) as Suryoye, thus, in Tur Abdin the identification as Syriac only applied to the Syriac Orthodox, who share a collective identity and consciousness.{{sfn|Hämmerli|Mayer|2016}}In the 19th century, the various Syriac denominations did not view themselves as part of one group.{{sfn|Jongerden|Verheij|2012|p=21}} The Syriac Orthodox community in the Ottoman Empire was for long not recognized as its own millet (legal entity), but part of the Armenian millet (under the Armenian Patriarch).{{sfn|Taylor|2014|p=84}} Then, during the Tanzimat reforms (1839–78), the Syriac Orthodox were granted independent status with the recognition of their own millet in 1873.{{sfn|Taylor|2014|p=87}} Late 19th- and early 20th-century Syriac Orthodox intellectuals predominantly used the "Assyrian" identification.{{sfn|Donabed|Mako|2009|p=77}} Despite this "Assyrian" intellectual trend, the identity of Syriac Orthodoxy in the Ottoman Empire in the 1910s was principally religious and linguistic.{{harvnb|Taylor|2014|p=201}}; {{harvnb|Romeny|2005}}The Syriac Orthodox identity was not only religious, although this was dominant, but also included cultural traditions of the pagan Assyrian and Aramean kingdoms.{{sfn|Romeny|2012|p=195}} Syriac Orthodox traditions crystallized into ethnogenesis through their preservation of their stories and customs, the Syriac Orthodox being aware of their core identity already by the 12th century.{{sfn|Romeny|2012|p=195}}


File:Old Jerusalem St. Mark Church with flag.jpg|thumb|300px|Saint Mark Monastery of JerusalemSaint Mark Monastery of JerusalemThe Syriac Orthodox Church theology is based on the Nicene Creed. The Syriac Orthodox Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission,BOOK, Dr, STEVE ESOMBA, THE BOOK OF LIFE, KNOWLEDGE AND CONFIDENCE,, 9781471734632,weblink en, that its Metropolitans are the successors of Christ's Apostles, and that the Patriarch is the successor to Saint Peter upon whom Primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ.Holy Bible: Matthew {{bibleverse-nb||Matthew|16:19|ESV}}The Church claims Apostolic Succession through the pre-Chalcedonian Patriarchate of Antioch to the Early Christian communities established by Saint Peter in Antioch, in the Roman Empire, during the Apostolic era, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (New Testament, {{bibleverse||Acts|11:26|NIV}}). Saint Evodius was Bishop of Antioch until 66 AD, and was succeeded by Saint Ignatius of Antioch.WEB, CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Evodius,weblink, In A.D 169, Theophilus of Antioch wrote his sole surviving work, consisting of three apologetic tracts to Autolycus.BOOK, Theophilus of Antioch (Roberts-Donaldson),weblink Patriarch Babylas of Antioch was considered the first saint recorded as having had his remains moved or "translated" for religious purposes - a practice that was to become extremely common in later centuries.Eduard Syndicus; Early Christian Art; p. 73; Burns & Oates, London, 1962 Eustathius of Antioch supported Athanasius of Alexandria who opposed the followers of the condemned doctrine of Arius (Arian controversy) at the First Council of Nicaea.WEB, Sellers, Robert Victor, Eustathius of Antioch and His Place in the History of Early Christian Doctrine,weblink en, 1927, During the time of Meletius of Antioch the Church split due to his being deposed for Homoiousian leanings - which became known as the Meletian Schism and saw several groups and several claimants to the See of Antioch.BOOK, Stillingfleet, Edward, Origines Britannicæ [i.e., Britannicae], Or, The Antiquities of the British Churches: With a Preface Concerning Some Pretended Antiquities Relating to Britain, in Vindication of the Bishop of St. Asaph, 1685, M. Flesher,weblink en, BOOK, Gardner, Rev James, The Faiths of the World: An Account of All Religions and Religious Sects, Their Doctrines, Rites, Ceremonies, and Customs, 1858, A. Fullarton & Company,weblink en, BOOK, General History of the Christian Religion and Church, 1855, Crocker & Brewster,weblink en, BOOK, Joseph, John, Muslim-Christian Relations and Inter-Christian Rivalries in the Middle East: The Case of the Jacobites in an Age of Transition, 1983, SUNY Press, 9780873956000,weblink en, The Patriarchate was forced to move from Antioch in A.D. 518 by Byzantine Emperor Justin I, who enforced a uniform Chalcedonian Christian orthodoxy throughout the empire.BOOK, Menze, Volker L., Justinian and the Making of the Syrian Orthodox Church, 2008, OUP Oxford, 9780191560095,weblink en, WEB, Severus of Antioch Greek theologian,weblink Encyclopedia Britannica, en, JOURNAL, HONIGMANN, ERNEST, THE PATRIARCHATE OF ANTIOCH: A Revision of Le Quien and the Notitia Antiochena, Traditio, 5, 135–161, 1947, 27830138, 10.1017/S0362152900013544, WEB, General History,weblink Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, 1 November 2016, In circa 518, the Syriac Orthodox Church continued to recognize Patriarch Severus of Antioch as the legitimate Patriarch despite his deposition by the Byzantine Empire. Those who sought communion with Rome accepted the Council of Chalcedon and the formula of Pope Hormisdas, and recognized the new Chalcedonian Patriarch of Antioch Paul the Jew. Patriarch Severus of Antioch was a significant bishop in the organization of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, in the Byzantine Empire, after he was expelled from Antioch in 518. Bishop Jacob Baradaeus (died 578) is credited for ordaining the majority of the miaphysite hierarchy while facing heavy persecution in the 6th century. Around 1665, many Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, India, committed themselves in allegiance to the Syriac Orthodox Church, which established the Malankara Syrian Church, reuniting with the See of Antioch for the first time since the schism of the Church of the East from the jurisdiction of Antioch in 484 after the execution of Babowai. In the Fertile Crescent, there was controversy in 1783 when a few members of its hierarchy entered into full communion with the Catholic Church, establishing the Syriac Catholic Church as part of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Despite this, the Syriac Orthodox Church remained significantly larger in members and clergy than the Syriac Catholic Church.Although originally established in Antioch, due to persecution - first by the Chalcedonian Romans followed by the Muslim Arabs - the Church's Patriarchate was subsequently seated in Mor Hananyo Monastery, Mardin, in the Ottoman Empire (1160-1933); thereafter Homs (1933-1959); and Damascus, Syria, since 1959. A diaspora has also spread from the Levant, Iraq, and Turkey throughout the world, notably in Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Austria, France, United States, Canada, Guatemala, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.The Church's members are divided into 26 Archdioceses, and 11 Patriarchal Vicariates. Its original area is present-day Syria, Turkey, and Iraq.WEB,weblink The Syriac Orthodox Church Today,, The Syriac Orthodox Church is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, a distinct communion of Churches claiming to continue the Patristic and Apostolic Christology before the schism following the Council of Chalcedon in 451.WEB, CNEWA - The Syrian Orthodox Church,weblink,

Apostolic succession

File:Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II seated color.JPG|thumb|180px|Ignatius Aphrem II, current Syriac Patriarch of Antioch, headquartered in Cathedral of Saint George, DamascusCathedral of Saint George, DamascusThe Syriac Orthodox Church claims the status as the most ancient Christian Church in the world by Apostolic Succession from the Patriarchate of Antioch. According to Saint Luke, "The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch" (New Testament, {{bibleverse||Acts|11:26|NIV}}). Saint Peter and Saint Paul are regarded as the co-founders of the Patriarchate of Antioch in AD 37, with Saint Peter serving as its first bishop and considered the first Patriarch of and by the Syriac Orthodox Church, having been selected by the founder of the Church Jesus Christ.BOOK, Barratt, Peter J. H., Absentis: St Peter, the Disputed Site of His Burial Place and the Apostolic Succession, 2014, Xlibris Corporation, 9781493168392,weblink en, BOOK, Gould, Sabine Baring, The lives of the saints. 12 vols. [in 15]., 1872,weblink en, When Saint Peter left Antioch, Evodios and Ignatius presided over the Patriarchate of Antioch. Because of the significance attributed to Saint Ignatius in the Syriac Orthodox Church, almost all of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchs since 1293 have used the name of Ignatius in the title of the Patriarch preceding their own Patriarchal name.Chaillot, Christine. The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East. Geneva: Inter-Orthodox Dialogue, 1988.

