HOME

TheInfoList




The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of
Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), ...
churches adhering to
Miaphysite Miaphysitism is the Christological doctrine upheld by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which include the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox ch ...
Christology In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religio ...
, with a total of approximately 60 million members worldwide. The Oriental Orthodox Churches are broadly part of the
trinitarian The Christian theology, Christian doctrine of the Trinity (, from "threefold") defines God in Christianity , God as being Monotheism, one god existing in three wikt:coequal , coequal, wikt:coeternal , coeternal, Consubstantiality , consubsta ...

trinitarian
Nicene Christian Nicene Christianity is a set of Christian doctrinal traditions which reflect the Nicene Creed, which was formulated at the First Council of Nicaea The First Council of Nicaea (; gr, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops conven ...
tradition shared by today’s mainstream churches, and represent one of its oldest branches. As some of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Oriental Orthodox Churches have played a prominent role in the history and culture of
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...

Armenia
,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
,
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
, and some parts of
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...

Western Asia
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
. An Eastern Christian body of
autocephalous Autocephaly (; from el, αὐτοκεφαλία, meaning "property of being self-headed") is the status of a hierarchy, hierarchical Christian church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. The term is primarily used i ...
churches, its
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...

bishop
s are equal by virtue of
episcopal ordination Consecration is the ritual, solemn dedication to a special purpose or service. The word ''consecration'' literally means "association with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by differen ...
, and its doctrines can be summarized in that the churches recognize the validity of only the first three
ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote a ...
s. The Oriental Orthodox Churches are composed of six autocephalous churches: the
Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria The Coptic Orthodox Church ( cop, Ϯⲉⲕ̀ⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ ⲛ̀ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ ⲛ̀ⲟⲣⲑⲟⲇⲟⲝⲟⲥ, translit=Ti.eklyseya en.remenkimi en.orthodoxos, lit=the Egyptian Orthodox Church; ar, الكنيسة القبطي ...

Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
, the
Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch , native_name_lang = syc , image = Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate 2k18.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = Cathedral of Saint George , caption = Cathedral of Saint George, Damascus, Syria ...
, the
Armenian Apostolic Church , native_name_lang = hy , icon = Armenian Apostolic Church logo.png , icon_width = 100px , icon_alt = , image = Էջմիածնի_Մայր_Տաճար.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , al ...
, the
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) also known as the Indian Orthodox Church (IOC) or simply as the Malankara Church, is an autocephalous Autocephaly (; from el, αὐτοκεφαλία, meaning "property of being self-headed") ...
, the
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church ( am, የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን, ''Yäityop'ya ortodoks täwahedo bétäkrestyan'') is the largest Oriental Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox church. On ...
, and the
Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, ...
. Collectively, they consider themselves to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church founded by
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it i ...

Jesus Christ
in his
Great Commission In Christianity, the Great Commission is the instruction of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus, resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciple (Christianity), disciples to spread the gospel to all the nations of the world. The most famous versio ...
, and that its bishops are the successors of Christ's
apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, parti ...

apostles
. Most member churches are part of the
World Council of Churches The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ...
. Three very different rites are practiced among the churches: the western-influenced
Armenian Rite The Armenian Rite is an independent liturgy Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal response to and participation in the sacred through activiti ...
, the
West Syriac Rite The West Syriac Rite, also called Syro-Antiochene Rite, is an Eastern Christian liturgical rite that employs the Divine Liturgy of Saint James in the West Syriac dialect, West Syriac dialect. It is practised in the Maronite Church, the Syri ...
of the Syriac Church and the Malankara Church of India, and the
Alexandrian Rite Coptic cross The Alexandrian Rite is the liturgical rite used by the Oriental Orthodox Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox church with its ...
of the Copts, Ethiopians and Eritreans. Oriental Orthodox Churches shared
communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, reenacting the Last Supper **Communion (chant), the Gregorian chant that acc ...
with the Imperial Roman Church before the
Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Χαλκηδόνος, ''Synodos tēs Chalkēdonos'') was the fourth ecumenical council The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; ...
in 451 AD, as well as with the
Church of the East The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an church of the , based ...
until the
Council of Ephesus The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western ...
in AD 431, all separating primarily over differences in Christology. The majority of Oriental Orthodox Christians live in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
,
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
and
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...

