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Can I have some information on the Antiochian Church

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Al Masihi, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Member Supporter

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    I am a Christian convert from a Muslim background who converted myself, I didn't get baptized yet but I'm hoping to join the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. Can I have some information on the Antiochian church and how it is different to other Christian churches and I would like to get to know the Eastern Orthodox faith.
     
  2. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!

    Here is the website for the Antiochian Church Archdioces (link)
    and based on the way you phrased the question,
    here is the link to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (link).

    Both churches are Orthodox and any differences will largely be cultural and/or in customs.
     
  3. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 Well-Known Member

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  4. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 Well-Known Member

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  5. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Member Supporter

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    I'm in the Middle East currently and I'm planning on moving to Lebanon which has a very small minority of Antiochian Christians.
     
  6. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Hello, and welcome to CF and to TAW!

    The best way to learn about the faith is by attending the Liturgy, talking to the priest, and getting connected to the community.

    I see Fender already gave you links. Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy (Eastern Orthodox) and we are all in communion, all one Church, share all of our beliefs - Greek Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc. etc. There will be some differences in small things - like how tall the iconostasis is, how people hold their arms when the come for Communion, where the priest stands/sits to give the homily, which Saints they focus on, and what foods they serve at fellowship. But the faith is the same. We are one Church.

    As to differences with other Christian fellowships, that's difficult to summarize. Rome left us 1000 years ago and became Catholicism. They made some changes then, and others since that time (and to their credit have returned to more historic understanding on a few points, but unfortunately further diverged on others). Protestants came out of Catholicism, attempting to reform it, and further divisions within Protestantism continue to diverge, sometimes returning closer to the Ancient Faith and sometimes moving further away. As a result, Orthodoxy has different things in common with different denominations, and various differences. It's difficult to summarize. It would be better to consider one question at a time and how we are alike/different. But it's a lot to jump into all at once, especially for someone who doesn't come from a Christian background, and possibly more confusing than helpful.

    What I can tell you is that Orthodoxy has always had as one of its highest values that we believe the faith was once for all delivered to the Apostles, and does no change. We don't think that because we've got lots of books to study and history that we can somehow know more about the Truth than the ones who write the Bible and established the Christian Church. As a result, we (Orthodox) don't really change.

    A major focus is on becoming like Christ. There are many tools and help within the Church to teach us how to cooperate with the grace of God in doing this.

    Again, welcome to CF and to TAW! Most of us who convert have had many questions as we learn about Orthodoxy, so please feel free to ask, and we are happy to help if we can. God be with you!
     
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  7. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Member Supporter

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    For example I was wondering about when I can fast and celebrate this coming Christmas. Problem is there are no churches in my country so I have to read online. Thanks I have a dream to become a man of the church one day.
     
  8. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Well to be honest fasting should really be connected to having a priest to talk to. It can be a problem if we fast too well, that we are tempted to pride, or if we fail we can be tempted to despair.

    Maybe you could at least speak via email to a priest? And were you fasting regularly in your religion before? If it's not new to you it might be better.

    Our fast for Nativity starts 40 days before the day we celebrate Christ's Nativity. For us (Greeks in America - we celebrate December 25 - I think Antiochians are the same), the fast begins November 15. It is not very strict until it gets close to Nativity. For some weeks it is just that we don't eat beef, chicken, etc. but we can have fish instead - so that is a very light fast compared to some others. That's just some basic info to start with. Sometimes there are minor differences in jurisdictions of what is allowed. I think they pretty much all have calendars online that guide fasting. I'm sure the Antiochians do. Probably on the sites Fender gave you - I'll try to take a look.
     
  9. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Member Supporter

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    I'm currently reading it seems I missed the first part of the fast so I'll have to just fast at the second part of the nativity fast.
     
  10. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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  11. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 Well-Known Member

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  12. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    You can always start later.

    Are you used to fasting already? We are usually careful about bringing people into fasting, and without a priest it can do more spiritual harm than good. I'm not saying you should not fast, but I am saying you should be talking to a priest. We need to understand why we are doing it, and there are spiritual aspects as well. Fasting by itself for its own sake can actually take you in the wrong direction spiritually.
     
  13. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Member Supporter

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    I'm doing it so God will be pleased with me in the hereafter, by the way I used to and still fast as a Muslim as my family urge me to on Ramadan but it's completely different and it's not a fast as you'd imagine it. When they fast they openly exclaim it and they don't eat or drink anything at the start of 3 am until Maghrib prayer which is like at sun set. But this fast has pagan origins as I personally researched it when I started to question Islam, pagan Arabs would do exactly the same thing except they wouldn't do it just for Allah but his whole family as before Islam Allah was said to have a whole family much like Zeus before he was eventually edited by Muslims to fit with the God of Abraham. So the fast I used to do is much more different.
     
  14. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Hmmm. That's very interesting.

    I have actually had Muslims asking me questions lately, but not understanding Islam it is difficult for me to be exactly clear to them.

    Again, it's better to talk to a priest. I would say that more than fasting in order for God to be pleased with us, it is a way for us to do many things. Denying the body the food it wants is a way to bring the flesh into submission. Food is not bad or sinful, but it helps us control other kinds of impulses. Also the hunger can make us realize how much we depend on God. We can also use it as a constant reminder to seek God in prayer - fasts are an important time to draw closer to God. The hunger can also remind us of those who have less. Very often people will use some money they would have used for their own food to feed the poor. It is also humbling to us. All of these benefits - and sometimes more. It is often a time when things inside get stirred up, and the enemy comes against us, so we must deal with our sins and temptation.

    Fasting is usually always done with increased prayer, and giving to the poor. Fasting for its own sake can easily make us proud, if we think we have accomplished something. And Orthodoxy seeks to make us close to God, to be like Christ. So we need to learn to fast in a right way, and not do that it makes us proud, or otherwise causes some problem.
     
  15. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Member Supporter

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    That's very interesting, this is why I like Christianity it is a very spiritual religions which teaches humbleness. Muslims usually get proud as they see fasting as a great accomplishment.
     
  16. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    may I ask where your closest Orthodox parish is? if you know? or the closest to where you'll be moving to?
     
  17. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Member Supporter

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    In my country there are no churches at all. But I'll moving to Lebanon one day and there's a huge beautiful Greek Orthodox Church in Beirut.
     
  18. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    can you contact that parish's priest? that way he can be ready for when you come
     
  19. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Member Supporter

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    My family wouldn't like that, but I'm planning on making the move as quick as possible. In the mean time I'll be reading.
     
  20. E.C.

    E.C. Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TAW!

    In Lebanon, the Greek Orthodox account for about 15% of the population. Some of the more famous Lebanese singers and actors are Orthodox. MTV Lebanon, the only news outlet not owned by a political party, is owned by an Orthodox Lebanese. The Koura District south of Tripoli is predominately Orthodox.

    The website of the Archdioses of Beirut is here: www.quartos.org.lb and should have some information on churches in Beirut and the surrounding area.
     
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