Patriarchate of Antioch

{{Further|List of Syriac Patriarchs of Antioch from 512 to 1783|List of Syriac Orthodox Patriarchs of Antioch}}Given the antiquity of the Bishopric of Antioch and the importance of the Christian community in the city of Antioch - a commercially significant city in the eastern parts of the Roman Empire - the First Council of Nicaea (325) recognised the Bishopric as a Primacy (Patriarchate) - along with the Bishoprics of Rome, Alexandria, and Jerusalem - bestowing authority for the "Church of Antioch and All of the East" on the Patriarch.BOOK, Wordsworth, Christopher, A Church History to the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325, 1881, Rivingtons,weblink en, {{harvnb|Theodoret|loc=Book 1, Chapter 7}}Even though the Synod of Nicaea was convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine, the authority of the Ecumenical Synod was also accepted by the Church in the Persian Empire which was politically isolated from the Churches in the Roman Empire. Until 482, this Church accepted the spiritual authority of the Patriarch of Antioch. The Church also maintained a smaller non-Chalcedonian Church under a Catholicos, known by the title Maphryānā, until the 1860s. This Catholicate was canonically transferred to India in 1964, as Catholicos of India and continues today as the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church with the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch as its head.The Christological controversies that followed the Council of Chalcedon in 451 resulted in a long struggle for the Patriarchate between those who accepted and those who rejected the Council.BOOK, Neale, John Mason, A History of the Holy Eastern Church: The Patriarchate of Antioch: The Patriarchate of Antioch, 2008, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 9781606083307,weblink en, In 518, Patriarch Severus of Antioch was exiled from the city of Antioch and took refuge in Alexandria. Non-Chalcedonians continued to recognize Severus as the legitimate Patriarch even after his exile in 518 until his death in 538. Jacob Baradeus continued to ordain Patriarchs after Severus continuing the Non-Chalcedonian succession of Patriarchs of the Church of Antioch. That was done in opposition to the government-backed Patriarchate of Antioch occupied by the pro-Chalcedonian believers - today known as the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch - leading to its being known popularly as the "Jacobite" Church, while the Chalcedonian believers were known popularly as Melkites - coming from the Syriac word for king (malka), an implication of the Chalcedonian Church's relationship to the Roman Emperor. Because of many historical upheavals and consequent hardships which the Church had to undergo, the Patriarchate was transferred to different monasteries in Mesopotamia for centuries.In about 1160BOOK, Markessini, Joan, Around the World of Orthodox Christianity - Five Hundred Million Strong: The Unifying Aesthetic Beauty, 2012, Dorrance Publishing, 9781434914866,weblink en, its seat was transferred from Antioch to the Mor Hananyo Monastery (Deir al-Za`faran), in southeastern Turkey near Mardin, where it remained until 1933. They reestablished themselves in Homs, Syria, due to an adverse political situation in Turkey. In 1959, it was transferred to Damascus, where it is currently located. The Patriarchate is now situated in Bab Tuma, Damascus, capital of Syria; but the Patriarch resides at the Mar Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saidnaya, located about 25 kilometers north of Damascus.

Primacy of Saint Peter

{{Further|Primacy of Peter}}File:Petersinai.jpg|thumb|200px|A 6th-century encaustic icon from Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount SinaiMount SinaiThe Fathers of the Syriac Orthodox Church tried to give a theological interpretation to the Primacy of Saint Peter. They were fully convinced of the unique Office of Peter in the early Christian community. Ephrem, Aphrahat and Maruthas who were supposed to be the best exponents of the early Syriac tradition unequivocally acknowledged the Office of Peter.The Syriac Church Fathers, following the rabbinic tradition, call Jesus "Kepha", for they see "rock" in the Old Testament as a messianic symbol. When Christ gave his own name "Kephas" to Simon, he was giving him participation in the person and office of Christ. Christ who is the Kepha and Shepherd made Simon the Chief Shepherd in his place, gave him the very name Kephas and said that on Kephas he would build the Church. Aphrahat shared the common Syriac tradition. For him Kepha is in fact another name of Jesus, and Simon was given the right to share the name. The person who receives somebody else's name also obtains the rights of the person who bestows the name. Aphrahat makes the stone taken from Jordan a type of Peter. He says Joshua (Jesus), son of Nun, set up the stones for a witness in Israel; Jesus our Saviour called Simon Kepha Sarirto and set him as the faithful witness among nations.Again he says in his commentary on Deuteronomy that Moses brought forth water from "rock" (Kepha) for the people and Jesus sent Simon Kepha to carry his teachings among nations. God accepted him and made him the Foundation of the Church, and called him Kepha. When he speaks about the transfiguration of Jesus he calls him Simon Peter, the Foundation of the Church. Ephrem also shared the same view. The Armenian version of Aldhelm's De Virginitate records that Peter the rock shunned honour, though he was the head of the Apostles. A mimro of Ephrem found in the Holy Week liturgy points to the importance of Peter.NEWS, Wright, Colin, A Glossed Page of Aldhelm's 'De Virginitate',weblink, en, Both Aphrahat and Ephrem the Syrian represent the authentic tradition of the Syriac church. The different orders of liturgies used for sanctification of church buildings, marriages, ordinations etc., reveal that the Primacy of Peter is a part of living faith of the Syriac Orthodox Church.However, Syriac Orthodox don't believe that Saint Peter is indicative of the Papal Primacy as understood by the Roman See, rather, "Petrine Primacy" according to the ancient Syriac tradition.

