January 9, 2013
Metropolitan John X Elected as Head of Antiochian Orthodox Church
John X's predecessor, Patriarch Ignatius IV, died Dec. 5.
Two weeks after the death of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch patriarch in December, church bishops elected Metropolitan John Yazigi as the church's next leader.
Eighteen church bishops participated in the vote to elect John Yagizi (who will take the name John X) as the head of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch on Dec. 17. The previous head of the church, Ignatius IV (Hazim), died December 5 after suffering a stroke the day before. He was 92 years old.
Pope Benedict XVI issued a message of "fraternal greetings in Christ's love" following John X's election. He stated, “We have a responsibility to continue together along our path to show in a more visible way the spiritual reality of communion which, although still incomplete, already unites us."
The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch (commonly called the Antiochian Orthodox Church) was the Orthodox body that welcomed Campus Crusade leader Peter Gillquist and other evangelical Protestants in the 1980s, and has continued to attract American evangelical converts since then. (Others have joined the Orthodox Church in America.)
CT recently reported how evangelicals have lost two bridges to the Orthodox church.
In a cover story, CT reported on those who argue that the future of evangelicalism lies in the past as more and more evangelicals reconnect with the early church. Others appreciate Orthodoxy but explain why they don't convert.
CT has also reported how evangelical seminaries have wrestled over whether faculty who convert to Orthodoxy can still sign faculty faith statements.