From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Syrian Orthodox or Jacobite church is an autocephalous Christian church of Syria, Iraq, and India, recognizing the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch as its spiritual head. It is regarded by Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox as heretical (because of the Monophysite beliefs), but is in communion with the Coptic Church and other Oriental Orthodox churches. There is also a schismatic Jacobite group called the Syrian Catholic Church that has entered into communion with the Roman Catholic Church and is one of the Eastern Rites.
The church broke from the Orthodox Church of Antioch in the fifth century, after the Council of Chalcedon condemned its Monophysite teachings. It was established by Jacob Baradaeus, helped by Empress Theodora; however, Jacobite tradition traces their origin directly to St. Peter who founded the original Church of Antioch in 37 AD.