Middle Ages

File:Dioceses of the Syrian Orthodox Church.svg|thumb|right|270px|Dioceses of the Syriac Orthodox ChurchDioceses of the Syriac Orthodox ChurchThe 8th-century hagiography Life of Jacob Baradaeus is evidence of a definite social and religious differentiation between the Chalcedonians and Miaphysites (Syriac Orthodox).{{sfn|Saint-Laurent|2015|p=131}} The longer hagiography shows that the Syriac Orthodox (called "Jacobites" in the work, suryoye yaquboye) self-identified with Jacob's story more than those of other saints.{{sfn|Saint-Laurent|2015|p=103, 106}} Coptic patriarch Al-Muqaffa (ca. 897), of Miaphysite (Syriac Orthodox) ancestry, speaks of Jacobite origins, on the veneration of Jacob Baradaeus. He explained that the Chalcedonian "Melkites" were labelled as such because the Miaphysite Jacobites never traded their Orthodoxy to win the favour of the king as the Melkites had done (malko is derived from "king, ruler").{{sfn|Saint-Laurent|2015|p=136}}BOOK, Trimingham, J. Spencer, Christianity Among the Arabs in Pre-Islamic Times, 1990, Stacey Publishing, 9781900988681,weblink en, It has been assumed that in the Principality of Antioch (1098–1268), the Syriac Orthodox made up the civilian population, their elite consisting of clergy who did not participate in the military nor administration.{{sfn|Ciggaar|Metcalf|2006|p=108}} It seems that in Antioch itself, after the 11th-century persecutions, the Syriac Orthodox population was almost extinguished.{{sfn|Ciggaar|Metcalf|2006|p=108}} Only one Jacobite church is attested in Antioch in the first half of the 12th century, while a second and third are attested in the second half of the century, perhaps due to refugee influx.{{sfn|Ciggaar|Metcalf|2006|p=108}} Dorothea Weltecke thus concludes that the Syriac Orthodox populace was very low in this period in Antioch and its surroundings.{{sfn|Ciggaar|Metcalf|2006|p=108}} In Adana, on the other hand, an anonymous 1137 report speaks of the entire population consisting of Syriac Orthodox.{{sfn|Ciggaar|Metcalf|2006|p=108}} In the 12th century, several Syriac Orthodox Patriarchs visited Antioch and some established temporary residences.{{sfn|Ciggaar|Metcalf|2006|p=123}} In the 13th century, the Syriac Orthodox hierarchy in Antioch was prepared to accept Latin supervision; however, for the whole Church, this was of little consequence.{{sfn|Ciggaar|Metcalf|2006|pp=123–124}}The Syriac Orthodox were the most numerous non-Latin sect in Jerusalem and Bethlehem prior to 1187.BOOK, Benjamin Arbel, Intercultural Contacts in the Medieval Mediterranean: Studies in Honour of David Jacoby,weblink 15 April 2013, Routledge, 978-1-135-78195-8, 69–, Before the advent of the Crusades, the Jacobites were probably the majority of the hill country of Jazirah (northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey).{{sfn|Masters|2005|p=45}}

16th century

Moses of Mardin (fl. 1549–d. 1592) was a diplomat of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Rome in the 16th century.BOOK, Dale A. Johnson, Living as a Syriac Palimpsest,weblink, 978-0-557-40255-7, 70–, The Malankara Church consolidated under Mar Thoma I welcomed Gregorios Abdal Jaleel, who regularized the canonical ordination of Mar Thoma I as a native democratically elected Bishop of the Malabar Syrian Christians.WEB, Oriens christianus : Hefte für die Kunde des christlichen Orients : Gesamtregister für die Bände 1(1901) bis 70(1986),weblink O. Harrassowitz, de, 2005,

17th century

By the early 1660s, 75% of the 5,000 Syriac Orthodox of Aleppo had converted to Catholicism following the arrival of mendicant missionaries.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=40}} The Catholic missionaries had sought to place a Catholic Patriarch among the Jacobites, and consecrated Andrew Akhijan as the Patriarch of the newly founded Syriac Catholic Church.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=40}} The Propaganda Fide and foreign diplomats pushed for Akhijan to be recognized as the Jacobite Patriarch, and the Porte then consented and warned the Syriac Orthodox that they would be considered an enemy if they did not recognize him.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=41}} Despite the warning and gifts to priests, frequent conflicts and violent arguments continued between the Catholic and Orthodox Syriacs.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=41}}(File:Church of the Syrian Christians in India (p.115, October 1855) - Copy.jpg|thumb|250px|A church of Syriac Christians in India (October 1855)JOURNAL, Church of the Syrian Christians in India, Wesleyan Juvenile Offering, October 1855, XII, 115,weblink 12 November 2015, Wesleyan Missionary Society, London, )

19th century

In the 19th century, the various Syriac Christian denominations did not view themselves as part of one ethnic group.{{sfn|Jongerden|Verheij|2012|p=21}} During the Tanzimat reforms (1839–78), the Syriac Orthodox were granted independent status by gaining recognition as their own millet in 1873, separate from Armenians and Greeks.{{sfn|Taylor|2014|p=87}}In the late 19th century, the Syriac Orthodox community of the Middle East, primarily from the cities of Adana and Harput, began the process of creating the Syriac diaspora, with the United States being one of their first destinations in the 1890s.BOOK, Sargon & Ninos Donabed, Assyrians of Eastern Massachusetts, 2010, 1–38, Later, in Worcester, the first Syriac Orthodox Church in the United States was built, where it was originally called the Assyrian Apostolic Church of Antioch.BOOK, Sargon & Ninos Donabed, Assyrians of Eastern Massachusetts, 2010, 77–78, The 1895–96 massacres in Turkey affected the Armenian and Syriac Orthodox communities when an estimated 105,000 Christians were killed.BOOK, Peter C. Phan, Christianities in Asia,weblink 21 January 2011, John Wiley & Sons, 978-1-4443-9260-9, 251–, By the end of the 19th century, 200,000 Syriac Orthodox Christians remained in the Middle East, most concentrated around Deir el-Zaferan, the Patriarchal Seat.{{sfn|Tozman|Tyndall|2012|p=9}}In 1870, there were 22 Syriac Orthodox settlements in the vicinity of Diyarbakır.{{sfn|Jongerden|Verheij|2012|p=225}} In the 1870–71 Diyarbakır salnames, there were 1,434 Orthodox Syriacs in that city.{{sfn|Jongerden|Verheij|2012|p=222}} In the 1881/82–93 census, the kaza of Diyarbakır had 4,046 "monophysites" (Syriac Orthodox), while the sanjak of Diyarbakır had 5,909 Syriac Orthodox.{{sfn|Jongerden|Verheij|2012|pp=222–223}} The results of these records shows that the Syriac Orthodox were rural, as opposed to the Catholics who were less so but more urbanized.{{sfn|Jongerden|Verheij|2012|p=223}} The 1894–95 salname of Diyarbakır records 4,096 Syriac Orthodox in the kaza.{{sfn|Jongerden|Verheij|2012|p=223}} In the 1897–98 salname the vilayet (province) of Diyarbakır had 20,082 Syriac Orthodox, out of 84,906 non-Muslims.{{sfn|Jongerden|Verheij|2012|p=223}}Rivalry within the Syriac Orthodox Church in Tur Abdin resulted in many conversions to the Syriac Catholic Church (the Uniate branch).{{sfn|Hunter|2014|p=549}}

20th century

Genocide (1914–18)

{{Further|Assyrian genocide}}File:Syrianska seyfo monument hallunda.jpg|thumb|325px|1915 Genocide Monument at St Peters & St Pauls Syrian Orthodox Church in Botkyrka ]]The Ottoman authorities killed and deported Orthodox Syriacs, then looted and appropriated their properties.{{sfn|Kevorkian|2011}} During 1915–16, the number of Orthodox Syriacs in the Diyarbakır province was reduced by 72%, and in the Mardin province by 58%.Gaunt, David. Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia during World War I. Piscataway, N.J.: Gorgias Press, 2006, pp. 433–436

Inter-war period

In 1924, the seat of the Syriac Orthodox Church was transferred to Homs in Syria.{{sfn|Parry|2010|p=259}} This happened after Kemal Atatürk expelled the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, who took the library of Deir el-Zaferan and settled in Damascus.{{sfn|Tozman|Tyndall|2012|p=9}} The Syriac Orthodox villages in Tur Abdin suffered from the 1925–26 Kurdish rebellions and massive flight to Lebanon, northern Iraq and especially Syria ensued.BOOK, Michael Angold, The Cambridge History of Christianity: Volume 5, Eastern Christianity,weblink 17 August 2006, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-81113-2, 513–, (File:11-2015-05-08 كنيسة أم الزنار.jpg|thumb|325px|Church Destroyed during War)In early 1920s, the city of Qamishli was built mainly by Syriac Orthodox refugees, escaping the Assyrian genocide.


