The Church of Antioch was established by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas in 42 A.D., with St. Peter the Apostle serving for the next eight years as its first bishop. The Patriarchate of Antioch has had an unbroken presence in Syria and the Middle East from that time.
The Bible states in Acts 11:26 “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”
It is the oldest jurisdiction for Arab Christians in the world and is one of the four ancient Patriarchates of the Orthodox Christian Church –the others being Alexandria,(Egypt), Constantinople(Istanbul, Turkey), and Jerusalem.
The Patriarchate has spiritual and administrative responsibility for Arab Orthodox churches throughout the World from the Middle East, to Europe, to Australia, and North and South America.
Head of the Patriarchate is the Patriarch of Antioch, currently John X. Since the 13th century, the Patriarchate has been housed in Damascus, Syria.