The Patriarchate was founded by St. Peter & St. Paul in Antioch in the early stages of Christian mission. The Patriarchal See was moved from Antioch to Damascus, Syria in the fourteen century, where it still remains till today. The Patriarchate is implementing its Diaconal, charitable, social and development services through the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Fund Raising Programs, which was established in 1986. The department works under the patronage of the Patriarchate but it has an autonomous status in terms of administration. It relates directly to the head of the Church.
The main administrative body of the Patriarchate is a Holy Synod, which is composed of all Metropolitans who are responsible of all archdioceses. This structure has been inherited from the structure of the first Ecumenical Councils in Church history. The Patriarch is the first among equals. Each Metropolitan has a full administrative authority in His archdioceses. In each archdiocese as well as in the Patriarchate, a board of trustees is elected by people to assist the Bishop or the Patriarch and to supervise all financial and administrative matters. The number of the board should be between 12-20 persons. Both male and female gender should be represented on the board.

Presence & structure of organization:
The Patriarchate represents the largest old Christian See in the region. The total number of those who belong to the Patriarchate is about 1500000 fellows in Syria, Lebanon, the Persian Gulf region, Iraq and Antioch. The largest number of Orthodox Christian live  in Damascus. The rest of them reside in Aleppo, Hama, Latakia, Homs and Sweeda.
The Patriarchate is the main founder of MECC (Middle East Council of Churches), a member of WCC from its beginning, founders of WSCF and Syndesmos. It has fraternal relations with other Christian denominations and has forged significant relations with the Muslims as well.
The Patriarchate implements development activities through the  “Department of Ecumenical Relations, Development & Fund Raising Programs”. The Department is based at the Patriarchate. In addition to a board of trustees, it has a general director, a deputy and two secretaries. The department provides services to children, youths, adults, families, clergy, nuns and monks. Its jurisdiction covers the regions of Syria, Lebanon and southern Turkey. It cooperates with the following NGOs:

  • Pontifical mission, USA
  • Aid to the Church in Need, Europe
  • Missio, Europe
  • Miseorer, Europe
  • Global Ministry, Holland
  • Solidarity, Greece
  • WCC-M.E. Desk, Geneva
  • ICO, Austria

Main activities:

  • Capacity building programs on different areas mainly for young adults (both men and women).
  • Promoting ecumenical relations with non-orthodox and with other Orthodox Churches as well as with people of other faiths.
  • Promoting Christian education for children, adults & families.
  • Developing and launching income generating projects to produce funds.
  • Promoting health services in Church related institutions (hospitals and dispensaries).
  • Promoting agricultural projects.
  • Supporting scholarships programs for young people in need.
  • Supporting the restoration and documentation of historical places relating to the Patriarchate (monasteries, churches, etc).
  • Supporting social and diaconal institutions (kindergartens, centers for the elderly, orphanages, hostels)
  • Promoting religious tour programs for European and non-European Churches.
  • Organizing regional and international conferences on various fields.
  • Preserving and restoring of old manuscripts through the special restorations laboratory that is located at the patriarchate.

Address: Medhat Basha Street, Al Mariamieh, Damascus
P.O. Box: 31975 Damascus, Syria
Tel: +963 11 54498720
+963 11 5424400/401/402
Fax: +963 11 54498721
+963 11 5424404