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Nonchalcedonian Churches.

1. Chs. that reject the Christological definition of the Council of Chalcedon*; sometimes called Oriental Orthodox in distinction from E Orthodox. See also Monophysitism.

2. The Syrian Orthodox Ch. of Antioch (with an archdiocese of the US and Can. and 20 archdioceses in the Middle E) acknowledges the authority of the Orthodox patriarch of Antioch who resides at Damascus. It traces its beginning to 5th-c. Christians in Syria. After the 7th-c. Muslim conquest of Syria it engaged in extensive for. miss. work, as far as China. It reached its zenith in the 12th and 13th c. At the Council of Florence* it was united for several yrs. (1444–53) with the W Ch.

A Syrian Jacobite (see Jacobites, 1) bp. of Jerusalem came to the Malabar Coast of India 1665 and brought the Syrian Christians that had seceded from Rome (see India, 6) under the authority of the patriarch of Antioch. The Mar* Thoma Ch. separated from the Malabar Jacobite group beginning in the 1870s (final appellate court judgment 1889). The Malankarese Uniat Ch. was est. 1930 (see also Malabar Christians). In Syria a rival RC Syrian patriarchate was est. 1783.

In doctrine the Syrian Ch. is similar to the E Orthodox Ch. It accepts the dogmas of the 1st 3 ecumenical councils (see Councils and Synods, 4); believes in 9 choirs of angels, perpetual virginity of Mary, procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father, grace as a quality in the soul, 7 sacraments, baptism by triple immersion; divides the Decalog into 4 and 6 commandments. The honor paid saints is not regarded as worship.

3. The Syrian Orthodox Ch. of Malabar in the US; a small group, mainly in the E states.

4. Tradition links the Armenian Ch. (see Armenia) with the apostles, esp. Thaddaeus-Lebbaeus (Mt 10:3) and Bartholomew. Mass conversion of Armenia took place probably late in the 3d c. Armenian Christians reject Nestorianism,* accept the dogmas of the 1st 3 ecumenical councils and the Henoticon.* RC and E Orthodox efforts to absorb the Armenian Ch. proved futile. The mother see is at Echmiadzin, cen. Armenian SSR Armenian Christians suffered cents. of persecution by Persians, Arabs, and Turks. Their creed reflects the E form of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan; the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father. 6 sacraments are recognized: baptism, chrismation, eucharist, penance, marriage, orders; anointing of sick has fallen into disuse, though retained in service books.

Armenian chs. in Am.: Diocese of the Armenian Ch. of N Am. (under jurisdiction of the see of Echmiadzin); Armenian Apostolic Ch. of Am. (under jurisdiction of the see of Cilicia, Lebanon).

5. Coptic* Ch. immigrants organized the Coptic Assoc. of Am. in NYC 1962. The Diocese of N Am. of the Coptic Orthodox Ch. was est. 1965; HQ Toronto, Ont., Can.

6. The Ethiopian Orthodox Ch. in the USA was est. 1959. See also Ethiopic Church. ACP, EL


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod


Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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