Syriac Orthodox Church

The Syriac Orthodox Church (Classical Syriac: ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܣܽܘܪܝܳܝܬܳܐ ܬܪܺܝܨܰܬ݂ ܫܽܘܒܚܳܐ, romanized: ʿIdto Sūryāyto Trīshath Shuvḥo;[10] Arabic: الكنيسة السريانية الأرثوذكسية, Malayalam: സുറിയാനി ഓർത്തഡോക്സ് സഭ, romanized: Suriyāni ōrtḥdōx Sabḥa),[11] officially known as the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East,[12] and informally as the Jacobite Church,[13] is an Oriental Orthodox church, that branched from the Church of Antioch. The bishop of Antioch, known as the patriarch, heads the church, claiming apostolic succession through Saint Peter (Classical Syriac: ܫܡܥܘܢ ܟܐܦܐ, romanized: Šemʿōn Kēp̄ā) in the c.1st century, according to sacred tradition.[14][15] The church upholds miaphysite doctrine in Christology, and employs the Divine Liturgy of Saint James, associated with James, the "brother" of Jesus.[16] Classical Syriac is the official and liturgical language of the church.


Syriac Orthodox Church
Classical Syriac: ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܣܽܘ̣ܪܝܳܝܬܳܐ ܗܰܝܡܳܢܽܘܬܳܐ ܬܪܺܝܨܰܬ ܫܽܘ̣ܒ̣ܚܳܐ
TypeAntiochian
ClassificationEastern Christian
OrientationOriental Orthodox
ScripturePeshitta
TheologyMiaphysitism
PolityEpiscopal
StructureCommunion
PatriarchIgnatius Aphrem II Patriarch
Catholicate of IndiaMalankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
AssociationsWorld Council of Churches
RegionMiddle East, India, and diaspora
LanguageClassical Syriac
LiturgyWest Syriac: Liturgy of Saint James
HeadquartersCathedral of Saint George, Damascus, Syria (since 1959)
Origin1st century *[1][2][3]
Antioch, Roman Empire[4][5]
Independence518 A.D.[6]
Branched fromChurch of Antioch[7]
MembersApproximately 5.5 million [8]
Aid organizationEPDC St. Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee[9]
Official websiteSyriac Orthodox Patriarchate
*Origin is according to Sacred tradition.
West Syriac Cross Unicode (U+2670) :

The church gained its hierarchical distinctiveness in 512, when pro-Chalcedonian patriarch Flavian II of Antioch was deposed by Byzantine emperor Anastasius I,[17] and a synod was held at Laodicea in Syria in order to choose his successor,[18] a prominent miaphysite theologian Severus the Great (d. 538).[19] His later deposition (in 518) was not recognized by the miaphisite party, and thus a distinctive (autocephalous) miaphysite patriarchate was established, headed by Severus and his successors. During the 6th century, myaphisite hierarchical structure in the region was further straightened by Jacob Baradaeus (d. 578).[20][21][22] While the pro-Chalcedonian faction would form to become the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch (part of the wider Eastern Orthodox Church).

Mor Hananyo Monastery was the headquarters of the church from c.1160 until 1932.[23] The patriarchate was transferred to Homs due to the effects of World War I. The current see of the church is the Cathedral of Saint George, Bab Tuma, Damascus, Syria, since 1959.[24][25][26] Since 2014, Ignatius Aphrem II is the current patriarch of Antioch. The church has archdioceses and patriarchal vicariates in countries covering six continents. Being an active member of World Council of Churches, the church participates in various ecumenical dialogues with other churches.[27][28]