Elias IV of Antioch

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Patriarch Elias IV of Antioch and All The East, born Elias Muawad (Arabic : الياس معوض (1914 in Lebanon – July 21, 1979 in Damascus) was the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All The East from 1970 to 1979.


The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, and the Church of the East are termed patriarchs.

Lebanon Country in Western Asia

Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.

Damascus City in Syria

Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic; it is also the country's largest city, following the decline in population of Aleppo due to the battle for the city. It is colloquially known in Syria as aš-Šām (الشام) and titled the "City of Jasmine". In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009.



Elias Muawad was born in 1912, in an Orthodox Christian family in Lebanon He was ordained deacon in 1932, graduating from the Halki Theological School in 1939. In 1959, he was consecrated Metropolitan of Berroia and Alexandretta, being elected Patriarch of Antioch in September 25, 1970, succeeding Theodosius VI only six days after his death. [1] [2]

Metropolitan bishop ecclesiastical office

In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.

Aleppo City in Aleppo Governorate, Syria

Aleppo is a city in Syria, serving as the capital of the Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 4.6 million in 2010, Aleppo was the largest Syrian city before the Syrian Civil War; however, now Aleppo is probably the second-largest city in Syria after the capital Damascus.

Patriarch of Antioch is a traditional title held by the Bishop of Antioch As the traditional "overseer" of the first gentile Christian community, the position has been of prime importance in the church from its earliest period. This diocese is one of the few for which the names of its bishops from the apostolic beginnings have been preserved. Today five churches use the title of Patriarch of Antioch: the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and the Maronite Church. Historically, there has also been a Latin Patriarch of Antioch.

Elias's pontificate was characterised by intense partification in Middle Eastern politics, plus increased participation in the Arab diaspora, lines that would mark Middle Eastern Christian hierarchy henceforth. He emphatically referred to his faithful as Arab Christians, a denomination that was then not as widespread. In February 1974, he took part in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation 2nd Summit, in Lahore, being called on occasion by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia "Patriarch of the Arabs". [3] In 1977, Patriarch Elias met President Jimmy Carter, being the first Patriarch of Antioch to ever visit the United States, and reiterated the necessity of independence for Palestinians. [4] He died in Damascus in June 21, 1979, after suffering a heart attack.

Middle East region that encompasses Western Asia and Egypt

The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century.

Arab diaspora refers to descendants of the Arab immigrants who, voluntarily or as refugees, emigrated from their native lands to non-Arab countries, primarily in South America, Europe, North America, and parts of South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and West Africa.

Arab Christians ethnic group

Arab Christians are Arabs of the Christian faith. Many are descended from ancient Arab Christian clans that did not convert to Islam, such as the Kahlani Qahtanite tribes of Yemen who settled in Transjordan and Syria, as well as Arabized Christians, such as Melkites and Antiochian Greek Christians. Arab Christians, forming Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic communities, are estimated to be 520,000–703,000 in Syria, 221,000 in Jordan, 134,130 in Israel and around 50,000 in Palestine. There is also a sizable Arab Christian Orthodox community in Lebanon and marginal communities in Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. Emigrants from Arab Christian communities make up a significant proportion of the Middle Eastern diaspora, with sizable population concentrations across the Americas, most notably in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and the US.

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Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch Christian Eastern Orthodox-oriented denomination in Greece and the Middle East

The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as the Antiochian Orthodox Church, is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Headed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, it considers itself the successor to the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter and Paul.

Melkite Greek Catholic Church Eastern Catholic Church

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. It is headed by Patriarch Youssef Absi, S.M.S.P., headquartered in Cathedral of Our Lady of the Dormition, Damascus, Syria. The Melkites, Byzantine Rite Catholics, trace their history to the early Christians of Antioch, formerly part of Syria and now in Turkey, of the 1st century AD, where Christianity was introduced by Saint Peter.


