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Portal:Syriac Christianity


ܫܠܡܐ ܠܘܟܘܢ ܒܬܘܪܥܬܐ ܕܡܫܝܚܝܘܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ

Welcome to the Syriac Christianity portal

Syriac Christianity

Holy Qurbono of the Syriac Orthodox Church Celebration of the Divine Liturgy of St James

Syriac Christianity (Syriac: ܡܫܝܚܝܘܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ‎ / mšiḥāyuṯā suryāyṯā) refers to Eastern Christian traditions that employ Syriac language in their liturgical rites. The Syriac language is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that emerged in Edessa, Upper Mesopotamia, in the early first century AD, and is considered to be closely related to the Jewish Palestinian Aramaic spoken by Jesus. Tracing back their historical heritage to the 1st century, Syriac Christianity is today represented in the Middle East by the Maronite Church, Syriac Catholic Church, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Ancient Church of the East, as well as by the Saint Thomas Christians of respective communions centered in Kerala, India.

Christianity began in the Middle East in Jerusalem among Aramaic-speaking Jews. It quickly spread to other Aramaic-speaking Semitic peoples, in Parthian-ruled Asōristān (modern Iraq), Roman Syria. Syriac Christianity is divided into two major liturgical rite traditions: the East Syrian Rite, historically centered in Upper Mesopotamia and the West Syrian Rite, centered in Antioch in the Levant by the Mediterranean coast.

The East Syrian Rite tradition was historically associated with the Assyrian founded Church of the East, and it is currently employed by the Middle Eastern churches that descend from it: the Assyrian Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East, and the Chaldean Catholic Church (the members of such churches are Eastern Aramaic-speaking ethnic Assyrians). As well as by the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of India, and the Chaldean Syrian Church of India which is an archbishopric of the Assyrian Church of the East.

The West Syrian Rite tradition is used by the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Maronite Church as well as by the Malankara Church of India, which follow the Malankara Rite tradition of the Saint Thomas Christian community. Adherents sometimes identify as "Syriacs" or "Assyrians".

Selected article

Nestorian priests in a procession on Palm Sunday, in a 7th- or 8th-century wall painting from a Nestorian church in China, Tang dynasty.
The Church of the East (Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐʿĒ(d)tāʾ d-Maḏn(ə)ḥāʾ), also known as the Nestorian Church is a Christian Church, part of the Syriac tradition of Eastern Christianity. Originally the church of the Persian Sasanian Empire, it quickly spread widely through Asia. Between the 9th and 14th centuries it was the world's largest Christian church in terms of geographical extent, with dioceses stretching from the Mediterranean to China and India. Several modern churches claim continuity with the historical Church of the East.

From its peak of geographical extent, the church experienced a rapid period of decline starting in the 14th century, due in large part to outside influences. The Mongol Empire dissolved into civil war, the Chinese Ming dynasty overthrew the Mongols and ejected Christians and other foreign influences from China (also including Manichaeism), and many Mongols in Central Asia converted to Islam. The Muslim Mongol leader Timur (1336–1405) nearly eradicated the remaining Christians in Persia; thereafter, Nestorian Christianity was largely confined to Upper Mesopotamia and the Malabar Coast of India. In the 16th century, the Church of the East went into a schism from which two distinct churches eventually emerged; the modern Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in communion with the Holy See.


Selected picture

[[File:|center|250px|Isaac_the_Syrian, a Russian icon.]]
Credit: svetigora.com

Isaac_the_Syrian, a Russian icon.

Selected biography

Illustration to Tennyson's "St. Simeon Stylites" by W. E. F. Britten
Saint Simeon Stylites
B. 390 – d. 2 September 459

Saint Simeon Stylites or Symeon the Stylite (Hagios Symeon Stylites) was a Christian ascetic saint who achieved fame because he lived for 39 years on a small platform on top of a pillar near Aleppo in Syria. Several other stylites later followed his model (the Greek word style means pillar). He is known formally as Saint Simeon Stylites the Elder to distinguish him from Simeon Stylites the Younger and Simeon Stylites III.


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