The Antiochian Orthodox Catholic Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is Catholic, but not Roman. It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago.
The Antiochian Orthodox Catholic First Diocese of Nigeria Maintains an unbroken Tradition and Apostolic Succession through Syriac in Antioch and Russia.
This was the first uniquely American jurisdiction to be formed with the blessing of His Holiness Ignatius Peter III of Antioch. It was the first Western Rite jurisdiction to offer the Divine Liturgy and other services in English and allowed vernacular to be used wherever the jurisdiction had parishes throughout the world. The very first Western Rite parish in the United States was established by Metropolitan Timotheos.
It is a canonical autocephalous jurisdiction that adheres to the Rudder (Canon Law) of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, the Teachings of Christ God, the Early Church Fathers, the Ecumenical and Local Councils, and the ancient customs of the Orthodox Christian Church. It also possesses a valid priesthood and episcopacy coming from Syrian and Greek Orthodox successions of Antioch. It uses the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom with Syriac-Greek Typicon (Rubrics).
The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church was ruled by five patriarchs: those of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, each having authority over bishops in a specified geographic territory. Although the five split from each other, none was a newly founded organization. Each group took (and still today takes) the view that it is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and the other group left that church at the time of the schism.
Origins of the Church
Established by our Precious and Life-Giving Lord Jesus Christ, and continued by the Holy Apostles and their successors, and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit through the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, a.k.a. Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, it is the second largest and oldest Christian Church in the world. It dates back to Jesus Christ. The Christian Church, as founded by Christ God originally consisted of five patriarchates being those of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople (New Rome), and Rome. Rome was a valuable part of the Holy Church from its beginning but the Roman Patriarchate broke from Orthodoxy in A.D. 1054. The Orthodox Church itself has a continuous and unbroken existence down to the present time free from any post-schism reformations as in the West. The Orthodox Church knows nothing of such tremendous upheaval as the Roman (Latin) Church experienced during and after the Reformation.
The Syriac - Greek Antiochian Orthodox Catholic Archdiocesan theology and canon laws are based upon those tenets and doctrines approved at the First Three Ecumenical Councils of Nicea (A.D. 325), Constantinople (A.D. 381), Ephesus (A.D. 431). In all, Oriental Orthodox Christianity accepts as universally binding the First Three Ecumenical Councils of the early Church, as is the case in our jurisdiction. Only the first three are officially recognized by the Holy See of Antioch and our Archdiocese, the others are respected as continuations of the three at which the whole Church was not present at, including Rome. Thousands upon thousands of Orthodox Christians have sealed their faith with their own blood. History reveals that no other branch of the Christian Church has given so many martyrs who have died for Christ God. Yet many know little about this ancient Christian faith dating back to our Lord. In reality, as said by Metropolitan Archbishop Joseph of Blessed Memory in 1980, "All Christians by heredity are Orthodox, however many have left and we pray for their return home."
Orthodoxy was the state religion of Russia until the Revolution in 1917 when many churches were closed and many priests and laity suffered martyrdom. Atheism was promoted by the government throughout the land. Today most churches have been returned to the Russian Orthodox Church and it flourishes once again throughout Russia. In addition to Russian Orthodox, there are many other jurisdictions which belong to the Orthodox Christian (Catholic) Church. However, not all are "patriarchal" as many are autocephalous, autonomous, and there also exist the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Among the Eastern Orthodox groups are the Greek, Serbian, Italo-Albano, Ukrainian, Polish, Finnish, Japenese, Syrian-Antiochian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Byelorussian, Romanian, Albanian, Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic, Korean, and the Eastern Orthodox, and others who fall under the collective term "Eastern Orthodox"; and the Armenian, Ethiopian, Malankarese, Syrian, and Coptic (Copts) who are referred to as "Oriental Orthodox" i.e., those who have rejected the Council of Chalcedon, and those following, mostly over the semantics dealing with the two natures of Christ God. Although united in faith, not all jurisdictions are in communion with one another because of political or administrative differences. There are many other jurisdictions not mentioned above which also are part of the Holy Orthodox Church. One must be aware that there are also some imposters who use the words "Orthodox and Catholic" and misrepresent their particular religious bodies which are not part of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church. Such charlatans have added other words, e.g., Ecumenical, Apostolic, Old Catholic, or Reformed to "Orthodox" to name a few. They are in some cases heretics who are "Orthodox" in name only - but not in faith, and are mostly schismatic groups from the Roman Church. Many of these also claim succession from Old Catholic hierarchy which are, in many cases, not recognized by Rome, the Union of Utrecht, or the Eastern Orthodox Church.
We live in an era that preaches “New is Better” around every corner. We need to realize that not everything “old” should be thrown out and replaced. Religion is the foremost example of such lack of prudence.
You can always find a religious channel, if not several of them, when you turn on the TV or radio. People yearn for a deeper meaning and ways to simplify their stressful lives. They often turn to these mediums to find a solution to their problems. After listening to one of these channels for a short period of time you’ll most likely hear the phrase “ancient church”, “old church” or “original church”. Ever wondered exactly who they are referring to? Well, we want you to know that the church they are referring to is still very much alive and beating today. For Christ's Church will never die...it has always been, it is today, and it always will be.
Pentecost was the day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ They were gathered together and given the ability to each speak in a language other than his own, in order to go to different lands, spreading the message of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the teachings that Christ had imparted to them. Thus was the beginning of the evangelism of the Orthodox Church, which preceded the New Testament and the written Bible by three centuries. The New Testament, in fact, was compiled by the Orthodox Church in the fourth century, lead by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
The Apostles baptized thousands and ordained the first Bishops of the Orthodox Church. This process of ordination and "laying on of hands" is one of seven sacraments in the Orthodox Church. It has provided an unbroken chain of bishops and priests from the time of Christ, through his Apostles, to this very day.
Offered on this website is valuable information about the One, True Church of Jesus Christ You'll find sources that reveal how we should worship, as handed down by Jesus Christ through his Apostles, rather than the minds of intellectuals--centuries removed from the days of Christ.
It is important for one to understand that there was only ONE Christian church throughout the first 1,000 years after Pentecost. It was the Orthodox Church.
The Orthodox Church compiled the New Testament in the fourth century. Some of the early writings were chosen to become the New Testament of the Bible. Others were preserved as part of church “Tradition”, a significant part of the Orthodox Church. Many others were deemed to be heretical and discarded. Many of these heretical writings, all known to the Church for centuries, are now being "discovered" and promoted as new information by those who care nothing of the truth but only about profits and ratings.
Holy tradition, which guided Christianity for the first three centuries of it's existence, together with the sacraments, the Bible and the icons make up the fullness of the Orthodox faith which cannot be found elsewhere.
Orthodox Christianity, from the very beginning saw both Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition as complementary to one another. As the Apostle Paul wrote: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle" (II Thes. 2:15). Likewise, Orthodoxy remains on guard to the Apostle's admonishment: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8). Thus, while Orthodoxy is a Bible believing and Bible based church, its belief and interpretation of the Bible is not left to individual opinion but is tempered by the wisdom of Holy Tradition, the Church Fathers, and the Church Councils.
In conformity with the first century Church, Orthodox worship focuses on celebrating the Eucharistic Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ's Sacrifice with hymns, Psalms, prayers, and teaching. The Divine Liturgy remains the forms and prayers of the early Church, having changed little in the last fifteen centuries.