The Syriac Orthodox Church is one of the most ancient Christian Churches tracing its roots to the Church of Antioch. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts of the Apostles 11:26). Apostle Peter is believed to have established a church in Antioch in AD 37, the remnants of which are still in Antakya (the modern name of Antioch), Turkey. After the martyrdom of Apostle Peter, he was succeeded by St. Euodius and St. Ignatius Noorono as shepherds of the flock in Antioch and in the writings of St. Ignatius we find the evolution of the ecclesiastical order of bishops—ordained successors of the Apostles in whom continued the spiritual authorities vested by our Lord in the Apostles.The bishopric of Antioch was recognized in the ecumenical Synod of Nicea (AD 325) as one of the Patriarchates of Christendom (along with that of Alexandria and Rome).
It produced a line of succession beginning with Apostle Peter which continues to this day in the Syriac Orthodox Church. Antioch was at the time of Christ the capital of the Roman province of Syria and an important center of commerce. As a city imbued in the hellenistic culture, Greek was the common language. But the majority of the people in the region, especially outside the cities spoke Syriac, the Edessene dialect of Aramaic, the language spoken by our Lord.
The Syriac Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Middle East with members spread throughout the world. It is one of the five churches that comprised what is now the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church before the Great Schism. It is a major inheritor of Syriac Christianity and has Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, as its official language. The church is led by the Syrian Patriarch of Antioch. The church is often referred to as Jacobite or Monophysite, but these terms are misleading, and not appreciated by the some of the church today. In 2000, a Holy Synod ruled that the name of the church in English should be the Syriac Orthodox Church. Before this, it was, and often still is, known as the Syrian Orthodox Church. The name was changed to disassociate the church from the polity Syria. The official name of the church in Syriac is `Idto Suryoyto Trisuth Shuvho, this name has not changed, nor has the name changed in any other language.
Syriac Orthodox Church of India recognizes the Syriac Orthodox patriarch of Antioch as its spiritual leader, acts as an integral part of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. The Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America is part of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, and is an independent Archdiocese established by our Late Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas (Patriarchal Bull No. E235/93, dated June 24, 1993) directly under the jurisdiction of the His Holiness the Patriarch and the Holy Apostolic See of Antioch and All The East comprising of all the Malankara Parishes in North America. Our current Patriarch His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II is the spiritual, ecclesiastical and administrative Head of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America.
The Metropolitan (Archbishop), His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldo, is consecrated by His Holiness the Patriarch to administer the spiritual and temporal affairs of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America and shall be under the direct jurisdiction and control of His Holiness the Patriarch of Antioch and All The East. The Archbishop manages the spiritual and administrative affairs of the Malankara Archdiocese. The Archbishop presides over the Delegates meeting and Archdiocesan Council meeting according to the bylaws approved by His Holiness the Patriarch. The Archbishop provides supervision and leadership on establishing religious, charitable, and educational organizations and institutions.
The Church was formally congregated under the leadership and guidance of His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho, Arch Bishop of North America. The inaugural Qurbono was celebrated at St.Aphraim Syriac Orthodox Church of Washington DC on November 28th, 2015. On that day, His Eminence named this congregation to the Heroic soldier and defender of God – St. George. We will have our annual celebration for our patronage to be conducted on April 23 of every year.