The role of Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV in the worldwide ecumenical movement has been considerable. Since his election in 1979, the patriarch has fostered close relationships with the Syriac Orthodox and Melkite Greek Catholic churches, both of which stem from the Antiochene tradition. The patriarch’s jurisdiction is not limited to Syria and Lebanon, but includes eparchies in the Americas, Australia and Europe.
Since his election in 1980, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I has nurtured a revival of his church. Throughout the Americas, Europe and India, Syriac Orthodox parishes and monasteries have been established. In Syria, St. Ephrem the Syrian Seminary is flourishing, serving the spiritual needs of its people and as a center of culture and scholarship.
Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III was elected in 2000. He inherited the leadership of a church known for its open dialogue with Jews, Christians and Muslims, a legacy which he continues. As with his brother patriarchs of Antioch, much of Gregory III’s flock has emigrated to the Americas, Europe and Oceania.