In 1959, the seat of the Syriac Orthodox Church was transferred to Damascus in Syria.{{sfn|Parry|2010|p=259}}In the mid-1970s, it was estimated that 82,000 Syriac Orthodox lived in Syria.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=110}}In 1977, the number of Syriac Orthodox followers in diaspora dioceses were: 9,700 in the Diocese of Middle Europe; 10,750 in the Diocese of Sweden and surrounding countries.BOOK, Sobornost, 28–30,weblink 2006, 21, On 20 October 1987, Geevarghese Mar Gregorios of Parumala was declared a saint by the then Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius Zakka I Iwas permitting additions to the diptychs.WEB, Patriarchal Encyclical: Permitting additions to Diptychs in Malankara - Oct 20, 1987,weblink,


Holy Sacraments of the church

The seven Holy Sacraments are:{{Cast listing|
  • Chrismation (Smearing of Holy Muron)
  • Baptism
  • Confession
  • Holy Communion (Queen of the Sacraments)BOOK, Rajan, Kannanayakal Mani, Queen of the Sacraments: A Treatise on the Liturgy of the Holy Mass as Celebrated in the Syrian Orthodox Church, 1991, St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church,weblink en,
  • Marriage
  • Unction (Anointing of the Sick)
  • OrdinationBOOK, Fahlbusch, Erwin, Bromiley, Geoffrey William, Lochman, Jan Milic, Mbiti, John, Pelikan, Jaroslav, The Encyclodedia of Christianity, 2008, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 9780802824172,weblink en,

Bible in the Syriac tradition

File:Bible and Pulpit, Mor Hananyo.jpg|thumb|150px|Peshitta Bible at Mor Hananyo MonasteryMor Hananyo MonasterySyriac Orthodox Churches use the Peshitta (Syriac: simple, common) as its Bible. The New Testament books of this Bible are estimated to have been translated from Greek to Syriac between the late 1st century to the early 3rd century AD.Brock, Sebastian P. The Bible in Syriac Bible. Kottayam: SEERI. The Old Testament of the Peshitta was translated from Hebrew, probably in the 2nd century. The New Testament of the Peshitta, which originally excluded certain disputed books, had become the standard by the early 5th century, replacing two early Syriac versions of the gospels.


File:Mor Ignatius Aphrem II at St. John's Church, Stuttgart.jpg|thumb|Liturgy being celebrated at St. John's Church, StuttgartSt. John's Church, StuttgartThe liturgical service, which is called Holy Qurbono in Syriac Aramaic and means "Eucharist", is celebrated on Sundays and special occasions. The Holy Eucharist consists of Gospel reading, Bible readings, prayers, and songs. During the celebration of the Eucharist, priests and deacons put on elaborate vestments unique to the Syriac Orthodox Church. Whether in the Eastern Mediterranean, India, Europe, the Americas or Australia, the same vestments are worn by all clergy.Apart from certain readings, all prayers are sung in the form of chants and melodies. Hundreds of melodies remain preserved in the book known as Beth Gazo. It is the key reference to Syriac Orthodox church music.Beth Gazo D-ne`mothoweblink


Syriac Orthodox clergy and some devout laity follow a regimen of seven prayers a day, in accordance with Psalm 119.BOOK, The Oxford selection of Psalms and hymns, for the use of parish churches, 1857,weblink en, According to the Syriac tradition, an ecclesiastical day starts at sunset and the Canonical hours are based on West Syriac Rite:
  • Evening or Ramsho prayer (Vespers)BOOK, PhD, Tala Jarjour, Sense and Sadness: Syriac Chant in Aleppo, 2018, Oxford University Press, 9780190635282,weblink en,
  • Night prayer or Sootoro prayer (Compline)BOOK, Church, Syrian Orthodox, The Book of Common Prayer of the Syrian Church, 2005, Gorgias Press, 9781593330330,weblink en,
  • Midnight or Lilyo prayer (Matins)
  • Morning or Saphro prayer (Prime or Lauds, 6 a.m.)
  • Third Hour or tloth sho`in prayer (Terce, 9 a.m.)
  • Sixth Hour or sheth sho`in prayer (Sext, noon)
  • Ninth Hour or tsha` sho'in prayer (None, 3 p.m.)


  • Syriac language: The Syriac language, of the Semitic Aramaic family, is the literary language of the Syriac Orthodox Church. In Tur Abdin, Turoyo is the Neo-Aramaic dialect spoken by the Syriac Orthodox community. The Turoyo-speaking population prior to the 1915 genocide largely adhered to the Syriac Orthodox Church.{{sfn|Weninger|2012|p=697}}JOURNAL, Jastrow, Otto, Mlaḥsô: An Unknown Neo-Aramaic Language of Turkey, Journal of Semitic Studies, 1985, 30, 265–270, 10.1093/jss/xxx.2.265, This Language is used Globally with regional languages for Liturgy.
  • Arabic had become the dominant language of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt by the 11th century.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=22}} Syriac Orthodox clergy wrote in Arabic using GarshÅ«ni, a Syriac script, as early as the 15th century.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=22}} They only later adopted the Arabic script.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=22}} An English missionary in the 1840s noted that the Arabic speech of the Syriacs was intermixed with Syriac vocabulary.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=22}} They chose Arabic and Muslim-sounding names, while women had Biblical names.{{sfn|Joseph|1983|p=22}}
  • English : Used Globally along with Syriac.
  • Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada are presently used in India. Suriyani Malayalam , also known as Karshoni or Syriac Malayalam, is a dialect of Malayalam written in a variant form of the Syriac alphabet which was popular among the Saint Thomas Christians (also known as Syrian Christians or Nasranis) of Kerala in India.WEB,weblink City Youth Learn Dying Language, Preserve It, The New Indian Express, 9 May 2016, 9 May 2016, Suriyani Malayalam, Nasrani FoundationNEWS, A sacred language is vanishing from State,weblink The Hindu, 11 August 2008, en-IN, NEWS, August 4, M. G. Radhakrishnan, August 4, M. G. Radhakrishnan, May 9, M. G. Radhakrishnan, Ist, M. G. Radhakrishnan, Tiny village in Kerala one of the last bastions of Syriac in the world,weblink India Today, en, It uses Malayalam grammar, the Maḏnḥāyā or "Eastern" Syriac script with special orthographic features, and vocabulary from Malayalam and East Syriac. This originated in the South Indian region of the Malabar Coast (modern-day Kerala). Until the 19th century, the script was widely used by Syrian Christians in Kerala.
  • Swedish, German, Dutch, Turkish are used in Europe along with Syriac.WEB, Surayt-Aramaic Online Project,weblink Morephrem Monastery – Monastery Morephrem Website,


(File:DifferentranksSOC.jpg|thumb|The ranks of clergy in the Syriac Orthodox Church, i.e. Patriarch, Catholicos, Metropolitan, Corepiscopos, Priest, Deacon, Laymen.)


