Friday, June 26, 2009

Antioch-Do You Know Where Your Children Are?


This is an update of the post  "I'm No Mathematician" in which I took issue with Antioch substantially and consistently overstating it's North American membership. Simple calculations showed that it was not possible that The Orthodox Church could have the 6 Million North American parishioners that Antioch claimed.

In the June 2009 issue of The Word magazine, the Antiochians have revised the numbers. In the section "Orthodox World" on page 58, under the heading "The Orthodox Church Today: New Research Reveals Some Not-So-Obvious Facts about American Orthodox Christianity", there is the statement,

"With its historical roots in nineteenth-century Russian Alaska, Orthodox Christianity in the USA today accounts for about 1,200,000-1,300,000 faithful worshiping in 2,200-2300 local parishes spread all across the nation."

So, it seems Antioch is getting closer to the correct mathematical truth of the size of the Orthodoxy membership, but this revised figure still gives each church an average of over 550 members. The article is still too generous and speculative to be accurate as illustrated by the fact that they don't seem to know whether there are 2200 or 2300 parishes. Where are the missing 100 parishes and why is there a question? Should not each jurisdiction know exactly how many parishes they have? In 2oo7, according to SCOBA, there was a combined total of only 1661 parishes in all of North America. Have 539 parishes been established in only two years?- Not likely. I have yet to have anyone dispute my math (though I am not a Mathematician) which concludes that there are closer to 415,250 Orthodox Christians of any jurisdiction in ALL of North America, and less than 50, 000 of those belonging to the Antiochian Diocese.

Is this erroneous reporting of the membership statistics a willful intent to deceive or the status quo of the perplexing pattern of cryptic actions emanating from the leadership of Metropolitan Philip? 6 million is admittedly more impressive than a 1/2 million. To admit that there are only a mere 1/2 million Orthodox in all of North America, would reveal the fact that Orthodoxy in North America is never listed as a major religion on the major independent charts and statistics. It is difficult to believe that the Antiochian Diocese needs the likes of lowly Bloggers to help them count, but whether it is willful deception or fuzzy math, neither is a good commentary on the Metropolitan's leadership. The fact is clear-The Status quo is on shaky ground.

With the seeming obliviousness of it leaders and the current threat of a split within the ranks of the Antiochian North American Diocese, partly due to the now officially rebuked, uncanonical, attempted power grab of Metropolitan Philip and his alleged refusal of an audit of the Diocesan accounts, there follows an obvious question:

Antioch, It's getting late. Do you know where your children are?

Antioch would be well ahead of the game if it simply knew how many children they have. It is way past time for accountability in the Antiochian Diocese. Perhaps with such accountability the the Antiochians will deal with the question as to why they are still in communion with the heretical Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who works daily to lead the Antiochians into the belly of the World Council of Churches stating that all religions are equal paths to God and with Antiochian Patriarch Ignatius who rebuffs the Councils of the Church by communing with Monophysites.

"May their days be few and another take their office."


  1. Wait. You are the first Orthodox blogger who appears to not be in support of the EP. I've posted elsewhere that this whole matter concerning the EP, the diaspora and the OCA (this could be one issue or multiple issues, I truly do not know).

    Do you have any posts that can give me a good idea of what's going on with the EP and the deal on this Antiochian synod that took place recently? I don't know much about what's going on. All I know is that most bloggers seem to be against Met. Jonah and for the EP. I don't really have a clue what's going on in any of these "arenas" and I was wondering if you could help me out.


  2. Righto Nathan. Last I checked, there are more wiccans than Orthodox Christians, all combined.

    Met. Philip is a liar, a crook and a bully who thinks he's the Pope of American arabs and makes Rembert Weakland look honest. I say anaxios and anathema to him. He needs to go and take Bp. Antoun with him. I used to respect Bp. Antoun, not anymore.

    I personally refer to the bishop of Istanbul as that, or "Black Bart" as the Russians call him. The next time it comes up I'm going to ask these native-born Antiochians why they're in communion with him and if they know what he says. I really want an answer as to why Pat. Ignatius (whom I've met) communes with Maronites. Doubt I'll get a good one.

    Take Care Nathan

  3. Vir, Your stats on Wiccans is correct. There is only one small cult group that Orthodoxy outnumbers in the USA. This should be a clarion call for all Orthodox on the North American Contenent that something is not working. Your frank words concerning Met. Philip are too frank for me but I can't discount your accusations and know that they are shared by many.

  4. John, Thanks for stopping by. I have actually been to your blog and appreciate your journey. As a Catechumin you have a distinct advantage that I did not have, to deal with these issues before your Baptism and Chrismation. Make no mistake, Orthodoxy is the Church and you are on the right path. Don't be discouraged by the human elements you are seeing. There is a whole segment of Orthodoxy that has become adulterated and has or is leaving the original faith of our Fathers. Please read my last post, "Why We Left...Where We Went". It will answer a lot of your questions. I have no personal notes on Met Jonah other than the OCA is part of SCOBA and thus in communion with the WCC and The EC. The post I mentioned will tell you why that is an issue. Also the site (Orthodox Christians For Accountability)is very good for current events. I believe it is OCA and pro Jonah, but seems very frank in its assessment of the current issues.

  5. Anonymous6:23 AM

    One of the problems in accounting an accurate number of Orthodox communities in North America, is that the OCA (especially in the south) will 'establish' a mission anywhere there are one or two families who seek to establish one. Then, even if those families leave, change their minds, or join other Orthodox communities, the OCA continues to list the defunt "mission" as though it were active. The purpose is to prevent any other Orthodox group from establishing a misison in the area. On the other hand, certain OCA clergy have no scrupples establishing a mission even if it effectively kills off one of another jurisdiction.

  6. Anonymous8:38 AM

    where are you getting these figures? i have never seen any report anywhere listing more that a 1/2 million..........

  7. Anon, The figure of six million was often quoted at church, Parish Life Conference, among priests with whom I socialized and at least one Bishop whom I heard in person. This was both prior to and after I entered the Antiochian Diocese. The six mil figure was used as a marketing tool to illustrate how well the Orthodox Church is evangelizing in North America. Even the newly revised figure from The Word magazine (see the link and read the report) is 2 1/2 times greater than the actual count. If you are in a non-Antiochian diocese or have a Bishop and parishioners who accurately state the facts then that is a good thing.


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