The Syrian Christ

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Contents

  1. Political Stakes and Redefined Identities
  2. The Syrian Christ by Abraham Mitrie Rihbany
  3. Item Preview
  4. Catalog Record: The Syrian Christ | HathiTrust Digital Library
  5. The Syrian Christians, by John M. Barton ()

Political Stakes and Redefined Identities

Mar Athanasius has, however, been recognised as the rightful Metran by the Travancore Government, and he has certainly justified thus far the hopes then entertained of him that he would rule his people faithfully and promote among them a real reform. We arrived just at dusk, and were welcomed on entering the churchyard or "close" by some seven or eight catanars, who greeted M. Among these was a young man, a nephew of the Bishop's, who, a few days before, had performed his first mass--as great an event, apparently, in the Syrian Church, as preaching the first sermon in ours; or greater still in one way, as it was followed by the feasting of no less than 5, persons at the Metran's expense, all of whom had come in to witness the ceremony.

After going up-stairs to the hay-loft sort of place over the gateway, which formed the episcopal residence, where we shook hands with the Metran and exchanged a few complimentary greetings, the young catanar spoken of above asked us if we would join them at their evening service.

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This we did, and found that he had summoned together a considerable congregation in the hope of hearing M. The service consisted partly of extemporised portions of the Syriac Liturgy, translated into Malagalim, which the officiating catanar repeated sentence by sentence, and which was afterwards taken up by the people; partly of prayers from the Liturgy itself. When it was over, the young catanar exchanged places with M.

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The Syrian Christ by Abraham Mitrie Rihbany

There are only a few catanars as yet who venture to preach even from book, so that the people get very little teaching, and this makes them welcome all the more the occasional visit of a Missionary. Another very interesting scene, which I also greatly enjoyed, was a visit paid one day to a Syrian house, where the owner, a well-to-do farmer, with a most pleasing countenance, received us most warmly, placed beds and mats at our disposal to recline on, and feasted us most sumptuously with all manner of curries, which he insisted on providing, though we had brought our own food with us.

The room in which he entertained us was like a good-sized English summer-house, raised about three feet above the ground, with a floor nicely boarded and matted, and a roof thatched with cocoa-nut leaves. My seat was a bed, with one of the nice stained grass mats spread on it. At the edge of the platform M. Our host, who was a venerable patriarch, sat close to him, as he was rather deaf, drinking in every word, and nodding audible assents and occasional comments as he read. On our way here we halted for an hour at another village, where there is also a congregation and a church.

The people were all waiting for us, and some cannon, consisting of iron pipes, each four or five inches long, closed at one end, announced our approach.

The little church has lately been renovated and almost wholly rebuilt by the congregation, and a nice porch added, and some fifty or sixty were present to meet us, and received a few words of instruction. Some plantains, a basin of milk, and another of coffee, had been provided for us, of which we were bound to partake, though we knew another repast awaited us at our next halting-place. And so it is wherever we go. Every Syrian house and church is open to us; the people are all delighted to see us, and hear the Bible read and expounded.

On the whole, I must say that the Syrians are a most kind, hospitable people, and I felt greatly drawn to them. There is somewhat the same kind of hospitality to be met with from the monks connected with the Greek Church in Palestine, but, on the whole, I rather prefer the Syrians of Malabar. Nothing would be more interesting than spending three weeks or a month in a tour though all their churches, which number, I believe, some fifty within the immediate neighbourhood of our Mission Station at Mavelicurra.

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Therefore, according to Nestorian belief, Mary was not the mother of God but only of the man Jesus. The Council of Chalcedon , representing the mainstream of Christianity, in confirmed the dual nature of Christ in one person; Mary was therefore the mother of a single person, mystically and simultaneously both human and divine. The Miaphysites taught that the Logos took on an instance of humanity as His own in one nature.

They were the precursors of the present-day Syrian and Armenian Orthodox churches.

Catalog Record: The Syrian Christ | HathiTrust Digital Library

By the thirteenth century, breaks had developed between Eastern or Greek Christianity and Western or Latin Christianity. In the following centuries, however, especially during the Crusades, some of the Eastern churches professed the authority of the pope in Rome and entered into or re-affirmed communion with the Catholic Church. Today called the Eastern Catholic churches, they retain a distinctive language, canon law and liturgy. The largest Christian denomination in Syria is the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch officially named the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East , also known as the Melkite church after the 5th and 6th century Christian schisms, in which its clergy remained loyal to the Eastern Roman Emperor " melek " of Constantinople.