The supreme head of the Syriac Orthodox Church is named Patriarch of Antioch, in reference to his titular pretense to one of the five patriarchates of the Pentarchy of early Eastern Christianity. Considered the "father of fathers", he must be an ordained bishop.


The Bishop title comes from Episcopos, a word that means "the one who oversees". In the Syriac Orthodox Church, a bishop is a spiritual ruler of the church. Bishops too have different ranks. The highest is the Patriarch. Next to him is the Catholicos of India, also known as Maphrian, who is the head of the integral Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in India. Then there are Metropolitan bishops or Archbishops, and under them there are bishops.Corepiscopos, Kuriakose M. A Guide to the Altar Assistants. Changanacherry: Mor Adai Study Center, 2005. Historically, in the Malankara Church, the Archbishop was called as Archdeacon, who was the local chief and/or ecclesiastical authority of the Saint Thomas Christians in the Malabar region of India.


The priest is the seventh rank and is the one duly appointed to administer the sacraments. Unlike in the Roman Catholic Church, Syriac deacons may marry before ordained as priests; however they may not marry after ordained as priests. There is an honorary rank among the priests that is Corepiscopos who has the privileges of "first among the priests" and are given a chain with cross and specific vestment decorations. Corepiscopos is the highest rank a married man can be elevated to in the Syriac Orthodox Church. Any ranks above the Corepiscopos are unmarried.


In the Syriac Orthodox tradition, different ranks among the deacons are specifically assigned with particular duties. The six ranks of diaconate are:
  1. ‘Ulmoyo (Faithful)
  2. Mawdyono (Confessor of faith)
  3. Mzamrono (Singer)
  4. Quroyo (Reader)
  5. Afudyaqno (Sub-deacon)
  6. Masamsono (Full deacon)
Only a full deacon or Masamsono can take the censer during the Divine Liturgy to assist the priest; however, in Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church, because of the lack of deacons, altar assistants who do not have any rank of deaconhood may assist the priest. The deacons in Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church can wear a phiro, a cap. Historically the Malankara Church were administered by a local chief called Archdeacon ("Arkadiyokon").


The clergy of the Syriac Orthodox Church have unique vestments that are quite different from other Christian denominations. The vestments worn by the clergy vary with their order in the priesthood: the deacons, the priests, the bishops, and the patriarch each have different vestments.Bishops usually wear a black or a red robe with a red belt. They do not, however, wear a red robe in the presence of the patriarch, who wears a red robe. Bishops visiting a diocese outside their jurisdiction also wear black robes in deference to the bishop of the diocese, who alone wears red robes.A priest also wears phiro, or a cap, which he must wear for all the public prayers. Monks also wear eskimo, a hood. Priests also have ceremonial shoes which are called msone. Without wearing these shoes, a priest cannot distribute Eucharist to the faithful. Then there is a white robe called kutino symbolising purity. Hamniko or stole is worn over this white robe. Then he wears a girdle called zenoro, and zende, meaning sleeves. If the celebrant is a bishop, he wears a masnapto, or turban (different from the turbans worn by Sikh men). A cope called phayno is worn over these vestments. Batrashil, or pallium, is worn over the phayno by bishops, like hamnikho worn by priests.Detailed explanation of vestments of Syriac Orthodox Churchweblink An important aspect is that bishops and Corepiscopos have hand-held crosses while ordinary priests have none.The priest's usual dress is a black robe. However, in India, due to the hot weather, priests usually wear white robes except during prayers in the church, when they wear a black robe over the white one.

Ecumenical relations

File:Coptic pope armenian catholicos and syrian patriarch.jpg|thumb|Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Catholicos Aram I of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church in Lebanon at Oriental OrthodoxOriental OrthodoxThe Bishops of Antioch played a prominent role in the first three synods held at Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381), and Ephesus (431), shaping the formulation and early interpretation of Christian doctrines.In terms of Christology, the Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) understanding is that Christ is "One Nature—the Logos Incarnate, of the full humanity and full divinity". Just as humans are of their mothers and fathers and not in their mothers and fathers, so too is the nature of Christ according to Oriental Orthodoxy. The Chalcedonian understanding is that Christ is "in two natures, full humanity and full divinity". This is the doctrinal difference which separated the Oriental Orthodox from the rest of Christendom.By the 20th century the Chalcedonian schism was not seen with the same relevance, and from several meetings between the authorities of the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodoxy, reconciling declarations emerged in the common statement of the Oriental Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Jacob III and Pope Paul VI in 1971, and then the common statement of the Oriental Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas and Pope John Paul II in 1984.{{cquote|The confusions and schisms that occurred between their Churches in the later centuries, they realize today, in no way affect or touch the substance of their faith, since these arose only because of differences in terminology and culture and in the various formulae adopted by different theological schools to express the same matter. Accordingly, we find today no real basis for the sad divisions and schisms that subsequently arose between us concerning the doctrine of Incarnation. In words and life we confess the true doctrine concerning Christ our Lord, notwithstanding the differences in interpretation of such a doctrine which arose at the time of the Council of Chalcedon.From the common declaration of Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, 23 June 1984}}File:StS_Lopatka_und_Erzbischof_Mar_Gregorios_Yohanna_Ibrahim_(8187829396).jpg|thumb|150px|Archbishop of Aleppo Yohanna Ibrahim (left) with Austrian politician Reinhold LopatkaReinhold LopatkaThe Syriac Orthodox Church is active in ecumenical dialogues. It has been a member church of World Council of Churches since 1960 and Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas was one of the former presidents of World Council of Churches. The Syriac Orthodox Church is also involved in ecumenical dialogues with the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox churches. There are common Christological and pastoral agreements with the Catholic Church. It has also been involved in the Middle East Council of Churches since 1974.The precise differences in theology that caused the Chalcedonian controversy is said to have arisen "only because of differences in terminology and culture and in the various formulae adopted by different theological schools to express the same matter", according to a common declaration statement between Patriarch Ignatius Jacob III of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and Pope Paul VI of the Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday 27 October 1971 and again in the common declaration statement between Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and Pope John Paul II of the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday 23 June 1984.Since 1998, the heads of the three Oriental Orthodox churches in the Eastern Mediterranean i.e. the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church meet regularly each year.

