Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch

Coat of arms Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all East
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
بطريركية أنطاكية وسائر المشرق للروم الأرثوذكس
Damasco cattedrale ortodossaHPIM3223.JPG
Mariamite Cathedral, Damascus, Syria, headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch since 1342 AD.
ClassificationGreek Orthodox
OrientationEastern Orthodox
ScriptureSeptuagint, New Testament
TheologyEastern Orthodox theology
PrimateJohn X Yazigi Patriarch of Antioch and all the East (Dec 17, 2012)
LanguageKoine Greek, Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
HeadquartersMariamite Cathedral, Damascus, Syria
Traditionally: Antioch, Byzantine Empire
Monastic residence: Balamand Monastery, Koura, Lebanon
TerritorySyria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, parts of Turkey, United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, European Union, formerly Cyprus, and formerly Georgia and parts of the Central Caucasus area
FounderApostles Peter and Paul
Independence518 A.D.
Branched fromChurch of Antioch[1]
MembersApprox. 4.3 million (2012)[2]

The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as the Antiochian Orthodox Church and legally as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East (Arabic: بطريركية أنطاكية وسائر المشرق للروم الأرثوذكس‎, romanizedBaṭriyarkiyyat ʾAnṭākiya wa-Sāʾir al-Mašriq li-r-Rūm al-ʾUrṯūḏuks, lit. 'Romaean/Byzantine[3] Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East'), is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Eastern 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.


The seat of the patriarchate was formerly Antioch, in what is now Turkey. However, in the 14th century, it was moved to Damascus, modern-day Syria, following the Ottoman invasion of Antioch. Its traditional territory includes Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and also parts of Turkey. Its territory formerly included the Church of Cyprus until the latter became autocephalous in 431. Both the Orthodox Churches of Antioch and Cyprus 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 geographic area due to the relatively large size of Australia and the large portion of the Pacific Ocean that the archdiocese covers.

The head of the Orthodox Church of Antioch is called Patriarch. The present Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch is John X Yazigi, who presided over the Archdiocese of Western and Central Europe (2008–2013). He was elected as primate of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All The East as John X of Antioch (Yazigi) on December 17, 2012. He succeeded Ignatius IV who had died on December 5, 2012. Membership statistics are not available, but may be as high as 1,100,000 in Syria[4] and 400,000 in Lebanon where they make up 8% of the population or 20% of Christians who make up 39-41% of Lebanon. The seat of the Patriarch in Damascus is the Mariamite Cathedral of Damascus.

The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch is one of several churches that lay 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 Syriac 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.

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Антыяхійская праваслаўная царква
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Antioxiya pravoslav cherkovi
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Antiohijska pravoslavna crkva