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Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Saint Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Livonia, Michigan.
PrimateMetropolitan Archbishop Joseph of New York and All North America
LanguageEnglish, Arabic, Greek, French
HeadquartersArchdiocesan: 358 Mountain Road, Englewood, New Jersey Patriarchal: Damascus, Syria
FounderSt. Raphael of Brooklyn
Origin1895 (Syro-Levantine Antiochian Mission)
1924 (Archdiocese)
RecognitionRecognized by Patriarchate of Antioch as official presence in North America
Members74,600 (United States) [1]
Official website
Metropolitan of New York and All North America
Eastern Orthodox
since 3 July 2014
StyleHis Eminence
CountryUnited States of America
ResidenceNew York, NY

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. By 2014, the Archdiocese had grown to over 275 parish churches.[2][3]

It is one of two Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in North America to currently practice the liturgical Western Rite as well as the Byzantine Rite, along with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.


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 United States and Canada, who had come chiefly from the vilayets of Adana, Aleppo, Damascus, and Beirut (the birthplace of the community's founder, Saint Raphael of Brooklyn).

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, Saint 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 became divided between two archdioceses, those of New York City 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 of North Americans and the immigration of Orthodox Christian 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 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.[1]

Metropolitan Philip died in 2014 and was succeeded by Metropolitan Joseph Al-Zehlaoui.[4]

The Archdiocese is a participating member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Metropolitan Joseph serves as the body's first vice chairman.[5]


The Antiochian Archdiocese is divided in eight territorial dioceses and one vicariate. Some of the territorial dioceses extend into Canada.

Among the eight Byzantine Rite territorial dioceses exists the Western Rite Vicariate, a non-territorial diocese created from remnants of the Society of Saint Basil in 1961, three years after the Western Rite was approved for use by the archdiocese in 1958. It oversees all Antiochian parishes serving the Roman or Anglican uses of the Western Rite, as opposed to the Byzantine Rite used by the majority of the archdiocese.


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 Orthodoxy to America. Its Department of Missions and Evangelism was chaired by Fr. Peter Gillquist who led the mass conversion of the Evangelical Orthodox Church to Eastern Orthodoxy. Gillquist died in July of 2012. The current chairman is Fr. John Finley.[7]

The archdiocese also includes Ancient Faith Ministries among its departments, with its well-known Ancient Faith Radio division, an Internet-based radio station with content themed around Orthodox Christianity, including both streaming stations and more than 100 podcasts.

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.[8]

Relations with other Christian bodies

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 U.S. to take such a step.[9][10]


Bishop Anthony (with crown)
Bishop Anthony (with crown)

While American converts play a substantial role in the life of the Archdiocese, being well represented among both clergy and laity, all bishops of the Antiochian Archdiocese are of Levantine descent.

Metropolitan Archbishop

Auxiliary bishops

  • Bishop Basil (Essey), Wichita Chancery
  • Bishop Thomas (Joseph), Charleston Chancery
  • Bishop Alexander (Mufarrij), Ottawa Chancery
  • Bishop John (Abdallah), Worcester Chancery
  • Bishop Anthony (Michaels), Toledo Chancery
  • Bishop Nicholas (Ozone), Miami Chancery
  • Bishop Demetri (Khoury) of Jableh, retired

Former Metropolitan Archbishops

Archdiocese of New York

  • Metropolitan Victor (Abo-Assaley), 1924-1935
  • Metropolitan Anthony (Bashir), 1936-1966
  • Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), 1966-1975

Archdiocese of Toledo

  • Metropolitan Samuel (David), 1936-1958
  • Metropolitan Michael (Shaheen), 1958-1975

Archdiocese of New York and All North America

  • Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), 1975-2014
  • Metropolitan Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui), 2014-present

See also


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.[11]


  1. ^ a b Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of American orthodox christian churches. (p. 44). Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press
  2. ^ "Parish Directory | Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese". Retrieved 2021-10-23.
  3. ^ "Parishes". Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Retrieved 2021-10-23.
  4. ^ "Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America".
  5. ^ "Leadership". Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Retrieved 2021-11-04.
  6. ^ Krindatch, Alexei, ed. (2011). Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches (PDF). Holy Cross Orthodox Press. ISBN 978-1-935317-23-4 – via Hartford Institute for Religion Research.
  7. ^ "New Leadership Appointed for Department of Missions and Evangelism | Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese". Retrieved 2021-11-04.
  8. ^ Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of American orthodox christian churches. (p. 45). Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press
  9. ^ Breaking News: Orthodox Leave NCC
  10. ^ Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
  11. ^ Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of American orthodox christian churches. (p. x). Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press

External links

This page was last edited on 4 November 2021, at 22:47
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