The Church of Antioch

Nov 3rd, 2017 | By | Category: News Posts, Featured
William J. Murray speaks with John X as interpreter listens in. John X speaks English and several other languages including Greek

William J. Murray speaks with John X as interpreter listens in. John X speaks English and several other languages including Greek

by William J. Murray, Chairman

A meeting with John X: In October it was my great pleasure to meet John X, the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. John X has served the Orthodox Church of Antioch for most of his life. He was born in Latakia, Syria in 1955 and has numerous degrees including civil engineering and a doctorate of theology. His brother, Bishop Boulos Yazigi was kidnapped in 2013 along with Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim, by Sunni Muslim jihadists probably supported by Saudi Arabia.  They have not been heard from since, and are unfortunately presumed dead.

Most Syrian church officials and almost all Christian Syrians, even refugees, are refused visas to the United States. In the case of John X, the State Department had to issue a visa because the Antiochian Orthodox Church has nearly seven million members in the United States — many of whom are Americans not of Middle Eastern descent. It is now the fastest growing U. S. denomination.

Please help a Christian refugee child have a real Christmas

While in America, John X has been accompanied to meetings by Metropolitan Joseph, who is Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America. The Antiochian Orthodox Church in the United States is Western Order, meaning that hymns and other rituals of the church are very familiar to Americans.  I met both John X and Metropolitan Joseph after their presentation at the Hudson Institute event chaired by my good friend Nina Shea, who at one time served on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

During that presentation John X expressed the love of Jesus for all, and stressed the unity of Christian denominations in the Middle East during the turmoil of wars sponsored by “outside interests.” He did not identify those interests.

Metropolitan Joseph did address some aspects of the civil war in Syria, stating that what is presented by Fox News, CNN, the major networks and the newspapers is not at all accurate, even stating that not even one percent is true. He made it clear that he did not believe Americans have been hearing the truth.

I spoke to both John X and Metropolitan Joseph about our Christmas program. There is an interest in bringing the program to Syria at some time in the future.

Please help a Christian refugee child have a real Christmas

Share

Audible offer from Amazon

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.