Global presence


{{multiple imagetotal_width=350| image1 = Saint Matthew Monastery (Der Mar Matti), overlooking Bashiqa and Bartella, between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq 22.jpg| caption1= Mar Mattai monasterycaption2=Mor Hananyo Monasterycaption3=Mor Gabriel Monasterycaption4=Saint Mary Church of the Holy Beltcaption5=Monastery of Saint Mark, Jerusalemcaption6=Malekurish St. George Monasterycaption7=Interior of Saint Stephen church in Gütersloh, Germany}}It is estimated that the church has 500,000 Assyrian adherentsWEB,weblink Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch - Dictionary definition of Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch - FREE online dictionary,, 19 March 2018, in addition to 1.2 million members of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church in India.WEB,weblink Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East — World Council of Churches,, 19 March 2018, Historically, the followers of the church are mainly ethnic Assyrians who comprise the indigenous pre-Arab populations of modern Syria, Iraq and south eastern Turkey.Gall, Timothy L. (ed). Worldmark Encyclopedia of Culture & Daily Life: Vol. 3 – Asia & Oceania. Cleveland, OH: Eastword Publications Development (1998); pg. 720–721. Additionally, there is also a large Syriac community among Mayan converts in Guatemala. In addition, there are a few other autocephalous (independent) Syriac Orthodox Churches following the same or similar liturgy and the same West Syriac rite Christianity including the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Malankara Catholic Church, Marthoma Church and Malabar Independent Syrian Church, both based in India and followed by ethnic Indian St Thomas Christians.According to 2001 estimates, around 260,000 ethnic Assyrians live in the Middle East. A similar number live in Western Europe and North America, most notably in Sweden and Germany (100,000), and the Americas (50,000). In terms of specifics, There are 170,000 Syriac Orthodox members in Syria, 50,000 in Iraq and 15,000 in Turkey.WEB,weblink Refworld – World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – Turkey : Syriacs, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Refworld, 6 June 2015, However, The number of Assyrians in Turkey is rising, due to refugees from Syria and Iraq fleeing ISIS, as well as Assyrians from the Diaspora who fled the region during the Turkey-PKK conflict (which occurred from the late seventies until the late 90s) returning and rebuilding their homes. A specific instance of this occurred in Elbegendi, where a German Syriac returned to his village with a few other families and rebuilt the town together with money earned abroad. In addition to those larger populations of Assyrians, 5,000 live in Palestine (500 in Jerusalem and 5,000 Bethlehem), and around 50,000 are estimated to live in Lebanon.In the Syriac diaspora , there are approximately 80,000 members in the United States, 80,000 in Sweden, 100,000 in Germany, 15,000 in the Netherlands, 200,000 members in Brazil, Switzerland, and Austria and a large number living in Central America, which is mainly made up of indigenous Mayan converts in Guatemala, in addition to the 1.5 million adherents of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and their own ethnic diaspora.WEB,weblink, 5 March 2015,


Seminaries & Schools

The church has various seminaries, and numerous colleges and other institutions.WEB, Orthodox Christian Educational Institutions (OCEI) - Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE - Society,weblink Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE - Society, Patriarch Aphrem I Barsoum established St. Aphrem's Clerical School in 1934 in Zahlé, Lebanon. In 1946 it was moved to Mosul, Iraq, where it provided the Church with a good selection of graduates, the first among them being Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas and many other church leaders. In 1990 he established the Order of St. Jacob Baradaeus for nuns and renovated St. Aphrem's Clerical building in Atchaneh, Lebanon for the new order.WEB,weblink Patriarchate of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 April 2008, dmy-all, Seminaries have been instituted in Sweden and in Salzburg, Austria for the study of the Syriac Church, Syriac theology, Syriac history and Syriac language and culture.

International Education

The church has an international Christian education center for religious education.WEB, Christian Education,weblink Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, 22 February 2015, The Antioch Syrian University is established on 8 September 2018 at Maaret Sidnaya, Damascus.WEB, Antioch Syrian University,weblink, en, This university is offering engineering, management and economics courses.WEB, Despite adversities, Antioch Syrian University opens doors of hope — World Council of Churches,weblink en,

Jurisdiction of the Patriarchate

The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch originally covered the whole region of the Middle East and India. However, in recent centuries, its parishioners started to emigrate to other countries all over the world. Today, the Syriac Orthodox Church has several Archdioceses and Patriarchal Vicariates (exarchates) in many countries covering six continents.


Middle East Regions

{{multiple image| direction = vertical | image1 = Hasakah,orthodoxchurch.jpg| caption1 = Syrian orthodox church Al-Hasakah| image2 = Rasal-Ain,church.jpg| caption2 = Rasal-Ain Church| image3 = Syriac Orthodox abbey in Mardin.jpg| caption3 = Syriac Orthodox abbey in Mardin| image4 = MidyatChurch.jpg| caption4 = St.Sharbel Church Midyat}} Syriac Orthodox Christians in the Middle East, known simply as Assyrians/Syriacs (Suryoye), are an ethnic {{harvnb|Donabed|Mako|2009}}; {{harvnb|Jongerden|Verheij|2012|p=223}}; {{harvnb|Romeny|2012}}; {{harvnb|Romeny|2005}} subgroup who follow the West Syrian Rite Syriac Orthodox Church in the Middle East and the diaspora, numbering between 150,000 and 200,000 people in their indigenous area of habitation in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey according to estimations.The community formed and developed in the Near East in the Middle Ages. The Syriac Orthodox Christians of the Middle East speak Neo-Aramaic (their original and liturgical language) Arabic, and in the case of Syriacs from Turkey, sometimes Turkish. The traditional cultural and religious center of the Syriac Orthodox is Tur Abdin, regarded as their homeland, in southeastern Turkey, from where many people fled the Ottoman government-organized genocide (1914–18) to Syria and Lebanon, and Mosul in northern Iraq.Archbishoprics in Middle East Patriarchal Vicariates in Middle East


Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christian Church

The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, one of the various Saint Thomas Christian churches in India, is an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church, with the Patriarch of Antioch as its supreme head. The local head of the church in Malankara (Kerala) is Baselios Thomas I, ordained by Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas in 2002 and accountable to the Patriarch of Antioch. The headquarters of the church in India is at Puthencruz near Ernakulam in the state of Kerala in South India.Simhasana Churches and Honavar Mission is under direct control of Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II.The Indian or Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, is not affiliated with the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church.Unlike most other patriarchal churches abroad, the language of the Syriac Orthodox Divine Liturgy in India is mostly in Malayalam along with Syriac. This is because almost all Syriac Christians in India hail from the State of Kerala, where Malayalam is the native language of the people.File:ManarkadSoonoroChurchbystalin3.jpg|St. Mary's Cathedral, ManarcadFile:Marth Mariam Pally Kuruppampady.jpg|St. Mary's Cathedral, KuruppampadyFile:Manjinikkara Dayra Church.jpg|St. Ignatius Monastery, ManjinikkaraFile:Kothamangalam church.jpg|St. Thomas Church, Kothamangalam{{multiple image| direction = vertical | image1 = Kottayam Valiapally.jpgWEBSITE=WWW.KERALATOURISM.ORG, | image2 = EAE HeadOffice.jpgE.A.E Arch Diocese>E.A.E| image3 = eaechurch.jpegSt Mary's Soonoro Church, Meenangadi>St.Marys Church Meenangadi| image4 = St. Mark's Syrian Orthodox Cathedral - Paramus, New Jersey 01.jpg| caption4 = St. Mark's Syrian Orthodox Cathedral Paramus, New Jersey}}

Knanaya Arch Diocese

The Knanaya Syriac Orthodox Church is an archdiocese under the guidance and direction of Archbishop Severious Kuriakose with the patriarch as its spiritual head. They are the followers of the Syrian merchant Knāy Thoma (Thomas of Cana) in the 4th or 8th century, while another legend traces their origin to Jews in the Middle East.{{sfn|Swiderski|1988a|p=83}}{{sfn|Sharma & Sharma|2004|p=12}}{{sfn|Swiderski|1988a|p=83}}{{sfn|Whitehouse|1873|p=125}}

