Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
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Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
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
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. The Holy Synod of Antioch granted the Archdiocese an autonomous status referred to as Self-Rule in 2003, and by 2014 the Archdiocese had grown to over 275 parish churches.

It is one of two Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in North America to currently serve in the 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, Beirut and Damascus (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 were 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 and the immigration of Orthodox 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 nine dioceses of the growing 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]

On October 9, 2003, the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Orthodox Church granted the archdiocese's request to be granted self-rule status to allow it to better govern itself, improve and increase its outreach efforts, internally organize itself into several dioceses, and progress further on the road to the administrative unity of the Orthodox Church in the Americas. [2]

The Archdiocese is a participating member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America, however, due to disputes between the Patriarchate of Antioch and the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Jerusalem, Metropolitan Joseph no longer attends meetings of the Assembly.

Metropolitan Philip died in 2014 and was succeeded by Metropolitan Joseph Al-Zehlaoui.[3]


The Antiochian Archdiocese is divided in nine territorial dioceses and one vicariate. Some of the territorial dioceses extend partially into the territory of Canada. These dioceses include:

Among the nine 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 other Antiochian dioceses.


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" and has a very active Department on Mission and Evangelism which was chaired by Fr. Peter Gillquist who led the mass conversion of the Evangelical Orthodox Church to Eastern Orthodoxy. Gillquist retired in December 2011 and died in July 2012. Fr. Michael Keiser was named as his successor as head of the department.[5]

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.[6]

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 US to take such a step.[7][8]


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 senior 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- Current

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.[9]


  1. ^ a b Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of American orthodox christian churches. (p. 44). Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-05. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America".
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Fr. Peter Gillquist to Retire as Head of Department of Missions and Evangelism, Fr. Michael Keiser Appointed as New Head | Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese".
  6. ^ Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of American orthodox christian churches. (p. 45). Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press
  7. ^ Breaking News: Orthodox Leave NCC
  8. ^ Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
  9. ^ Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of American orthodox christian churches. (p. x). Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press

External links

Coordinates: 40°35?15?N 74°24?48?W / 40.5874°N 74.4134°W / 40.5874; -74.4134

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