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Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

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[[Image:Antiochian local synod.jpg|right|thumb|350px|'''The Local Synod of the Antiochian Archdiocese'''<br>L to R: Bp. [[Mark (Maymon) of Toledo|Mark]], Bp. [[Basil (Essey) of Wichita|Basil]], Bp. [[Antoun (Khouri) of Miami|Antoun]], Metr. [[Philip (Saliba) of New York|Philip]], Bp. [[Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) of Los Angeles|Joseph]], Bp. [[Thomas (Joseph) of Charleston and Oakland|Thomas]], Bp. [[Alexander (Mufarrij) of Ottawa|Alexander]]]]The '''Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America''' is the sole jurisdiction of the [[Church of Antioch]] in the USA United States and Canada with exclusive jurisdiction over the Antiochian Orthodox faithful in those countries. Its current primate is the Most Reverend [[Philip (Saliba) of New York|Philip (Saliba)]], Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America.
''Main Article: [[History of Antiochian Orthodoxy in America]]''
The first Orthodox bishop [[consecration of a bishop|consecrated ]] in North America, [[Raphael of Brooklyn|St. Raphael Hawaweeny]], was consecrated by the [[Church of Russia|Russian Orthodox Church]] in America to care for the Orthodox Arab faithful in the USA and Canada. The Antiochian Archdiocese in North America traces its genesis to his ministry. His initial arrival in America was not to serve in the episcopacy, however, but he came as an [[archimandrite]] in 1895 at the request of members of the Syrian Orthodox Benevolent Society, an ostensibly philanthropic group whose primary purpose was to maintain ties between Orthodox Arabs living in America. He thus came to the US and was canonically received under the [[omophorion]] of Bishop [[Nicholas (Ziorov) of the Aleutians]], the [[Church of Russia]]'s exarch in America at the time.
Upon arriving in New York, Fr. Raphael established a [[parish ]] in lower Manhattan, then the center of the Syrian immigrant community. By 1900, however some 3,000 of these immigrants had moved across the East River, shifting the center of their life to Brooklyn. Thus, in 1902, the parish purchased a larger church building in that borough on Pacific Street. The church was named for St. [[Nicholas of Myra|Nicholas the Wonderworker]], renovated for Orthodox [[worship]], and then consecrated on [[October 27]], 1902, by St. [[Tikhon of Moscow]]. St. Nicholas Cathedral was later relocated to State Street in Brooklyn and is today considered the mother cathedral of the Archdiocese.
At the request of St. Tikhon, Fr. Raphael was chosen as his [[auxiliary bishop]], consecrated at [[St. Nicholas Cathedral (New York, New York)|St. Nicholas Cathedral]] as Bishop of Brooklyn and given more authority for his care of Arabic Orthodox Christians in America. Not long after, he founded ''Al-Kalimat'' (''The Word'') magazine, published service books in Arabic which were used in America, the Middle East, and throughout the Arabic Orthodox diaspora. St. Raphael fell asleep in the [[Lord ]] at the age of 54 on [[February 27]], 1915, after short, but fruitful, years of service.
[[Image:St Elias Ottawa.jpg|left|thumb|250px|St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Ottawa, Canada]]
== The Archdiocese today ==
Its current primate is Metropolitan [[Philip (Saliba) of New York|Philip (Saliba)]], who has six other diocesan [[auxiliary bishop|auxiliary]] [[bishop]]s assisting him in caring for the nine [[diocese]]s of the growing Archdiocese, which is the third largest Orthodox Christian [[jurisdiction]] in North America, having 236 communities (38 of which are missions). Estimates of the number of faithful range from 51,320 to 84,000[] to 380,000[] depending on the report and the counting method being used. The number of new Antiochian parishes in the decade between 1990 and 2000 rose by approximately 33%, and the primary membership growth in the Archdiocese has been from American converts.[] From 2003 to 2005, an increase of 1,229 communicants was reported at the conventions, an increase of 2.5%.
The Archdiocese also includes the [[Western Rite Vicariate]], a group of about 16 [[parish]]es and 7 missions which worship according to the [[Western Rite]].
[[Image:Antiochian bishops.jpg|left|thumb|250px|'''New bishops with the patriarch'''<br>Left to Right: Bp. [[Mark (Maymon) of Toledo|Mark]], Patr. [[Ignatius IV (Hazim) of Antioch|Ignatius IV]], Bp. [[Thomas (Joseph) of Charleston and Oakland|Thomas]], Bp. [[Alexander (Mufarrij) of Ottawa|Alexander]]]]On [[October 9]], 2003, the [[Holy Synod]] of the [[Church of Antioch]] granted the Archdiocese's request to be granted self-rule (as distinct from [[autonomy]], and though the words have the same literal meaning in English, they are distinct in Arabic) to allow it to better govern itself, improve and increase its outreach efforts, internally organize itself into several dioceses, and continue progress further on the road to the toward Orthodox administrative unity of the Orthodox Church in the Americas. Three new [[bishop]]s were consecrated in December of 2004 to assist in the governance of the reorganized Archdiocese.
The Archdiocese also includes one [[monasticism|monastic]] community, [[St. Paul Skete (Grand Junction, Tennessee)]], a community for women. It does not run any of its own seminaries, but sends its seminarians to theological schools run by other [[jurisdiction]]s or overseas. The Archdiocese does run various non-seminary educational programs, however, including the [[St. Stephen's Course in Orthodox Theology]].