The appellation "Greek" refers to the Koine Greek liturgy used in their traditional prayers and priestly rites. Members of the community sometimes also call themselves "Melkites", which literally means "supporters of the emperor" in Semitic languages - a reference to their past allegiance to Roman and Byzantine imperial rule. But, in the modern era, this designation tends to be more commonly used by followers of the local Melkite Catholic Church. Traditional Christianity in Syria is also represented by Oriental Orthodox communities, that primarily belong to the ancient Syriac Orthodox Church , and also to the Armenian Apostolic Church.


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It uses an Armenian liturgy and its doctrine is Miaphysite not monophysite, which is a mistaken term used or was used by the Chalcedonian Catholics and Chalcedonian Orthodox. In Syria, there is also a minority of Protestants. Protestantism was introduced by European missionaries and a small number of Syrians are members of Protestant denominations. Of the Eastern Catholic Churches the oldest is the Maronite , with ties to Rome dating at least from the twelfth century. Their status before then is unclear, some claiming it originally held to the Monothelite heresy up until , while the Maronite Church claims it has always been in union with Rome.

The liturgy is in Aramaic Syriac. The Patriarchate of Antioch never recognized the mutual excommunications of Rome and Constantinople of , so it was canonically still in union with both. After a disputed patriarchal election in , it divided into two groups, one in union with Rome and the other with Constantinople.

Seven popes from Syria ascended the papal throne, [9] [10] many of them lived in Italy , Pope Gregory III , [11] [12] was previously the last pope to have been born outside Europe until the election of Francis in Damascus was one of the first regions to receive Christianity during the ministry of St Peter. There were more Christians in Damascus than anywhere else. With the military expansion of the Islamic Umayyad empire into Syria and Anatolia , non-Muslims who retained their native faiths were required to pay a tax jizya equivalent to the Islamic Zakat , and were permitted to own land; they were, however, not eligible for Islamic social welfare as Muslims were.

Damascus still contains a sizeable proportion of Christians, with some churches all over the city, but particularly in the district of Bab Touma The Gate of Thomas in Aramaic and Arabic. Masses are held every Sunday and civil servants are given Sunday mornings off to allow them to attend church, even though Sunday is a working day in Syria. Schools in Christian-dominated districts have Saturday and Sunday as the weekend, while the official Syrian weekend falls on Friday and Saturday.

In January , YPG militias conducted a surprise attack on Assyrian checkpoints in Qamishli, in a predominantly Assyrian area, killing one Assyrian and wounding three others. Christians engage in every aspect of Syrian life. Following in the traditions of Paul , who practiced his preaching and ministry in the marketplace , Syrian Christians are participants in the economy, the academic, scientific, engineering, arts, and intellectual life, entertainment, and the Politics of Syria.

The Syrian Christians, by John M. Barton ()

Many Syrian Christians are public sector and private sector managers and directors, while some are local administrators, members of Parliament, and ministers in the government. A number of Syrian Christians are also officers in the armed forces of Syria. They have preferred to mix in with Muslims rather than form all-Christian units and brigades, and fought alongside their Muslim compatriots against Israeli forces in the various Arab—Israeli conflicts of the 20th century.

In addition to their daily work, Syrian Christians also participate in volunteer activities in the less developed areas of Syria. As a result, Syrian Christians are generally viewed by other Syrians as an asset to the larger community. In September , the deputy Hammouda Sabbagh , christian and member of the Ba'ath Party , is elected speaker of parliament with votes on Syrian Christians are more urbanized than Muslims; many live either in or around Aleppo , Hamah , or Latakia. In the 18th century, Christians were relatively wealthier than Muslims in Aleppo. By agreement with other communities, Syrian Christian churches do not proselytise to Muslims and do not accept converts from Islam [citation needed].

The Constitution of Syria states that the President of Syria has to be a Muslim; this was as a result of popular demand at the time the constitution was written. However, Syria does not profess a state religion. On 31 January , Hafez al-Assad implemented the new constitution after reaching power through a military coup in , which led to a national crisis.