Armenia
, with smaller
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...
communities living in Western Asia—decreasing due to
persecution Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another individual or group. The most common forms are religious persecution Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or a group of individua ...
. There are also many in other parts of the world, formed through
diaspora A diaspora ( ) is a scattered population whose origin Origin(s) or The Origin may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Comics and manga * , a Wolverine comic book mini-series published by Marvel Comics in 2002 * , a 1999 ''Buffy th ...

diaspora
, conversions, and missionary activity.


Name and characteristics

The name "Oriental Orthodox Churches" was coined for the Conference of Addis Ababa in 1965. At the time there were five participating churches, the Eritrean Church not yet being autocephalous. Other names by which the churches have been known include Old Oriental, Ancient Oriental, Lesser Eastern, Anti-Chalcedonian, Non-Chalcedonian, Pre-Chalcedonian, Miaphysite or Monophysite, although the
Church of the East The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an church of the , based ...
is equally anti-, non- and pre-Chalcedonian.


Theology and ecclesiology

The Oriental Orthodox Churches are distinguished by their recognition of only the first three ecumenical councils during the period of the
State church of the Roman Empire The state church of the Roman Empire refers to the church approved by the Roman emperors after Theodosius I issued the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, which recognized the catholic orthodoxy of Nicene Christians in the Great Church as the Roman Empi ...
—the
First Council of Nicaea The First Council of Nicaea (; grc, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialec ...
in 325, the
First Council of Constantinople The First Council of Constantinople ( la, Concilium Constantinopolitanum; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως) was a council of Christian bishops convened in Constantinople la, Constantinopolis , alternate ...
in 381 and the
Council of Ephesus The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western ...
in 431. Oriental Orthodoxy shares much theology and many
ecclesiastical {{Short pages monitor The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a
communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, reenacting the Last Supper **Communion (chant), the Gregorian chant that acc ...
of six
autocephalous Autocephaly (; from el, αὐτοκεφαλία, meaning "property of being self-headed") is the status of a hierarchy, hierarchical Christian church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. The term is primarily used i ...
(that is, administratively completely independent) regional churches. Each church has defined geographical boundaries of its jurisdiction and is ruled by its council of bishops or synod presided by a senior bishop–its primate (or first hierarch). The primate may carry the honorary title of pope (in the Alexandria tradition), patriarch, abuna (in the Axumites tradition) or catholicos. Each regional church consists of constituent
eparchies Eparchy is an anglicize Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand in Eng ...
(or, dioceses) ruled by a bishop. Some churches have given an eparchy or group of eparchies varying degrees of autonomy (self-government). Such autonomous churches maintain varying levels of dependence on their mother church, usually defined in the document of autonomy. Below is a list of the six autocephalous Orthodox churches forming the main body of Oriental Orthodox Christianity, all of which are titled equal to each other. Based on the definitions, the list is in the alphabetical order, with some of their constituent autonomous churches and exarchates listed as well. *
Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria The Coptic Orthodox Church ( cop, Ϯⲉⲕ̀ⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ ⲛ̀ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ ⲛ̀ⲟⲣⲑⲟⲇⲟⲝⲟⲥ, translit=Ti.eklyseya en.remenkimi en.orthodoxos, lit=the Egyptian Orthodox Church; ar, الكنيسة القبطي ...

Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
** French Coptic Orthodox Church *
Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch , native_name_lang = syc , image = Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate 2k18.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = Cathedral of Saint George , caption = Cathedral of Saint George, Damascus, Syria ...
**
Jacobite Syrian Christian Church The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church (JSCC), also known as the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the Jacobite Syrian Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church in India, is an autonomous Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Ch ...
*
Armenian Apostolic Church , native_name_lang = hy , icon = Armenian Apostolic Church logo.png , icon_width = 100px , icon_alt = , image = Էջմիածնի_Մայր_Տաճար.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , al ...
**
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin ( hy, Մայր Աթոռ Սուրբ Էջմիածին, translit=Mayr At’oř Surb Ēĵmiatsin), known in Armenian as simply the Mother See (Մայր Աթոռ, ''Mayr At’oř''), is the governing body of the Armen ...
**
Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
**
Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem Image:Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem 1900.jpg, Harootiun Vehabedian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, 1900 (Library of Congress). The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem also known as the Armenian Patriarchate of Saint James ( hy, Առաքել ...

Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem
**
Holy See of Cilicia The Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia ( hy, Կաթողիկոսութիւն Հայոց Մեծի Տանն Կիլիկիոյ) is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church. Since 1930, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cili ...

Holy See of Cilicia
*
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) also known as the Indian Orthodox Church (IOC) or simply as the Malankara Church, is an autocephalous Autocephaly (; from el, αὐτοκεφαλία, meaning "property of being self-headed") ...
*
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church ( am, የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን, ''Yäityop'ya ortodoks täwahedo bétäkrestyan'') is the largest Oriental Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox church. On ...
*
Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, ...
There are a number of churches considered non-canonical, but whose members and clergy may or may not be in communion with the greater Oriental Orthodox communion. Examples include the
Celtic Orthodox Church The Celtic Orthodox Church (COC; ), also called Holy Celtic Church, is an autocephalous Autocephaly (; from el, αὐτοκεφαλία, meaning "property of being self-headed") is the status of a hierarchical Christian church whose head bi ...
, the
Ancient British Church The Ancient British Church was a British religious movement founded by Jules Ferrette (Mar Julius) and Richard Williams Morgan (Mar Pelagius). The Ancient British Church was founded circa 1874 as a restoration of the Christian church of the fi ...
, and lately the
British Orthodox Church The British Orthodox Church, formerly known as the Orthodox Church of the British Isles, is a small independent Oriental Orthodox church defining its mission to the people of the British Isles. It has not been in communion with any of the Orienta ...
. These organizations have passed in and out of official recognition, but members rarely face excommunication when recognition is ended. The primates of these churches are typically referred to as ''
episcopi vagantes In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious ...
'' or ''vagantes'' in short.


Adherents

According to the Encyclopedia of Religion, Oriental Orthodoxy is the Christian tradition "most important in terms of the number of faithful living in the Middle East", which, along with other Eastern Christian communions, represent an
autochthonous River ecosystems are flowing waters that drain the landscape, and include the Biotic component, biotic (living) interactions amongst plants, animals and micro-organisms, as well as abiotic (nonliving) physical and chemical interactions of its many ...
Christian presence whose origins date further back than the birth and spread of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
in the Middle East. It is the dominant religion in
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...

Armenia
(94%) and ethnically
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
unrecognized
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Artsakh, officially the Republic of Artsakh (; hy, Արցախի Հանրապետություն, Artsakhi Hanrapetutyun) or the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (; russian: Нагорно-Карабахская Республика, Nagorno-Karaba ...

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
(95%). Oriental Orthodoxy is a prevailing religion in
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
(43.1%), while Protestants account for 19.4% and Islam - 34.1%. It is most widespread in two regions in
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
:
Amhara Amhara may refer to: * Amhara, Bihar, India * Amhara people, an ethnic group of Ethiopia * Amhara Province, a medieval province of Ethiopia * Amhara Region, an administrative region of modern Ethiopia * Amhara, a subdivision of the former Italian Ea ...
(82%) and (96%), as well as the capital city of
Addis Ababa Addis Ababa ( am, አዲስ አበባ ' , "new flower"), also known as Finfinne ( om, Finfinne "natural spring") and Sheger ( ', ), is the and largest city of . According to the 2007 census, the city has a population of 2,739,551 inhabitants. ...

