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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch logo.gif
Coat of arms
Founder Apostles Peter and Paul
Independence Apostolic Era
Recognition Orthodox
Primate Patriarch of Antioch and all the East Ignatius IV (Hazim)
Headquarters Damascus, Syria
Territory Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, parts of Turkey, (formerly Cyprus)
Possessions United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Great Britain, Western Europe.
Language Arabic, Greek, English
Adherents Estimated 750,000 to 1,000,000 People[1]

The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East and the Antiochian Orthodox Church (Greek: Πατριαρχεῖον Ἀντιοχείας, Patriarcheîon Antiocheías; Arabic: بطريركية أنطاكية وسائر المشرق للروم الأرثوذكس‎), is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity. Headed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, it considers itself the successor to the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter and Paul.

It is one of several churches that claim the inheritance of the historical Patriarchate of Antioch. The Oriental Orthodox Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch makes the same claim, as do the Syrian Catholic Church, the Maronite Church, and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, all of them Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See. These three, however, mutually recognize each other as holding authentic patriarchates, being part of the same Catholic communion. The Catholic Church also claimed the patriarchate and appointed titular Latin Rite patriarchs for many centuries, until the office was left vacant in 1953 and abolished in 1964 and all claims renounced.

The seat of the patriarchate was formerly Antioch, in what is now Turkey. However, in the 15th century, it was moved to the "Street called Straight" in Damascus, modern-day Syria, in response to the Ottoman invasion of Antioch. Its traditional territory includes Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and parts of Turkey. Its territory formerly included the Church of Cyprus until it became autocephalous in 431. Both the Orthodox Churches of Cyprus and Antioch are members of the Middle East Council of Churches.

Its North American branch is autonomous, although the Holy Synod of Antioch still appoints its head bishop, chosen from a list of three candidates nominated in the North American archdiocese. Its Australasia and Oceania branch is the largest in terms of area.

The head of the Orthodox Church of Antioch is called a Patriarch. The current Patriarch is Ignatius IV. Membership statistics are variable, but may be as high as 1,100.000 in Syria and 250,000 in Lebanon (from "Who are the Christians of the Middle East?," Barbara Bailey, 2008).



See also


  1. ^ CNEWA - The Patriarchate of Antioch

External links

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