Portal:Syriac Christianity

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ܫܠܡܐ ܠܘܟܘܢ ܒܬܘܪܥܬܐ ܕܡܫܝܚܝܘܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ

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Syriac Christianity

Syriac Christianity (Syriac: ܡܫܝܚܝܘܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ‎ / Mšiḥāyuṯā Suryāyṯā) refers to Eastern Christian traditions that employ Syriac in their liturgy. Syriac is a variety of Middle Aramaic that emerged in Edessa, Upper Mesopotamia, in the early first century AD, and is considered to be closely related to the Jewish Palestinian Aramaic spoken by Jesus. Tracing back their historical heritage to the 1st century, Syriac Christianity is today represented in the Middle East by the Maronite Church, Syriac Catholic Church, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Ancient Church of the East, as well as by the Saint Thomas Christians of respective communions centered in Kerala, India, as well as independent communities, such as the Chaldean Church of the East in Brazil.

Christianity began in the Middle East in Jerusalem among Aramaic-speaking Jews. It quickly spread to other Aramaic-speaking Semitic peoples, in Parthian Empire-ruled Asōristān (modern Iraq), Roman Syria. Syriac Christianity is divided into two major liturgical traditions: the East Syriac Rite, historically centered in Upper Mesopotamia and the West Syriac Rite, centered in Antioch in the Levant by the Mediterranean coast.

The East Syriac Rite tradition was historically associated with the Church of the East, and it is currently employed by the Middle Eastern churches that descend from it: the Assyrian Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East, and the Chaldean Catholic Church (the members of such churches are Eastern Aramaic-speaking ethnic Assyrians), as well as by the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of India, and the Chaldean Syrian Church of India which is an archbishopric of the Assyrian Church of the East.

The West Syriac Rite tradition is used by the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Maronite Church as well as by the Malankara Church of India, which follow the Malankara Rite tradition of the Saint Thomas Christian community. Adherents sometimes identify as "Syriacs" or "Assyrians".

Selected article

Rabban Hormizd.jpg
Rabban Hormizd Monastery is an important monastery of the Chaldean Church. It is carved out in the mountains about 2 miles from Alqosh, Iraq, 28 miles north of Mosul. Founded on about the 640 AD, it has been the official residence of the patriarchs of the Eliya line of the Church of the East from 1551 to the 18th century, and after the union with Rome in the early 19th century, it became a prominent monastery of the Chaldean Church.

The monastery is named after Rabban Hormizd (rabban is the Syriac for monk) who founded it in the seventh century.


Selected image

Daqin Pagoda, a monastery built in 640 by early Nestorian missionaries to China.
Credit: Jcoster

Daqin Pagoda, a monastery built in 640 by early Nestorian missionaries to China.

Selected biography

Illustration to Tennyson's "St. Simeon Stylites" by W. E. F. Britten
Saint Simeon Stylites
B. 390 – d. 2 September 459

Saint Simeon Stylites or Symeon the Stylite (Hagios Symeon Stylites) was a Christian ascetic saint who achieved fame because he lived for 39 years on a small platform on top of a pillar near Aleppo in Syria. Several other stylites later followed his model (the Greek word style means pillar). He is known formally as Saint Simeon Stylites the Elder to distinguish him from Simeon Stylites the Younger and Simeon Stylites III.


Did you know ...

Alef-stylish.svg
...that the there is a traditional belief among some Syriac Christian Churches that Aramaic and not Greek was the original written language of the Gospels... ?
Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

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