The Faith of the Church

The faith of the Syrian Orthodox Church can be summarized as follows: The Church believes in one composite person of the Lord Jesus, and one composite nature that consists of two natures: divine and human, which cannot be mixed, separated or transformed. In other words, the two natures are united into one nature with no mixing, no blending no changing no transformation, and no confusion. This applies to all divine and human attributes. Based on this definition, divinity was united with humanity, or the body, when Jesus was nailed on the cross, and never departed the body, not even for a moment. Therefore, it is wrong, and a departure from the universal Christian faith to say that: "Christ was crucified in flesh". It must rather be said: "God the Incarnate the Lord of glory was crucified"; however, we do say "He suffered and died in flesh", because divinity is never subject to suffering or death. As a consequence, Mary is "the mother of God", and the phrase "Thou who was crucified for us" stands true in the Trisagion which is directed to the second person, i.e., Christ. To this faith adhered the Antiochian Syrians and the Alexandrian Copts who rejected the council of Chalcedon and the document of Leo of Rome (The tome of Letter of Pope Leo) adhering to the faith defined in the three holy ecumenical councils of Nicea 325 A.D., Constantinople 381 A.D., and Ephesus 431 A.D. From here, the name "Orthodox" was coined to mean "True faith" which is common to Syrians, Copts, Armenians and Ethiopians. These Churches are called "sister Churches". They endured together severe sufferings and violent persecutions waged against them by the Chalcedonian Byzantine Empire.