Faith and Doctrine


The faith of the Syriac Orthodox Church is in accordance with the Nicene Creed. It believes in the Trinity, that is one God, subsisting in three separate persons called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The three being of one Essence, of one Godhead, have one Will, one Work and one Lordship. The special aspect of the First Person is His Fatherhood, that of the Second Person His Sonship, and that of the Third Person His Procession.

The Syriac Orthodox Church believes in the mystery of Incarnation. That is, the Only Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, took to Himself a body and became man. It further believes that at the time of Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit came upon her and cleansed her of all natural impurity, filling her with His grace. Then the Only Son of God came down and entered her immaculate womb, and took to Himself a body through her, thus becoming a perfect Man with a perfect Soul. After nine months, He was born of her and her virginity was maintained contrary to the laws of nature. It further believes that His true Godhead and His true Manhood were in Him essentially united, He being one Lord and one Son, and that after the union took place in Him, He had but one Nature Incarnate, was one Person, had one Will and one Work. This union is marked by being a natural union of persons, free of all separateness, intermixture, confusion, mingling, change and transformation.

The Syriac Orthodox Church calls Mary yoldath aloho, ‘Bearer of God’, because she gave birth to Christ, God truly incarnate.

The Syriac Orthodox Church believes that the death of Christ was the separation of His soul from His body, but His deity did not at any time leave either His body or His soul. It further believes that by His death for us, He conferred upon us salvation from eternal death and reconciliation with His Heavenly Father.

The Syriac Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Spirit of Truth, proceeding from the Father. The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. (Note. The word for ‘spirit’ in Syriac, ruho (which is also the word for ‘wind’), is grammatically feminine. Holy Spirit is referred to with the feminine pronoun in almost all early Syriac writings, though later writings refer to it in the masculine.)

Concerning the Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church believes the Church is the body of true believers in Christ, and that the Head of the Church is Our Lord God Jesus Christ. The Chief Bishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church is the Patriarch of Antioch.

With regards to Sacraments, the Syriac Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Sacraments are tangible signs designated by the Lord Christ to proclaim divine grace, which He gave for our sanctification. The Sacraments of the Church are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Repentance, the Priesthood, Anointing of the Sick, and Marriage. Holy Sacraments are offered by the Bishops and the Priests. Only believers can receive the Sacraments. All but four of the Sacraments are essential for salvation: Baptism, Confirmation, Repentance and Eucharist. Of the sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation and the Priesthood may be received only once.

The Syriac Orthodox Church conforms to the teachings of the Three Ecumenical Councils of Nicea (A.D. 325), Constantinople (A.D. 381) and Ephesus (A.D. 431). It rejects the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451).

Spiritual Leaders

H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II
Patriarch of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church

The 123rd successor of St. Peter in the Apostolic See of Antioch. H.H. enthroned on May 29, 2014, at St Ephrem’s Monastery, Maarat Saidnaya, near Damascus, Syria. H.B. Baselios Thomas I oversaw the ceremony.

Known as Saʿid Karim was born in Qamishli, north-eastern Syria, on 3 May 1965, the youngest son of Issa and Khanema Karim.
In 1985, Saʿid Karim took the vows of a monk, and changed his name to Aphrem. He was ordained deacon, and, later that year, was elevated to the sacred priesthood.
From 1988 to 1989, he served as both the secretary to his patriarchal predecessor, Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, and as a teacher at St Ephrem's Theological Seminary in Damascus.
Between 1991 - 1995 served as a priest to the Syriac Orthodox Community in the United Kingdom.
From 1995 - 2014 served as a Metropolitan Archbishop of the Eastern United State.

H.B. Aboon Mor Baselious Thomas I
Maphrian of the Syrian Orthodox Church
& Catholicos of India

H.H. Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas consecrated Mor Dionysius Thomas as the Catholicos with the title Baselios Thomas I' at a solemn function held at the St. Peter & St. Paul Cathedral in Mor Ephrem Monastery On 26th July 2002.

Born in the Cheruvillil family of Vadayambadi in Puthencruz to Mathai and Kunjamma on 22 July 1929.
Mor Philoxenos Paulos (later Catholicos Baselios Paulose II) who ordained him korooyo in 1952 and mshamshono at Kadamatom Church in 1957.
Ordained priest by Mor Yulius Elias Qoro in September 1958 at Manjinikkara Dayro.
Fr C.M. Thomas was elected to the episcopate at Karingachira St. George Church in January 1974 and was consecrated, under the name of 'Mor Dionysius', metropolitan of the Angamali Diocese, by Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III on 24 February 1974 at Damascus along with Geevarghese Mor Gregorios (Perumpally Thirumeni).

H.G. Issac Mor Osthatheos
Patriarchal Vicar of the United Kingdom

Consecrated as a Metropolitan by name Osthatheos on 4th January 2010 by H.B. Baselios Thomas I, assisted by metropolitans from India at the St. Athanasious Cathedral. The metropolitan was given charge of the Mylapore diocese.

Born on January 17th 1976 as the son of Mr. C.I. Thomas and Saramma Thomas, Pachilakkattu Puthuveli, Kottayam.
Ordained a Sub-Deacon by late lamented Mor Osthatheos Thomas Metropolitan (his grandfather’s brother) on 13th May 1993 and the Fifth order of Priesthood by H.E. Mor Gregorios Joseph.
Ordained as a full Deacon by His Grace Mor Athanasious Geevarghese, and as a priest at the St. Peter's & St. Paul's Cathedral in Damascus on 12th November 2006 by H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas.
On 2nd January 2010 consecrated  a monk along with Fr. Zachraia Therambil by names Aphroth and Sabor respectively by H.B. The Catholicos.


History - Syrian Jacobite Church

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History - Malankara Jacobite Church in the UK

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Ecumenical Relations

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Former Partiarchal Vicars

List of all our previous partiarchal vicars from the year 2002 onwards after the formation of the dioceses of Europe and later the dioceses of UK.