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Stories on the Church of Antioch and the Middle East

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America is an archdiocese of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East. It traces its roots to first century Antioch (modern-day Antakya, Turkey), the city in which the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). The Patriarchate is led by His Beatitude John X from Damascus, Syria. In addition to its continuing presence in Syria and Lebanon, the Antiochian Patriarchate has archdioceses in Europe; Asia; North, Central and South America; and Australia and New Zealand.

The Church of Antioch was established by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas in 42 A.D., with St. Peter serving for the next eight years as its first prelate. The Church of Antioch is one of the five ancient Patriarchates of the Christian Church, along with Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Rome. Antiochians are in full communion with other Orthodox Christian jurisdictions, such as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Orthodox Church in America, as well as many other Orthodox jurisdictions around the world.


Latest News

Lecture Highlights Humanitarian Crisis in Syria

On Tuesday September 29th, 2015 at the Museum of the City of New York, the former Director of the Department of Philanthropy of the Patriarchate of Antioch, Samer Laham, addressed a crowd of nearly 200 people regarding the devastating impact of the humanitarian crisis in Syria upon Orthodox Christians in the Middle East as well as Syrians of all faiths. His Eminence Archbiship Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America were in attendance and offered Archieratical responses to Mr. Laham's multimedia presentation. The lecture was sponsored by the Order of St. Andrew, the Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch and the IOCC as the relief agency of the Assembly of Bishops.

View a gallery of photos from the event (Photos by J. Mindala)

BuzzFeed Features St. Nicholas Cathedral in Story About Syrian Christians

St. Nicholas CathedralSt. Nicholas CathedralOn September 28, 2015, the popular website BuzzFeed featured a story by reporter Leticia Miranda, "Christian Syrians in the U.S. Fear for their Families Back Home." Miranda described the situation for many families who are in anguish over the situation of their loved ones living in war-torn Syria. The plight of Christians "has been an ongoing concern for human rights advocates since the beginning of the war in 2011," noted the article. "Since then, more than 700,000 Christian Syrians have left the country, according to Open Doors International, a U.K.-based organization tracking the persecution of Christians."

Read the full post on BuzzFeed

IOCC Video, "Saving Syria's Children," Tells Story of Displaced Families

"Saving Syria's Children," a new video from the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), recounts how civil war has robbed more than five million Syrian children of their innocence, homes, safety, and education. IOCC is responding with relief to Syria's displaced children and families and those living as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Armenia, Greece, and Serbia.

(Narrated by Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director and CEO)

Tri-State Order of St. Ignatius Members to Co-sponsor Presentation by Mr. Samer Laham: "Syria in Crisis"

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On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, a talk regarding the humanitarian crisis that has befallen the Syrian population, including Christians and other minorities, will be presented by Mr. Samer Laham, Director of the Department of Development and Ecumenical Relations for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East. Admission is free; the presentation will be held at the City of the Museum of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, NYC. Donations will be accepted by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to help with their Syrian relief efforts.

The Cocktail Hour is from 6:30-7:30, followed by the presentation at 7:30. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will be in attendance. The co-sponsors for the event are The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the IOCC, and The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Space is limited! Please RSVP by September 25 to Christa Pourou, 212.570.3550 , or

Newly Published: Broken Promises and White House Meetings by Metropolitan Philip and Dr. Najib Saliba

Now available to order from the Antiochian Village Bookstore: Broken Promises and White House Meetings, featuring Dr. Najib Saliba and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Saliba of blessed memory.

From the Book:

In part one of this book , Dr. Najib Saliba factually portrays the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict in an eloquent and easy way to understand for both novices wishing to learn about the intricacies of the dispute as well as people who already have a basic knowledge of the region and its politics.

In Part two, we turn to the impressions of our late archbishop, Metropolitan Philip Saliba, who shepherded our archdiocese from 1966 until his death in March of 2014. The metropolitan wanted to leave the readers with lasting impressions of his many visits with the various presidents of the United States during his 48 year tenure as the primate of the (Antiochian) archdiocese.

Order online from the Antiochian Village Bookstore.

The Visit of Our Father in Christ, His Beatitude John X

By Fr. Joseph Antypas

During the recent visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, who was accompanied by a group of hierarchs and clergymen, it became clear to many people that the Patriarch is compassionate, serene, and that when he addressed audiences, he spoke from the heart. He addressed the faithful of our Archdiocese, whether individually or collectively, with warmth and compassion. He emphasized the bond of unity that holds all Antiochian clergy and laity who live in all parts of the earth. His appeals for Syria and the Arab world come from his heart. "We want peace; we do not want to be toys in the hands of the super powers. Leave us alone and we shall find a solution for our problems." His Beatitude repeatedly emphasized that Christians and Muslims have lived together for hundreds of years, in peace and tranquility. He stressed the fact that all assistance that is provided only to the Christians in Syria and denied to the Muslim population is not acceptable. "I am in peace only when my Muslim neighbor is in peace." He prayed fervently for establishing peace and harmony in the homeland.

A Synaxis of the Antiochian World: A Report on the 52nd Convention

A Synaxis of the Antiochian World:
A Report on the 52nd Convention of the
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Boston, Massachusetts, July 20-26, 2015
By Subdeacon Peter Samore

“O Antioch: lift up your eyes and look around, for your sons came like the pearls shining with the light of God from the West, and the North; from the sea, and the East, glorifying Jesus Christ in you to the ages of ages.” – St. John of Damascus

These words best describe the communion of the apostolic Orthodox Church of Antioch that can never be broken, even if oceans keep her children at a distance from one another. Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ is at the center of the Antiochian communion, manifest by the apostles and their spiritual descendants who proclaimed Christ’s gospel in all corners of the world throughout all ages.

View all Photo Galleries: Convention and Patriarchal Visit 2015

The editors of have created an aggregate of the photo galleries published during His Beatitude Patriarch John's visit. Go here to view the collection of galleries, "Convention and Patriarchal Visit 2015."

New York Times Article Tells Story of Middle East's Suffering Christians

On July 22, 2015, The New York Times published an extensive story by journalist Eliza Griswold, detailing the history and current situation for Christians in the Middle East. In the article, titled "Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?", Griswold tells the stories of families relocated and villages torn asunder; of people killed, injured, or traumatized. The writer's narrative helps the reader grasp the enormous political and philanthropic challenges faced by the Christians of the region.

Read the full story

Syria Update from the 2015 Boston Antiochian General Assembly

A video highlighting the situation of the Church in Syria which was presented at this morning's General Assembly: