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Bishop Kallistos Ware
Orthodox Church

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  • Part I: History.
    • The twentieth century, Greeks and Arabs
      • The  Patriarchate  of  Antioch
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The  Patriarchate  of  Antioch

 numbers some 320,000 Orthodox in Syria  and the  Lebanon,  and

perhaps a further 150,000 in  Iraq  and America.  (Roman Catholics, Uniate and  Latin, number

about 640,000 in Syria  and the Lebanon). The  Patriarch, who lives in  Damascus, has been  an

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Arab since 1899, but before that time he and the higher clergy were Greek, although the majority

of the parish clergy and the people of the Antiochene Patriarchate were and are Arab.

  Some thirty  years ago a leading  Orthodox in the  LebanonFather (now Bishop) George

Khodre, said: .Syria and the Lebanon form a dark picture among Orthodox countries.. Indeed,

until recently the Patriarchate of Antioch could without injustice be taken as a striking example

of a .sleeping. Church. Today there are signs of an awakening, chiefly as a result of the Ortho-

dox Youth Movement in the Patriarchate, most remarkable and inspiring organization, originally

founded by  a small group of students in 1941-1942. The Youth Movement runs catechism

schools and Bible seminars, as well issuing an Arabic periodical and other religious material. It

undertakes social work, combating poverty and providing medical assistance.  It encourages

preaching and is attempting to restore frequent communion; and under its influence two all but

outstanding religious communities have been founded at Tripoli and Deir-el-Harf. In the Youth

Movement at Antioch, as in the .home missionary. movements of  Greece, a leading part is

played by the laity.

 




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