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Overview & Policies

The SOR Forum is a moderated Q&A (Question & Answer) forum of the Syriac Orthodox Resources web site hosted at Yahoo Groups (URL - It is intended for those who wish to learn more about the Syriac Orthodox Church. In this age of information overload and email proliferation, it is extremely important that messages posted on the forum be relevant to the objectives of the forum. Please make sure that you understand and agree with the rules below before you participate in this forum. Should you require any clarifications or have comments about the policies, please contact the Webmaster <>.

Completing the Subscription

In order to complete your subscription please send an email to stating your name, church/parish affiliation (optional), and a brief statement on your motivation to join this group. Your subscription will not be processed unless we receive your email. (Users in need of posting anonymously, need to send us an email using their anonymous email stating that they wish to be anonymous. They need not tell us their name. See below under Anonymous Messages.)

SORForum Policy

"Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger" (James 1:19).

Conformance to Purpose of the Forum

[1] The forum is intended primarily for answering questions about the Syriac Orthodox Church. Moderators of the forum may not approve a message if the content of the message is not appropriate for the forum.

[2] Only questions that relate to the faith of the Syriac Orthodox Church are permitted. This includes inquiring about any aspect of the Syriac Orthodox faith, religious practices, personal spiritual experiences, canon law that pertains to the daily affairs of the Church and its faithful (e.g., baptism, marriage, etc.). This does not include topics such as politics in the community and church, ethnicity, nationality, etc.

[3] Please make a good faith effort to find answers to questions on the SOR web site or other sources prior to posting questions on the forum.

Unsolicited Information

[4] Messages which post unsolicited information will be typically rejected. If a request is made, information directly relevant to the Syriac Orthodox Church and deemed to be of interest to the members of the forum may be consolidated into a periodic newsletter and posted by the moderators. If after request, a participant continues to post unsolicited information, the participant's privileges will be revoked.

Maintaining Thread Quality and Integrity

[5] A message posted by a member should state the question clearly and succinctly. The topic of the message should be clearly titled and all questions within a message should pertain to the same topic. Moderators of the forum may not approve a message that does not state questions clearly or may ask for clarification when appropriate.

[6] Responses to messages should be brief and pertinent to the questions asked. Avoid rehashing of information already stated in earlier messages on the same thread. Please do not reply to messages with history; where necessary, include relevant portions of the message(s) to which the response is posted. Extended discussions on a topic will be monitored for relevance to the topic originating the thread.

Language of Messages

[7] Messages may currently be posted on the SOR Forum in English only. A message may be posted in Syriac (either using the Beth Mardutho Unicode Syriac fonts or in English transliteration); however, such messages should be accompanied by an English translation. Participants should attempt to construct messages in grammatically correct English. We realize that not all participants have adequate facility with written English. Moderators may correct obvious grammatical errors in messages. However, messages with many syntactical errors that affect the interpretation of the poster's message may not be approved.

Acknowledgement of Sources

[8] Sources used in messages must always be acknowledged and wherever possible references must be provided. Moderators may reject messages that do not provide appropriate acknowledgements.

Anonymous Messages

[9] You must have an email account to participate in the forum. In order to maintain the integrity of the forum, all messages must be signed by the true name of the contributor. Posts that appear to be anonymous will not be distributed. However, we do not want to deter those who might have a legitimate spiritual need from seeking help anonymously. In such a case, the anonymous contributor needs to create an Internet email account (e.g., at,, etc.) using an anonymous name. Anonymous messages will be distributed only if the SORForum moderator is convinced of the need for anonymity.

Projecting a Christian Spirit

[10] This is a Church forum. Treat it as such. Any uncivil posts containing personal attacks, flaming, propaganda, etc., and posts discourteous to the clergy or hierarchy, will not be distributed regardless of content.

[11] Please recognize that members contribute to the forum in their limited free time. No one is obligated to respond to messages posted on the forum.

Forbidden Topics

Ethnic Identity of the Syriac Orthodox

[12] We recognize that the ethnic identity question stems from the angst about the plight of Syriac Orthodox and other Eastern Christians in the Middle Eastern countries. We are deeply concerned about the future of the Syriac Orthodox Church, its ancient monasteries, churches, and people in these lands. However, the issue has proved in the past to cause divisions and flaming arguments on SOR-Forum and other Syriac forums. We do not wish SOR-Forum to host questions and discussions that focus on what divides; we desire earnestly to foster unity as brethren in Christ, regardless of ethnic identities and political aspirations. Therefore, messages on this topic will not be approved.

Schism in the Malankara Church in India

[13] For much of the 20th century, the Syriac Orthodox Church in Malankara has been torn apart by a schism between two factions one owing allegiance to the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and the other to the Catholicos in India. The two factions have engaged in litigation in the courts for many decades renting the community apart. Unfortunately the schism continues to this day. The Syriac Orthodox Resources web site will give voice to the views of the Syriac Orthodox Church in India under the Patriarch of Antioch and will disseminate factual information on the litigation such as transcripts of verdicts, publish significant news, etc. However, due to the divisive nature of the topic, we will not entertain discussion pertaining to the schism on SOR-Forum.

Any message which violates the above guidelines will not be distributed without notice or explanation. Emails to the SOR Editorial Board regarding undistributed messages will be ignored. Members who repeatedly violate the rules of the forum will be removed from the forum.

As the board has limited free time, you can help us expand SOR by simply abiding with the above guidelines. Any time we spend on controlling the forum is taken away from expanding and improving the web site.

SOR reserves the right to amend the above rules without notice.

Copyright © Syriac Orthodox Resources. All Rights Reserved.
Last Update: October 5, 2001