The term Melkite, also written Melchite, refers to various Christian churches of the Byzantine Rite and their members originating in the Middle East. The term comes from the common Central Semitic root-word or cognate "M-L-K" found in Syriac-Aramaic malkoyo, Hebrew: 'מלך'Melk-i or Melech-i, and Arabic: ملكي‎ Malak-ī, meaning "royal", monarchist and by extension, "imperial" or loyal to the Byzantine Emperor. The Melkites accepted the Council of Chalcedon. Originally they used Koine Greek and, to a lesser extent, Aramaic in worship, but later incorporated Arabic in parts of their liturgy.

Maronite Church Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church of the Catholic Church

The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church in full communion with the Pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. It is headed by Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi since 2011. Officially known as the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch, it is part of Syriac Christianity by liturgy and heritage.

The Melkite Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch is the only actual residential Patriarchate of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. It was formed in 1724 when a portion of the Orthodox Church of Antioch went back into communion with Rome, becoming an Eastern Catholic Church, while the rest of the ancient Patriarchate continues in full communion with the rest of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Ignatius IV of Antioch 20th and 21st-century Patriarch of Antioch

Patriarch Ignatius IV (Hazim) of Antioch and All The East was the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All The East from 1979 to 2012.

Christianity in Lebanon religion in Lebanon

Christianity in Lebanon has a long and continuous history. Biblical Scriptures purport that Peter and Paul evangelized to the Phoenicians, whom they affiliated to the ancient patriarchate of Antioch. The spread of Christianity in Mount Lebanon was very slow where paganism persisted in mountaintop strongholds. A 2015 study estimates some 2,500 Lebanese Christians have Muslim ancestry, whereas the majority of Lebanese Christians are direct descendants of the original early Christians.

Maximos IV Sayegh was Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church from 1947 until his death in 1967. One of the fathers of Second Vatican Council, the outspoken patriarch stirred the Council by urging reconciliation between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. He accepted the title of cardinal in 1965 after Pope Paul VI clarified the significance of that title in the case of an Eastern Patriarch.

Demetrius I Qadi was Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church from 1919 until 1925.

Gregory II Youssef Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch

Patriarch Gregory II Youssef, also known as Gregory II Hanna Youssef-Sayour, was Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church from 1864 to 1897. Gregory expanded and modernized the church and its institutions and participated in the First Vatican Council, where he championed the rights of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Lebanese Greek Orthodox Christians

Lebanese Greek Orthodox Christians refers to Lebanese people who are adherents of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch in Lebanon, which is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and is the second largest Christian denomination in Lebanon after the Maronite Christians.

John X of Antioch Patriarch of Antioch

Patriarch John X is primate of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All The East.

Lebanese Maronite Christians refers to Lebanese people who are adherents of the Maronite Church in Lebanon, which is the largest Christian denomination in the country.

Archbishop Joseph is the Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America after the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East elected him as metropolitan at its meeting on July 3, 2014 at the Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery in Northern Lebanon following the death of Metropolitan Philip Saliba. From September 12, 2004 to his election as Metropolitan in 2014, Joseph Al Zehlaoui was the first and only bishop of the Holy Diocese of Los Angeles and the West for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

Youssef (Elias) was 20th century Bishop of Aleppo in the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.

Theodosius VI (Abourjaily) of Antioch was Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch from 1958 to 1970.

Ghattas Hazim is a Greek Orthodox hierarch. Since 2014, he serves as Metropolitan of Baghdad, Kuwait and Dependencies, under the jurisdiction of Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.

Constantine Papastephanou was an Eastern Orthodox hierarch and long serving (1969-2014) Metropolitan of Baghdad and Kuwait, under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.


  1. "Elias IV (Muawad) of Antioch". Orthodox Wiki. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  2. "Bishop Elias Muawad of Aleppo has been elected by the Antioch Holy Synod in Beirut as the 163rd patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and the entire East". San Antonio Express: 98. 27 September 1970.
  3. Hage, Wolfgang (2007). Das orientalische Christentum. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. p. 111. ISBN   9783170176683.
  4. "Antiochian Patriarch Elias IV". Washington Post. 25 June 1979.
Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Theodosius VI
Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch
Succeeded by
Ignatius IV