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07:58 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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John X Elected New Patriarch of Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch

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Metropolitan John X was elected to head the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch on Monday, the official paper of the Russian Orthodox Church reported.

MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) - Metropolitan John X was elected to head the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch on Monday, the official paper of the Russian Orthodox Church reported.

His predecessor, Patriarch Ignatius IV (Hazim) passed away in a Beirut hospital on December 5, a day after suffering a massive stroke.

“Metropolitan John X (al-Yazigi) was chosen as the new head of the Orthodox Church of Antioch on Monday. The vote took place in the The Balamand Monastery (near Tripoli, Lebanon) this morning, 18 bishops participated,” The Church Herald said.

The patriarchate was previously seated in Antioch, modern-day Turkey. It moved to Damascus, Syria, following the Ottoman invasion in the 14th century. Its zone of influence has traditionally included Orthodox Christians in Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and parts of Turkey.