The Old Apostolic Church of the East
Number of faithful
|Title of First Hierarch||Catholicos-Patriarch of the Ancient Church of the East|
|See of the First Hierarch||Baghdad (Iraq)|
|Current incumbent||Mar Jakob III. (Daniel), born 1964, in office since 2022|
|Bishops and dioceses||9 bishops; 8 dioceses|
|Presence in Austria||unknown|
|Presence in Germany||approx. 1,000 believers; 1 priest|
The Old Apostolic Church of the East came into existence in 1968 as a result of a split from the Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East. Until that point, both churches have a common history. Unity was disrupted over calendar disputes (the Assyrian Mother Church had introduced the "new" Gregorian calendar in 1964) and an adjustment to the rules of fasting, which Iraqi believers rejected as "Western innovations." To this day, the Old Apostolic Church of the East remains primarily in the traditional areas inhabited by the Assyrians.
Recently there have been several attempts to restore unity between both churches of the Assyrian tradition, first in 2015 after the death of the longtime head of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV (1976-2015), then again after the death of the head of the Old Apostolic Church of the East, Mar Addai II, in February 2022. Since, the corresponding discussions between representatives of both churches in the USA did not manage to lead to a rapprochement, a new head of the Old Apostolic Church of the East was enthroned in Baghdad in August 2022.
- Old Apostolic Church of the East, Diocese of Australia: https://www.stzaiacathedral.org.au