There have always been Christians in Antioch although their number has progressively declined through the centuries. The province of Hatay has a sizeable community of Arabic speaking Orthodox Christians dependant on the Patriarch of Damascus. Despite the ups and downs of history, this community and its clergy has, for centuries, preserved and remained faithful to the traditions of the Fathers. Their bishops and patriarchs still have the title "of Antioch " although their sees are now in Syria .
The Orthodox form the largest community of Christians in Antioch , being about 200 families. They have a beautiful church which was built, with the help of the Russian Church , in the 19th century. and greatly and beautifully restored in 2000. The church is open during the hours of morning and evening prayer and is well worth visiting not only to see the building itself, which is in the classical oriental style, but also its wonderful Russian icons