Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

The Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East (SOPAE) joined the World council of churches in 1961 during the reign of Patriarch Mor Ignatius Yacoub III (1980+).  SOPAE occupies the highest rank in the history of Christianity, and she is proud of her glorious history. Proud of her illustrious scholars, good shepherds, holy martyrs including, but not limited to SAYFO1915, confessors, monks, doctors, and saints who led her in the true path.  SOPAE now has presence around the world, spreading her heavenly teachings.[1] From the privileges that distinguish SOPAE some are outlined underneath:

There is no doubt that SOPAE embraced Christianity early; she was the first Church established by Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Liturgy of St. James, attributed to the Apostle James, is one of the Divine Liturgies that continues to be used by SOPAE to this day. SOPAE is proud that her headquarters in Jerusalem is St. Mark Monastery where many important events in the history of Christianity took place such as:  The Last Supper (Mark 14:12-25).  Post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus to the disciples, including the one in which he showed doubting Thomas the wounds in his hands and side (John 20:24-28). the election of Matthias as an apostle to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:21-26). The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

SOPAE’s Holy See of Antioch was established by St. Peter, the Head of the Apostles, in the year 37.  The present Patriarch H.H. Mor Ignatius Aphrem II is the legitimate and lawful 122nd successor of St Peter. All countries situated between the bank of the Persian Gulf and the shore of the Mediterranean Sea were ecclesiastically ruled by the Holy See of Antioch.  However, due to political pressures, several churches branched out from the original SOPAE.  

SOPAE’s Patriarch of Antioch and All the East residence was in Antioch itself; then he resided at Mor Hananyo Dayro (Dayr al-Zaʿfarān) near Mardin. During World War I, Syriacs left Turkey and the Patriarchate moved to Homs (1931) then to Damascus (1957). The title of the Maphryono (Catholicos) of the East is now held by the Maphryono in India.

SOPAE recognizes the faith of the first three ecumenical councils: Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381) and Ephesus (431).  SOPAE is a member of the Oriental Family of churches.  SOPAE’s orthodoxy is confirmed by the Holy Bible and the genuine historical documents that date back before the Council of Chalcedon (451).

SOPAE’s language is Syriac, the language that became sacred being spoken by Our Lord, His blessed Mother, the Apostles and Disciples.  The Holy Gospel was preached in Syriac for the first time in Judea, Syria, and surrounding countries. In Syriac, the Early Christian Church celebrated the very first Holy Eucharist. In Syriac the discussions were led in the year 51 AD at the Jerusalem Council and Syriac was the first language that the Holy Scriptures were written in. Syriac continues to be used at SOPAE churches alongside the local languages.  


[1] The information is mainly derived from ‘History of the Syrian Church of Antioch by Severus Jacob the Syrian Metropolitan of Beirut and Damascus, (Later H.H. Mor Yacoub III, Patriarch of Antioch 1980+) – Beirut – Lebanon 1953.  Also, from the Britannica Encyclopedia, and the Holy Bible.