Antioch crisis (1892–1898): the position of Gregory Haddad and his role in electing a patriarch from among the Arabs
Authors: Hilarion (Dani) Bechara
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At the beginning of the twentieth century. In the Arab East there have been many significant political events that influenced the historical development of the region. Changes occurred at all levels, and their main source was the Ottoman state that dominated the territory. A significant part of the inhabitants of the Arab East adhered to the Christian faith. In particular, the Orthodox Christians discussed in this article were under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch, which the Patriarchate of Constantinople took over at that time. Thanks to the activity of European states in the region, who sought to protect the rights of Christians living and temporarily staying on the territory of the Ottoman Empire (mainly Catholics and Protestants), the government was forced to make a number of concessions. Thus, the religious edict of 1856 proclaimed full equality in the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims. Despite these improvements, the Church of Antioch experienced a deep internal crisis in the second half of the 20th century. Its reasons should be sought in the fact that the congregation of the Antioch Church, consisting mainly of Arabs, was under Greek administration, which, unfortunately, did not always understand its aspirations and met its needs. Understanding this, the children of the Church of Antioch did everything possible to change the situation. The undoubted merit in this belongs to the metropolitan of Tripoli, Gregory (Haddad), elected patriarch of Antioch in 1906 and became the second Arab-speaking patriarch in the history of the Church of Antioch.