The Antiochian Archdiocese is also a member of the [[Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America]] which superseded [[SCOBA]] and was formerly a member of the [[National Council of Churches]] (NCC), but on [[July 28]], 2005, its Archdiocesan Convention voted unanimously to withdraw fully from that organization, thus making it the first of the major Orthodox jurisdictions in the US to do so.
Additionally, the 2005 convention voted another first for a major American Orthodox jurisdiction: to alter the assessment-based model of archdiocesan revenue to a [[tithing|tithe]] (10%) of each parish's income (excepting building funds), to be phased in at 8% in 2007 and then followed by 1% increases in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Of the Archdiocese's 236 communities, 31 are already tithing.
===Diocesan structure===
*[[Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic (Antiochian)|Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic]]
*[[Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest (Antiochian)|Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest]]
*[[Diocese of Los Angeles and the West (Antiochian)|Diocese of Los Angeles and the West]]
*[[Diocese of Miami and the Southeast (Antiochian)|Diocese of Miami and the Southeast]]
*[[Diocese of New York and Washington, DC (Antiochian)|Diocese of New York and Washington, D.C]].
*[[Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York (Antiochian)|Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York]].
*[[Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest (Antiochian)|Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest]]
*[[Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America (Antiochian)|Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America]]
*[[Diocese of Worcester and New England (Antiochian)|Diocese of Worcester and New England]]
===Membership figures===
According to the November 2005 2007 issue of the ''Word'' magazine (p. 5)[], the following membership figures were reported at the 2005 2007 Archdiocesan Convention:
{| border="1" class="toccolours" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="clear:right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em; font-size:95%; text-align:left; border-collapse: collapse;"
| colspan="4" style="text-align:center; font-size:150%;" | Archdiocese membership figures (20052007)
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| '''Diocese'''
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| [[Diocese of New York and Washington, DC (Antiochian)|Archdiocesan District]]| 13 15 | 4407 4639
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| [[Diocese of Ottawa , Eastern Canada and Upstate New York (Antiochian)|Ottawa]] | 19 18 | 6029 6617
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| [[Diocese of Charleston, Oakland , and the East Mid-Atlantic (Antiochian)|Charleston and Oakland (PA)]]| 26 29 | 57575838
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| [[Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America (Antiochian)|Wichita]]
| 4045| 64346976
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| [[Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest (Antiochian)|Toledo]]
| 4145| 1023111145
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| [[Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest (Antiochian)|Eagle River]]
| 1820| 19942257
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| [[Diocese of Worcester and New England (Antiochian)|Worcester]]
| 11
| 4452 4547
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| [[Diocese of Miami and the Southeast (Antiochian)|Miami]]
| 3436| 38414055
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| [[Diocese of Los Angeles and the West (Antiochian)|Los Angeles]]
| 3433| 8175 8594
|- style="vertical-align: top;"
| '''Total'''
| '''236252'''| '''5132054667'''
'''Notes:''' The figures for the [[Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America (Antiochian)|Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America]] were omitted from the ''Word'' magazine but computed backward from the totals for this article. Additionally, according to the website of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West, the number of parishes and missions it comprises is 54.[]
== The Episcopacy ==
===Diocesan Current bishops===*Most Reverend [[Philip (Saliba) of New York|Philip (Saliba)]] , Archbishop of New York and the Archdiocesan District, Metropolitan of All North America, ''[[Locum Tenens]]'' of the Diocese of Worcester and New England*Right Reverend [[Antoun (Khouri) of Miami|Antoun (Khouri)]], Bishop of Miami *Right Reverend [[Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) of Los Angeles|Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui)]], Bishop of Los Angeles, ''Locum Tenens'' of the Diocese of Eagle River and the SoutheastNorthwest
*Right Reverend [[Basil (Essey) of Wichita|Basil (Essey)]], Bishop of Wichita and Mid-America
*Right Reverend [[Thomas (Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) of Los AngelesCharleston and Oakland|Thomas (Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui)]], Bishop of Los Angeles and the WestCharleston/Oakland*Right Reverend [[Alexander (Mufarrij) of Ottawa|Alexander (Mufarrij)]], ''Locum Tenens'' Bishop of the Diocese of Eagle River and the NorthwestOttawa*Right Reverend [[Thomas John (JosephAbdalah) of OaklandWorcester|Thomas John (JosephAbdalah)]], Bishop of Oakland Worcester and the EastNew England*Right Reverend [[Mark Anthony (MaymonMichaels) of Toledo|Mark Anthony (MaymonMichaels)]], Bishop of Toledo and the Midwest*Right Reverend [[Alexander Nicholas (MufarrijOzone) of OttawaBrooklyn|Alexander Nicholas (MufarrijOzone)]], Bishop of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New YorkBrooklyn 
===Former bishops===
*Right Reverend [[Demetri (Khoury) of Jableh|Demetri (Khoury)]], auxiliary bishop for Toledo, retired
*Corey, George S., ed. ''The First One Hundred Years: a Centennial Anthology Celebrating Antiochian Orthodoxy in North America'', Englewood, NJ: Antakya Press, 1995 (ISBN 0962419028)
== External links ==
[[Image:Antiochian logo.jpg|right|The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America]]
* [ Official Website of the Archdiocese]* [ Official Website of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch]* [ History of the Archdiocese] (book excerpt) 
[[Category:Antiochian Dioceses|North America]]
[[fr:Archidiocèse orthodoxe antiochien d'Amérique du Nord]]
[[ro:Arhiepiscopia Creştină Ortodoxă Antiohiană a Americii de Nord]]

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