Archdiocese of Memphis

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The Holy Archdiocese of Memphis and All Egypt is a diocese under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.

The city of Memphis was one of the capitals of Ancient Egypt, reaching its peek as city and center of paganism between the 24th and 22nd centuries BC. Memphis saw its first decline in the 16th century, when Thebes was made both capital and religious center of the cult of the Sun. With the arrival of the Romans in the 1st century BC, Greek paganism was favored instead of the ancient cults.

Christianity may have arrived in the region since the Apostolic Age, but Memphis was then no more than a simple city. The see of Memphis seems to have been founded after the end of the Great Persecution in the 4th century. By the end of the century, the diocese was under the Archdiocese of Oxyrhyncus in Arcadia. It's only known bishop was Antiochus, who attended the Council of Nicea.

By the time of the Islamic invasion of Egypt in c. 640, Memphis was just a village with ruins of its past. The heavy taxation upon the Orthodox Christians eventually dropped the city out of existence. The Islamic policies soon favored the Arab Miaphysites, who took churches and monasteries for themselves and rebuilt the city. Its first known heretical bishop would already be in charge of Memphis by the end of that century.

The modern see of Memphis as founded on November 20, 1909 by a Patriarchal and Synodal Decree under the name Archdiocese of Memphis and All Arabia. The archdiocese did not share borders with any other bishopric, since it was created as a jurisdiction over all the Christian Arabs in Egypt. It was suppressed on December 15, 1927 in place of the Archdiocese of Hermopolis, which has the Arab jurisdiction with itself to the present day.

It remained a titular archbishopric until November 30, 1972, when it received the territory between Alexandria, Leontopolis and Ptolemais upon the election of Abp. Nicodemus and received its current name. Since 1909, it's seat is located in the city of Heliopolis in Cairo.

Ruling bishops

Ancient bishops
  • Antiochus (fl. 325)

(suppressed in the 7th century following the Islamic conquest of Egypt)

Modern bishops
  • Nectarios I (Iordanidis) 1909–1924

(suppressed due to vacancy to reestablish the Archdiocese of Hermopolis)

  • Hilarion (Koiverakis) 1968–1972

(gained territory from the Archdiocese of Hermopolis)

(vacant)

Source