Eastern Orthodoxy in Syria


Eastern Orthodoxy in Syria represents Christians in Syria who are adherents of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Eastern Orthodox and 'Greek' Catholic (Arabic language, Arabic: المسيحية الشرقية في سوريا) tradition is represented in Syria by two distinct albeit historically and culturally related Byzantine communities: the Greek Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, Church of Antioch, the largest and oldest Christian community in the country, closely followed by the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, itself a Uniate offshoot of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.

Dual self-designation: "Melkites" and "Eastern Romans"

Members of these communities in Syria and the Hatay Province, Hatay province of Turkey (formerly part of Northern Syria), still call themselves Rûm which means "''Eastern Roman''" or "''Asian Greek''" in Arabic language, Arabic, both referring to the i.e. Byzantine inheritance, and indeed they follow its central Greek-language version of the Constantinian or Byzantine Rite. In that particular context, the term "Rûm" is used in preference to "Yāwāni" or "Ionani" which means "''European-wikt:Greek, Greek''" or Ionian in Biblical Hebrew and Classical Arabic. Members of these communities also call themselves ''"Melkites"'', which literally means ''"monarchists"'' or ''"supporters of the emperor"'' in Semitic languages (a reference to their ancient allegiance to Macedonians (Greeks), Macedonian and Roman Empire, Roman imperial rule), but, in the modern era, the term tends to be more commonly used by followers of the Greek Catholic Church of Antioch.

Presence in neighboring countries

These churches also exist in other parts of the Middle-East, notably Southern Turkey, Lebanon and Northern Israel and some Greek Orthodox intellectuals have been noted in the past for their secularist "pan-Arab" or "Greater Syria, pan-Syrian" leanings, notably during the colonial and post-colonial eras. The Greek Orthodox Christians also have a long and continuous association with Orthodox Christian European nations such as Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania.

Notable Orthodox Christians in Syria

* Michel Aflak - Philosopher, founder of the secularist Baath party * Dawoud Rajiha - Ministry of Defense (Syria), Minister of Defense from 2011 to 2012 *Qustaki al-Himsi - Writer and poet of the Nahda movement *Abd al-Masih Haddad - Writer of the Mahjar movement and journalist * * Constantin Zureiq - Longtime history professor at the American University of Beirut and proponent of secular Arab nationalism * Halim Barakat - Arab novelist and sociologist *George Wassouf - One of the most successful Arab singers selling over 60 million records worldwide *Nassif Zeytoun - Singer and the 2010 winner of the Arabic reality television show ''Star Academy Arab World, Star Academy'' *Nasib Arida - Poet and writer of the Mahjar movement and a founding member of the New York Pen League. * Ignatius IV of Antioch - Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All The East from 1979 to 2012 * John X of Antioch - Primate (bishop), Primate of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, Patriarchate of Antioch and All The East * Jules Jammal - Military officer and martyr * Joseph Sweid - Minister of State since 2011 and a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party * Mary Ajami - Feminist and pioneering Arabic-language writer

Cities, towns and villages with a Greek Orthodox Christian majority or large minority in Syria

Mhardeh, Al-Suqaylabiyah, Kafr Buhum, Safita, Wadi al-Nasara, Al-Kafrun, Mashta al-Helu, Maten al-Sahel, Marmarita, Al-Huwash, Homs Governorate, Hawash, Rabah, Syria, Kafr Ram, Deir Mama, Al-Bayda, Hama Governorate, Al-Bayda, Syria, Ma'loula, Saidnaya, Al-Suwayda, Salkhad, Zweitina, Ayn al-Barda, Muklous, Uyun al-Wadi

See also

* Arab Orthodox * Antiochian Greek Christians * Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch * Religion in Syria * Christianity in Syria * Roman Catholicism in Syria * Demographics of Syria * Freedom of religion in Syria * Lebanese Greek Orthodox Christians * Eastern Orthodoxy in Jordan * University of Balamand




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