Addis Ababa
(75%). It is also one of two major religions in
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
(40%). It is a minority in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
(<20%),
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
(3–5%),
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
(2–3% out of the 10% of total Christians),
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
(10% of the 40% of Christians in Lebanon or 200,000 Armenians and members of the Church of the East) and
Kerala Kerala ( ; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Kerala
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
(7% out of the 20% of total Christians in Kerala). In terms of total number of members, the Ethiopian Church is the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches, and is second among all Orthodox churches among Eastern and Oriental Churches (exceeded in number only by the
Russian Orthodox Church , native_name_lang = ru , image = Moscow July 2011-7a.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = , caption = Cathedral of Christ the Saviour The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour ( rus, Храм Хр ...

Russian Orthodox Church
). Also of particular importance are the
Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
in Turkey and the Armenian Apostolic Church of Iran. These Oriental Orthodox churches represent the largest Christian minority in both of these predominantly Muslim countries,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
and
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
.


Internal disputes

There are numerous ongoing internal disputes within the Oriental Orthodox Churches. These disputes result in lesser or greater degrees of impaired communion.


Armenian Apostolic

The least divisive of these disputes is within the
Armenian Apostolic Church , native_name_lang = hy , icon = Armenian Apostolic Church logo.png , icon_width = 100px , icon_alt = , image = Էջմիածնի_Մայր_Տաճար.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , al ...
, between the Catholicosate of
Etchmiadzin Vagharshapat ( hy, Վաղարշապատ ) is the 4th-largest city in Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country located in the Armenian Highlands of Wester ...

Etchmiadzin
and the . The division of the two Catholicosates stemmed from frequent relocations of church headquarters due to political and military upheavals. The division between the two sees intensified during the Soviet period. The Holy See of Etchmiadzin was seen as a captive Communist puppet by some Western bishops and clergy. Sympathizers of this established congregations independent of Etchmiadzin, declaring loyalty instead to the See based in
Antelias Antelias ( ar, أنطلياس) is a town in Lebanon. It is located around 5 km to the north of Beirut. Etymology The name is originally Greek, ἀντήλιος – from ἀντί(anti) "contra" and ἥλιος (helios) "sun" – meaning ...
in
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
. The division was formalized in 1956 when the Antelias (Cilician) See broke away from the Etchmiadzin See. Though recognising the supremacy of the
Catholicos of All Armenians File:0 56617 4e109b0b XL.jpg, Catholicos Palace in Echmiadzin The Catholicos of All Armenians (plural Catholicoi, due to its Greek language, Greek origin) ( hy, Ամենայն Հայոց Կաթողիկոս) is the chief bishop and spiritual leader ...
, the
Catholicos of Cilicia This is a list of the Armenian Catholicoi of Cilicia of the Holy See of Cilicia (full name: the Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, hy, Կաթողիկոսութիւն Հայոց Մեծի Տանն Կիլիկիոյ). The Armenian ...
administers the clergy and dioceses independently. The dispute, however, has not at all caused a breach in communion between the two churches.


Ethiopia

In 1992, following the abdication of
Abune Merkorios Abune Merkorios (born Ze-Libanos Fanta; 1938) is an Ethiopian bishop and the fourth Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church ( am, የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ...
and election of
Abune Paulos Abune Paulos (born Gebremedhin Woldeyohannes; 3 November 1936 – 16 August 2012) was an Ethiopian patriarch for Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church from 1992 to his death in 2012. His full title was "His Holiness Abuna Paulos, Fifth Patriarch ...
, some Ethiopian Orthodox bishops in the United States maintained that the new election was invalid, and declared their independence from the Addis Ababa administration forming separate synod. On 27 July 2018, representatives from both synods reached an agreement. According to the terms of the agreement, Abune Merkorios was reinstated as Patriarch alongside Abune Mathias (successor of Abune Paulos), who will continue to be responsible for administrative duties, and the two synods were merged into one synod, with any excommunications between them lifted.


