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Our Relation to Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (SOCA)

We belong to the very ancient church called 'Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (SOCA)', one of the members of the Oriental Orthodox Church family.

In Syriac, the proper name of the Church is 'idto suryoyto treeysath shubho'. According to ecclesiastical tradition, the Church of Antioch is the second established church in Christendom after Jerusalem, and the prominence of its Apostolic See is well documented. Church believes that Jesus Christ founded his church on earth and the head of the apostles, St. Peter, was the first bishop/Patriarch of the church in Antioch. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were called Christians as seen in Acts 11:26 "The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."

Antioch, the third most important city after Rome and Alexandria, in the Roman Empire, was made one of the church's first three equal Patriarchates, along with Rome and Alexandria at the Council of Nicea, regarded as the first ecumenical council, in AD 325. The authority of Patriarch of Antioch was reaffirmed in this council and he ruled over the entire East including Asia and part of the modern Middle East. Where as Rome ruled over the entire West and Alexandria ruled over the entire Africa. India as part of the Asia, thus canonically continued to be under the spiritual authority of Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.

The universal Syrian Orthodox Church perceives its strength and Unity in His Holiness the Patriarch, the supreme head of the Church. As the Sucessor of the St.Peter, His Holiness is the embodiment and symbol of unity of the universal Syrian Orthodox Church. The present Patriarch, .H.H. Ignatius Zakha Iwas I, is the 122nd Patriarch to the throne of Antioch.  Patriarch H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas resides in Damascus, the capital of Syria. The Church has about 26 archdioceses and 11 Patriarchal Vicariates.

Our Archdiocese (The Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America ) is under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of His Holiness the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church. This Archdiocese comprises of the parishes all over the United States and Canada for the people predominantly from India who follow the Syriac tradition. The Church uses the Syriac language, a dialect of Aramaic spoken by Lord Jesus, as the Liturgical language along with English & Malayalam, a vernacular language of South India.

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