The appellation Oriental Orthodox refers to the group of churches that have preserved the faith of the first three ecumenical councils: Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus. This is the official name of the communion, upon which all of the member churches agree. However, they are also referred to as Old Oriental Orthodox Churches, Ancient Oriental Orthodox Churches, Non-Chalcedonians, Pre-Chalcedonians and Miaphysites.
The Oriental Orthodox Churches came to a parting of ways with the rest of Christendom in the Fifth Century, when the Roman and Byzantine Churches accepted Chalcedon as the Fourth Ecumenical Council. The reason for this schism was the Orientals’ strict adherence to what is called the Christological formula of St. Cyril of Alexandria: “the one incarnate nature of God the Word”, in opposition to the Symbol of Chalcedon’s “in two natures”. Nevertheless, the Twentieth Century witnessed several efforts made towards reconciliation, with regard to Chalcedon (see Pan-Orthodox Unity Documents).
The Oriental Orthodox Churches are erroneously referred to as Monophysites. Monophysitism, a Christological heresy associated with Eutyches of Constantinople, is rejected by the Oriental Orthodox Fathers. Those who continue to use this pejorative misnomer promote polemics and forsake their better judgement.
The Oriental Orthodox Churches
The Armenian Apostolic Church
Catholicosates Mother See of Holy Etchmaidzin Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia
Regional Patriarchates Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople
Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem __________________________________
The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
The French Coptic Orthodox Church __________________________________
The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church __________________________________
The Indian Orthodox Malankara Church
Brahmavar (Goan) Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East
Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church in India