Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch (1927 - Present) - Religious GroupReligious Family: Eastern Liturgical (Orthodox)
Religious Tradition: Orthodox
Description: The Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church in the United States is part of the global Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch headquartered in Damascus, Syria. It is one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches (the others being Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Malankara-Indian) which, unlike Eastern Orthodox Churches, recognize the validity of only the first three Ecumenical Councils. The Syrian Church traces its origin to the ancient Patriarchate that was established in Antioch (present-day South Central Turkey) by St. Peter the Apostle. Most members of this Church in America have their ancestral origins in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, and India. The first influx of Syrian Orthodox Christians to the U.S. dates back to the late 1800s, when religious persecution in the Ottoman Empire forced their emigration. In 1907, the first Syrian Orthodox priest, Fr. Hanna Kourie, arrived in the United States. In 1927, the Virgin Mary Syrian Orthodox church in West New York, NJ, was opened. It was the first church building in America constructed originally as a Syrian Orthodox Church. In 1957, the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada was established. The diocesan see, St. Mark Cathedral, was in Hackensack, NJ, before relocating (1994) to a new complex in Teaneck, NJ. The 1960s-1980s brought a new wave of Syrian Orthodox immigrants to America, caused by continued unrest in the Middle East and religious discrimination against Christians in mostly Islamic countries. In 1995, the Syrian Orthodox Church in the USA was divided into two Archdioceses: Eastern United States and Western United States. The majority of Syrian Orthodox Christians in America are first-generation immigrants, with most clergy still coming from overseas. In worship services, their parishes primarily use the Classical Syriac language (a dialect of an ancient Aramaic language). Several cultural and educational church-affiliated institutions have been established, such as the Aramaic American Association and the American Foundation for Syriac Studies.
Official Site: https://syrianorthodoxchurch.org
Maps: Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch1
Adherence Rate per 1,000 (2020)
Top 5 Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch States (2020)1 [View all States]
Top 5 Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch Counties (2020)1 [View all Counties]
Top 5 Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch Metro Areas (2020)1 [View all Metro Areas]
Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch, Members (1959 - 2009)2
Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch, Ministers & Churches (1959 - 2009)2
Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch, Trends (1959 - 2009)2
1 The 2020 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include data for 372 religious bodies or groups. Of these, the ASARB was able to gather data on congregations and adherents for 217 and on congregations only for 155. [More information on the data sources]
2 All data on clergy, members, and churches are taken from the National Council of Churches’ Historic Archive CD and recent print editions of the Council’s Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. The CD archives all 68 editions of the Yearbook (formerly called Yearbook of the Churches and Yearbook of American Churches) from 1916 to 2000. Read more information on the Historic Archive CD and the Yearbook.
Membership figures are "inclusive." According to the Yearbook, this includes "those who are full communicant or confirmed members plus other members baptized, non-confirmed or non-communicant." Each denomination has its own criteria for membership.
When a denomination listed on the Historic Archive CD was difficult to identify, particularly in early editions of the Yearbook, the ARDA staff consulted numerous sources, including Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions and the Handbook of Denominations in the United States. In some cases, ARDA staff consulted the denomination’s website or contacted its offices by phone. When a denomination could not be positively identified, its data were omitted.