India

Indians who follow the Oriental Orthodox faith belong to the
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) also known as the Indian Orthodox Church (IOC) or simply as the Malankara Church, is an autocephalous Autocephaly (; from el, αὐτοκεφαλία, meaning "property of being self-headed") ...
and the
Jacobite Syrian Christian Church The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church (JSCC), also known as the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the Jacobite Syrian Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church in India, is an autonomous Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Ch ...
. The two churches were united before 1912 and after 1958, but again separated in 1975. The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, also known as the Indian Orthodox Church, is an autocephalous church. It is headed by the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan. The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church is an autonomous body of the
Syriac Orthodox Church , native_name_lang = syc , image = Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate 2k18.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = Cathedral of Saint George , caption = Cathedral of Saint George, Damascus, Syria ...
in India. It is headed by regional head
Catholicos of India Catholicos of India is an ecclesiastical office in the Syriac Orthodox Church, the head of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church (JSCC) also known as the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, or ...
. The
Malabar Independent Syrian Church The Malabar Independent Syrian Church, also known as the Thozhiyur Church, is a Christian church centred in Kerala Kerala (; ) is a state on the southwestern Malabar Coast of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India ...
also follows the Oriental Orthodox tradition, but is not in communion with other Oriental Orthodox churches.


Occasional confusions

The
Assyrian Church of the East The Assyrian Church of the East ( syc, ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܖ̈ܝܐ, ʿĒḏtā ḏ-Maḏnḥā ḏ-ʾĀṯūrāyē, ar, كنيسة المشرق الآشورية), officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ( sy ...
is sometimes incorrectly described as an Oriental Orthodox church,Martin Tamcke: Orientalische orthodoxe Nationalkirchen. In
Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart
(RGG). 4. Auflage. Band 6, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 2003, Sp. 653
though its origins lie in disputes that predated the Council of Chalcedon and it follows a different
Christology In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religio ...
from Oriental Orthodoxy. The historical
Church of the East The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an church of the , based ...
was the church of
Greater Iran ( BC) at its greatest extent () File:Achaemenid_(greatest_extent).svg, Achaemenid Empire (550 BC–330 BC) at its greatest extent () Greater Iran ( fa, ایران بزرگ, translit=Irān-e Bozorg) refers to the regions of Western Asia, ...
and declared itself separate from the
state church of the Roman Empire The state church of the Roman Empire refers to the church approved by the Roman emperors after Theodosius I issued the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, which recognized the catholic orthodoxy of Nicene Christians in the Great Church as the Roman Empi ...
in 424–27, years before the Ecumenical Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. Theologically, the Church of the East was affiliated with the doctrine of
Nestorianism Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...

Nestorianism
, and thus rejected the
Council of Ephesus The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western ...
, which declared Nestorianism heretical in 431. The Christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in fact developed as a reaction against Nestorian Christology, which emphasizes the distinctness of the human and divine natures of Christ.


See also

*
Communion of Western Orthodox Churches The Communion of Western Orthodox Churches (CWOC; french: Communion des Églises orthodoxes occidentales, CEOO), also known as the Western Orthodox Church, is a communion of Christian churches of Orthodox tradition, standing alongside the East ...
*
Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy ( el, Διακοινοβουλευτική Συνέλευση Ορθοδοξίας, russian: Межпарламентская Ассамблея Православия), or I.A.O., is a transnational, i ...
*
List of Christian denominations A Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the same kind, identifiable by traits such as a name, peculiar hist ...
*
Oriental Orthodoxy in North America Oriental Orthodoxy in North America represents adherents, religious communities, institutions and organizations of Oriental Orthodox Christianity in North America, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and other North American states. Orien ...


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


Orthodox Joint CommissionThe Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches in AmericaEncyclical, Pope Benedict XIV, ''Allatae Sunt'' (''On the observance of Oriental Rites''), 1755


* ttp://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/RC.html Joint Declarations Between the Syriac Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churchesbr>Dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches on the Anglican Communion WebsiteDialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches on the Vatican WebsiteThe Rejection of the Term Theotokos by Nestorius Constantinople
{{Authority control Oriental Orthodoxy,