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|Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East|
Coat of arms
|Founder||Apostles Peter & Paul|
|Primate||Patriarch of Antioch and all the East Ignatius IV (Hazim)|
|Territory||Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, parts of Turkey, (formerly Cyprus), United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Great Britain, Western Europe.|
|Possessions||Partial custody of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre|
|Language||Arabic, Greek, English, Spanish|
|Adherents||Estimated 2 million|
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, Baṭrīarkīyyat Anṭākiya wa-sā'ir al-mašriq li'l-Rūm al-Ūrthūduks), 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 lays claim to be the canonical incumbent of the ancient see of St. Peter and St. Paul in 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 Roman Catholic Church also 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 14th 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 not available, but may be as high as 1,100,000 in Syria and 400,000 in Lebanon.
The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch is one of the ancient churches of the world. According to the New Testament:
St. Peter and St. Paul the Apostle are considered the cofounders of the Patriarchate of Antioch, the former being its first bishop. When Peter left Antioch, Evodios and Ignatius took over the charge of the Patriarchate. Both Evodios and Ignatius died as martyrs under Roman persecution.
Some typically Grecian "ancient synagogal" priestly rites and hymns have survived partially to the present, notably in the distinct church services of the Melkite and Greek Orthodox communities of the Hatay Province of Southern Turkey, Syria and Lebanon.
in the Eastern Mediterranean:
in Asia and Oceania:
in Latin America:
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