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Also known as the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church is more formally known as the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch or the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.

The autocephalous Oriental Orthodox Church is in the Monophysite tradition, which originated when the Church refused to accept the conclusion of the Council of Chalcedon, in 451, that Jesus Christ had two natures, both divine and human, holding instead that Christ had only the divine nature. In 518, the Syriac Orthodox Church continued to recognize Patriarch Severus of Antioch as the legitimate patriarch of the Church despite his having been deposed by the Byzantine Empire, while the churches who sought communion with Rome accepted the Council of Chalcedon and recognized the new Chalcedonian patriarch of Antoch, Paul the Jew. The Syriac Orthodox Church is sometimes referred to as the Jacobite Church, for Jacob Baradaeus, the 6th-century Monophysite Bishop of Edessa, although it rejects this name due to its Apostolic origins. The Syriac Orthodox Church is part of a communion of Eastern Christian churches known as Oriental Orthodoxy, which includes six autocephalous churches (Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Armenian Apostolic Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church), who claim to continue the patristic and Apostolic Christology before the schism that followed the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Over the centuries, the Syriac Orthodox Church has been in frequent conflict with various enemies, including Islam. When large numbers of its members were massacred by the Turks, many of the survivors emigrated to other parts of the Middle East, to Europe, Australia, and the United States. The doctrine of the Syriac Orthodox Church is much the same as that of other Oriental Orthodox Churches, as well as some Eastern Orthodox Churches that also rejected the Council of Chalcedon's Christology of the two natures of Jesus. The Church uses the Liturgy of Saint James, and celebrates in Syriac, although local languages may be used for prayers and readings. The Church is presided over by the Patriarch of Antioch, who resides in Damascus, Syria. The Syriac Catholic Church is the result of a schism within the Syriac Orthodox Church, formed by some of its members who entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. The Church's members are divided into archdioceses and patriarchal vicariates, and its clergy include the patriarch, bishops, priests, and deacons, each of which have unique vestments that differ from other Christian denominations, varying with their order in the priesthood. The Syriac Orthodox Church became a member of the World Council of Churches in 1960.

 

 

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