Evangelistic Association Of The East

E.A.E Arch Diocese is the missionary association of Syriac Orthodox Church founded in 1924 by 'Malphono Naseeho' Geevarghese Athunkal Cor-Episcopa at Perumbavoor.BOOK, Thomas, Anthony Korah, The Christians of Kerala: A Brief Profile of All Major Churches, 1993, A.K. Thomas,weblink en, This Arch Diocese is under the direct control of Patriarch under the guidance of Chrysostomos Markose, It is an organization with several Churches, Educational Institutions, Orphanages, Old Age Home, Dayara, Convent, Publications, Mission Centers, Gospel Team, Care Mission, Missionary Training Institute. It is registered in 1949 under Indian Societies Registration Act. XXI of 1860.(Reg. No. S.8/1949ESTD 1924)WEB,weblink Ministry Of Corporate Affairs - societiesregistrationact,, NEWS, പൗരസ്ത്യ സുവിശേഷ സമാജം ജനറൽ കൺവൻഷൻ തുടങ്ങി,weblink ManoramaOnline, WEB, Missionary Training Institute,Mission centres-The Evangelistic Association of the East,EAE,Perumbavoor,Kerala,India,,weblink,


The presence of Syrian Orthodox faithful in America dates back to the late Nineteenth Century.BOOK, Taft, Robert F., Affairs, Catholic Church National Conference of Catholic Bishops Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious, The Oriental Orthodox Churches in the United States, 1986, United States Catholic Conference,weblink en, BOOK, Kiraz, George Anton, The Syriac Orthodox in North America (1895-1995): A Short History, 2019, Gorgias Press, 9781463240370,weblink en,

North America

United States

  • Patriarchal Vicariate of Eastern United States WEB, Our Archbishop,weblink Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, 1 November 2016, WEB, Gasgous, S., Appointment of Dionysius Jean Kawak,weblink Sts. Peter and Paul Syriac Orthothox Church, en, 10 May 2016,
  • Patriarchal Vicariate of Western United States WEB, Archbishop Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Member of the Suryoyo Assyrian Hall of the Shame,weblink,
  • Malankara Archdiocese of North America


Patriarchal Vicariate of Canada.WEB, His Holiness Moran Ignatius Zakka I Iwas in Kerala,weblink, WEB, Our church worldwide,weblink St. Barsaumo Syriac Orthodox Church,

Central America

In the Guatemala region, a Charismatic movement emerged in 2003 was excommunicated in 2006 by the Roman Catholic Church later joined the church in 2013. Members of this archdiocese are Mayan in origin and live in rural areas, and display charismatic-type practices.JOURNAL, Hager, Anna, The emergence of a Syriac Orthodox Mayan Church in Guatemala, International Journal of Latin American Religions, 3 July 2019, 10.1007/s41603-019-00083-1,weblink en, 2509-9965,


South America

  • Patriarchal Vicariate of ArgentinaWEB, New Archbishop for Syriac Orthodox Church Enthroned in Argentina,weblink News Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE, 10 April 2013, WEB, Name of the Priest or Church,weblink, NEWS, New Archbishop His Eminence John Ghassali Mor Chrysostom is Enthroned in Argentina,weblink,
  • Patriarchal Vicariate of BrazilWEB, Igreja Sirian Ortodoxa de Antioquia no Brasil,weblink Igreja Sirian Ortodoxa de Antioquia no Brasil, pt-BR,


Earlier in 20th century many Syrian Orthodox immigrated to Western Europe diaspora, located in the Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland for economic and political reasons.BOOK, Mayer, Dr Jean-François, Hämmerli, Ms Maria, Orthodox Identities in Western Europe: Migration, Settlement and Innovation, 2014, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 9781472439314,weblink en, Dayro d-Mor Ephrem in Netherlands is the first Syriac Orthodox monastery in Europe established in 1981.BOOK, Brock, Sebastian P., Kiraz, George, Butts, Aaron Michael, Rompay, Lucas Van, Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage, 2011, Gorgias Press, 9781593337148,weblink en, Dayro d-Mor Awgen, Arth, Switzerland,Dayro d-Mor Ya`qub d-Sarug, Warburg, Germany are the other monasteries located in Europe.

Diaspora of Europe

Patriarchal Vicariates: Archbishoprics:

File:Sankt Afrems katedral i Södertälje.jpg|Saint Afram Syriac Orthodox CathedralFile:Syrisk-ortodoxa kyrkan, Vallby, Västerås.jpg|St.Kuriakose Church, Vallby, VästeråsFile:Moeder Godskerk-buitenkant.JPG|Church of Our Lady, AmsterdamFile:Syrisch-orthodoxes Kloster, ehemaliges Dominikanerkloster.JPG|Monastery of Mor Ya`qub of Sarug in WarburgFile:Arth Klosterstr 10.JPG|St.Avgin Monastery, Arth, Switzerland


  • Patriarchal Vicariate of Australia and New Zealand under Archbishop Malatius Malki Malki WEB,weblink Australia & New Zealand, 22 November 2014, JOURNAL, LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL NOTICE PAPER NSW,,weblink WEB, HE Archbishop Mor Malatius Malki thank you letter to ACM Australian Coptic Movement (ACM),weblink, WEB, Home St Peter's,weblink stpeters, en,
File:1.Syrian Orthodox Cathedral Lidcombe-4.jpg|St. Ephraim Cathedral, Lidcombe File:Saint Aphrem Syrian Orthodox Church - Victoria - Australia.jpg|St Aphrem Syrian Orthodox Church, Victoria

See also

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Syriac Christianity in India

Ethnic Communities


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{{Reflist|refs=BOOK, The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, Syriac Orthodox Church, Wiley-Blackwell, Kurian, George Thomas, Murre-van den Berg, Heleen, 2011, 2304, 978-1-4051-5762-9, }}


