Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

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The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
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Saint Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Livonia, Michigan.
Founded 1895 (Syro-Arabian Mission)
1924 (Archdiocese)
Founder St. Raphael of Brooklyn
Recognition Semi-autonomous self-rule granted in 2003
Primate Patriarch John X of Antioch
Metropolitan Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) of New York and All North America
Headquarters Patriarchal: Damascus, Syria
Archdiocesan: Englewood, NJ
Territory  United States
 Canada
Language English, Arabic, Greek
Members 74,600 (United States)
(27,300 regular attendees) [1]
Parishes 276
Website http://www.antiochian.org/
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The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, often referred to in North America as simply the Antiochian Archdiocese, is the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch in the United States and Canada. Originally under the care of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Syro-Levantine Orthodox Christian immigrants to the United States and Canada were granted their own jurisdiction under the Church of Antioch in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution. Internal conflicts divided the Antiochian Orthodox faithful into two parallel archdioceses—those of New York and Toledo—until 1975, when Metropolitan Philip (Saliba) became the sole Archbishop of the reunited Antiochian Archdiocese. The Holy Synod of Antioch granted the Archdiocese a semi-autonomous status known as Self-Rule in 2003, and by 2014 the Archdiocese had grown to over 275 parish churches.

History[edit]

The Antiochian Orthodox followers were originally cared for by the Russian Orthodox Church in America and the first bishop consecrated in North America, Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, was consecrated by the Russian Orthodox Church in America in 1904 to care for the Syro-Levantine Greek Orthodox Christian Ottoman immigrants to the USA and Canada, who had come chiefly from the Vilayets of Adana, Aleppo, Beirut and Damascus (the birthplace of the community's founder St Raphael).

After the Bolshevik Revolution threw the Russian Orthodox Church and its faithful abroad into chaos, the Syro-Levantine Greek Orthodox Christian faithful in North America, simultaneously shaken by the death of their beloved bishop St Raphael, chose to come under the direct care of the Damascus-based Patriarchate of Antioch. Due to internal conflicts, however, the Antiochian Orthodox faithful in North America were divided between two archdioceses, those of New York and Toledo.

In 1975 the two Antiochian Orthodox archdioceses were united as one Archdiocese of North America (now with its headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey). Since then it has experienced significant growth through ongoing evangelization and the immigration of Orthodox Arabs from the Middle East. Its leader from 1966 until 2014 was Metropolitan Philip Saliba. Six other diocesan bishops assisted the metropolitan in caring for the nine dioceses of the growing archdiocese, which is the third largest Orthodox Christian jurisdiction in North America, with 74,600 adherents in the United States, 27,300 of whom are regular church attendees. As of 2011, it also has 249 parishes in the United States with two monastic communities.[2] Metropolitan Philip died in 2014 and was replaced by Archbishop Joseph Al-Zehlaoui.[1]

On October 9, 2003, the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Orthodox Church granted the archdiocese's request to be granted self-rule status to allow it to better govern itself, improve and increase its outreach efforts, internally organize itself into several dioceses, and progress further on the road to the administrative unity of the Orthodox Church in the Americas.[2]

Evangelism[edit]

Many conservative former Anglicans have turned to the archdiocese as a jurisdiction, some joining and leading Western Rite parishes with liturgy more familiar to Western Christians. The current mission of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America is to "bring America to Orthodoxy" and has a very active Department on Mission and Evangelism which was chaired by Fr. Peter Gillquist who led the mass conversion of the Evangelical Orthodox Church to Eastern Orthodoxy. Gullquist retired in December 2011 and died in July 2012. Fr. Michael Keiser was named as his successor as head of the department.[3] The archdiocese broadcasts Ancient Faith Radio, an Internet-based radio station with content themed around Orthodox Christianity.

As a result of its evangelism and missionary work, the Antiochian Archdiocese saw significant growth between the mid-1960s and 2012. The archdiocese had only 65 parishes across the United States in the mid-1960s and by 2011 this number had increased to 249 parishes.[4]

Relations with Other Christian Bodies[edit]

The archdiocese had formerly been a member of the National Council of Churches (NCC), but its archdiocesan convention voted unanimously on July 28, 2005, to withdraw fully from that body, citing increased politicization and a generally fruitless relationship, making it the only major Orthodox jurisdiction in the US to take such a step.[3][4]

Episcopacy[edit]

Brooklyn cathedral

Metropolitan Archbishop[edit]

Auxiliary Bishops[edit]

Retired Bishop[edit]

Former Metropolitan Archbishops[edit]

Archdiocese of New York[edit]

Archdiocese of Toledo[edit]

Archdiocese of New York and All North America[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

1.^ The number of adherents given in the "Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches" is defined as "individual full members" with the addition of their children. It also includes an estimate of how many are not members but regularly participate in parish life. Regular attendees includes only those who regularly attend church and regularly participate in church life.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of american orthodox christian churches. (p. 44). Brookline,MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press
  2. ^ Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of american orthodox christian churches. (p. 44). Brookline,MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press
  3. ^ http://www.antiochian.org/content/fr-peter-gillquist-retire-head-department-missions-and-evangelism-fr-michael-keiser
  4. ^ Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of american orthodox christian churches. (p. 45). Brookline,MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press
  5. ^ Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of american orthodox christian churches. (p. x). Brookline,MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°35′15″N 74°24′48″W / 40.5874°N 74.4134°W / 40.5874; -74.4134