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  • BOOK, harv, Brock, Sebastian P., Sebastian P. Brock, Fire from Heaven: Studies in Syriac Theology and Liturgy, 2006, Aldershot, Ashgate,weblink 9780754659082,
  • BOOK, harv, Meyendorff, John, John Meyendorff, 1989, Imperial unity and Christian divisions: The Church 450–680 A.D., The Church in history, 2, Crestwood, NY, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press,weblink 9780881410556,
  • BOOK, harv, Ostrogorsky, George, George Ostrogorsky, 1956, History of the Byzantine State, Oxford, Basil Blackwell,weblink
  • R Janin, "Le rite syrien et les Églises syriennes" in Revue des études Byzantines (1919), pp. 321-341
  • BOOK, Whitehouse, Richard, 1873, Lingerings of Light in a Dark Land: Being Researchs Into the Past History and Present Condition of the Syrian Church of Malabar, Kessinger Publishing, 116492317X, {{sfnRef, Whitehouse, 1873, }}
  • BOOK, Bardakçi, Mehmet; Freyberg-Inan, Annette; Giesel, Christoph; Leisse, Olaf, Like a Drop in the Ocean, 165–, Religious Minorities in Turkey: Alevi, Armenians, and Syriacs and the Struggle to Desecuritize Religious Freedom,weblink 2016, Palgrave Macmillan UK, 978-1-137-27026-9, {{harvid, Bardakçi et al., 2016, }}
  • BOOK, Brock, Sebastian P., Taylor, David G. K., The Hidden Pearl: At the turn of the third millennium ; the Syrian Orthodox witness,weblink 2001, Trans World Film Italia, harv,
  • BOOK, Ciggaar, Krijna Nelly, Metcalf, David Michael, East and West in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean: Antioch from the Byzantine reconquest until the end of the Crusader principality,weblink 2006, Peeters Publishers, 978-90-429-1735-4, harv,
  • DOCUMENT, Donabed, Sargon, Mako, Shamiran, 2009, 69–111, Ethno-cultural and Religious Identity of Syrian Orthodox Christians, Chronos, 19, Roger Williams University,weblink PDF, harv,
  • BOOK, Kevorkian, Raymond, The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History,weblink 2011, I.B.Tauris, 978-0-85773-020-6, 91, 94, 365, 366, 368, 371–379, 887, 901, harv,
  • BOOK, Hämmerli, Maria, Mayer, Jean-François, Orthodox Identities in Western Europe: Migration, Settlement and Innovation,weblink 2016, Taylor & Francis, 978-1-317-08490-7, harv,
  • BOOK, Jongerden, Joost, Verheij, Jelle, Social Relations in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1870-1915,weblink 2012, BRILL, 90-04-22518-8, 222–, harv,
  • BOOK, Parry, Ken, The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity,weblink 2010, John Wiley & Sons, 978-1-4443-3361-9, harv,
  • BOOK, Pohl, Walter; Gantner, Clemens; Payne Richard, Visions of Community in the Post-Roman World: The West, Byzantium and the Islamic World, 300–1100,weblink 2016, 2012, Asghate; Routledge, 978-1-317-00136-2,
    • JOURNAL, Romeny, Bas ter Haar, Ethnicity, Ethnogenesis and the Identity of Syriac Orthodox Christians, Visions of Community in the Post-Roman World: The West, Byzantium and the Islamic World, 300–1100, 2012,weblink Ashgate, 183–204, harv,
  • BOOK, Romeny, Bas ter Haar, Religious Origins of Nations?: The Christian Communities of the Middle East,weblink 2010, BRILL, 90-04-17375-7, 51–, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Romeny, Bas ter Haar, From religious association to ethnic community: a research project on identity formation among the Syrian Orthodox under Muslim rule, Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 16, 2005, 377–399, harv,
  • BOOK, Saint-Laurent, Jeanne-Nicole Mellon, Missionary Stories and the Formation of the Syriac Churches,weblink 2015, University of California Press, 978-0-520-96058-9, 94–, harv,
  • BOOK, Taylor, William, Narratives of Identity: The Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of England 1895-1914,weblink 2014, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 978-1-4438-6946-1, harv,
  • BOOK, Weninger, Stefan, The Semitic Languages: An International Handbook,weblink 2012, Walter de Gruyter, 978-3-11-025158-6, harv,

External links

{{Commons category}}

Official websites

Further reading

  • BOOK, Hunter, Erica C. D., The Syrian Orthodox Church, Leustean, Lucian N., Eastern Christianity and Politics in the Twenty-First Century,weblink 2014, Routledge, 978-1-317-81866-3, 541–562, harv,
  • BOOK, Joseph, John, Muslim-Christian Relations and Inter-Christian Rivalries in the Middle East: The Case of the Jacobites in an Age of Transition,weblink 1983, SUNY Press, 978-0-87395-600-0, harv,
  • BOOK, Tozman, Markus K., Tyndall, Andrea, The Slow Disappearance of the Syriacs from Turkey and of the Grounds of the Mor Gabriel Monastery,weblink 2012, LIT Verlag Münster, 978-3-643-90268-9, harv,
  • BOOK, Menze, Volker L., Justinian and the Making of the Syrian Orthodox Church,weblink 2008, OUP Oxford, 978-0-19-156009-5,
  • BOOK, Ahmet Taşğın, Eyyüp Tanrıverdi, Canan Seyfeli, Süryaniler ve süryanilik,weblink 2005, Orient, 978-975-98974-8-2, tr,
  • BOOK, Yakup Bilge, Süryanilerin kökeni ve Türkiyeli Süryaniler,weblink 1991, Y. Bilge, tr,
  • BOOK, Aziz Günel, Türk Süryaniler tarihi,weblink 1970, Yazan, tr,
  • BOOK, Gabriyel Akyüz, Osmanlı Devleti'nde Süryani Kilisesi: Osmanlı padiÅŸahları tarafından Süryani Kilisesi'nin ruhani liderlerine gönderilen fermanlar,weblink 2001, Mardin Kırklar Kilisesi, 978-975-8233-09-0, tr,
  • BOOK, The Syrian Jacobites in the Holy City,weblink 1964,

  • {{citation|author=Armbruster, Heidi|title=Homes in crisis: Syrian orthodox Christians in Turkey and Germany|year=2002|pp=17–33}}
  • {{citation|author=Atto, Naures|title=Hostages in the homeland, orphans in the diaspora: identity discourses among the Assyrian/Syriac elites in the European diaspora|publisher=Leiden University Press|year=2011}}
  • {{citation|author=Millar, Fergus|title=The Evolution of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the Pre-Islamic Period: From Greek to Syriac?|journal=Journal of Early Christian Studies|volume=21|issue=1|year=2013|pp=43–92}}
  • BOOK, O'Mahony, Anthony, Loosley, Emma, Eastern Christianity in the Modern Middle East,weblink 16 December 2009, Routledge, 978-1-135-19371-3, 22–,
  • {{citation|author=Öktem, Kerem|title=Incorporating the time and space of the ethnic ‘other’: nationalism and space in Southeast Turkey in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries|journal=Nations and Nationalism|volume=10|issue=4|year=2004|pp=559–578}}
  • {{citation|author=Palmer, Andrew|title=The History of the Syrian Orthodox in Jerusalem|journal=Oriens Christianus|issue=75|year=1991|pp=16–43}}
  • {{citation|author=Sato, Noriko|title=Selective Amnesia: Memory and History of the Urfalli Syrian Orthodox Christians|journal=Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 12.3|year=2005|pp=315–333}}
  • {{citation|author=Snelders, Bas|title=Identity and Christian-Muslim interaction: medieval art of the Syrian Orthodox from the Mosul area|publisher=Leiden Institute for Religious Studies, Faculty of the Humanities|year=2010}}
  • {{citation|author=Thomas, David Richard, ed.|title=Syrian Christians under Islam: the first thousand years|publisher=Brill|year=2001}}
  • {{citation|author=Tozman, Markus K., and Andrea Tyndall|title=The slow disappearance of the Syriacs from Turkey and of the Grounds of the Mor Gabriel Monastery|volume=III|publisher=LIT Verlag Münster|year=2012}}
  • {{citation|author=Van Ginkel, Jan J.|title=The perception and presentation of the Arab conquest in Syriac Historiography: How did the changing social position of the Syrian orthodox community influence the account of their historiographers?|work=The Encounter of Eastern Christianity with Early Islam|publisher=Brill|year=2006|pp=171–184}}
  • {{citation|author=Weltecke, Dorothea|title=Contacts between Syriac Orthodox and Latin Military Orders|year=2003}}
  • {{citation|author=Weltecke, Dorothea|title=The Syriac Orthodox in the principality of Antioch during the Crusader period|year=2006}}
  • DOCUMENT, Wozniak, Marta, From religious to ethno-religious: Identity change among Assyrians/Syriacs in Sweden, Joint Sessions of Workshops organised by the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), ECPR, 2015,weblink harv,

Ecumenical relations with the Catholic Church


Relating to Syriac Orthodox Church

Relating to Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church

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