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H.E. Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel the Nazarani Metropolitan in Château-Richer (Québec) in 2013

Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel was born in either Nelson, British Columbia on 11 March 1974, or in the eastern Washington desert town of Ephrata on 22 March 1974, and holds both U.S. and Canadian citizenship. His father was Native American (Cherokee citizen) and his mother was from southern California. Orphaned in infancy, he was raised in foster care in both British Columbia and California. A tetragametic chimera, he was born a true hermaphrodite but later had surgery to make him fully male.

Medical School

H.E. Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel the Nazarani Metropolitan in Macau in 2013.

Mar Elijah took the California High School proficiency exam in 1988. He earned his flight nurse certification in 1990, and graduated from Newcastle University with a Bachelor's in Medicine and Surgery (M.B.Ch.B) in 1994.

Coptic Orthodox Church

Sa Grace, Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel, à la Chapelle-Gravel en l'avenue Royale, Côte-de-beaupré (Québec), 2011.

In June 1994, he was tonsured as a monk by H.G. Anba Karas, the first archbishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria to represent a diocese outside of Egypt. In August 1994 H.G. Anba Antonios of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria ordained him as a deacon.

Then on the Feast of the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas the Apostle, December 21st 1995 he was ordained priest and consecrated as bishop by H.B. Stephanos Zacharias Al-Faoud of the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Sudan and Anba Ystinos of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. At twenty-one years old that made him youngest non-hereditary bishop to be consecrated in into apostolic succession in the 20th century.

After his consecration he was appointed auxiliary bishop to and later locum tenens of the Exarchate of the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Sudan, which at that time was nominally under the protection of H.H. Abuna Merkerios, the 4th Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church

In 1998, Mar Elijah accompanied H.E. Thomas Mar Makarios' to India, where he met the Catholicos of the East, H.H. Baselios Mar Thoma Matthews II, and other leaders of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Converting from the Coptic to the West Syrian Rite while residing at the Catholicate Aramana (Palace) in Devakolam, Kottayam in Kerala, India.

On 24 April 1999 Mar Elijah was enthroned as Bishop of Cosmopolis; and later that year, he undertook the happy duty to integrate a number of his English speaking congregations under the authority of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, as he took over the role as leader of the Mission Society of Mar Gregorios of India overseeing H.E. Thomas Mar Makarios' "convert" parishes in the United States. During this time he granted episcopal protection to the Saint Gregorios Ashram in Kandanad, Kerala, and brought a number of other struggling communities throughout the world.

Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

His Excellency, Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel, the Nazarani Metropolitan performing rushma in the Rivière-Sault-Au-Puce (Québec) in June 2010.

In 2002 however, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch H.H. Ignatius Zakka I Iwas took to extraordinary step of excommunicating the entire Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church over a court dispute. After which Mar Elijah swore the allegiance to the Patriarch of Antioch as the valid canonical authority of the church. However, the Syriac Orthodox asked for a large sum of money in order to officially recognize his ministry. It was later found out that the exact amount of money demanded was what was lost as the result of the Money Scandal in the Syriac Orthodox Church. Detesting Simony, Mar Elijah made the decision to continue with his ministry and secular work, until valid canonical over sight became available.

Reunion Movement

H.E. Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel the Bishop of Cosmopolis in 2008.

In May of 2005, with the ascension of H.H. Pope Benedict XVI, and a perceived shift toward more authentic and conservative Christian values taking place with the Roman Catholic Church, Mar Elijah established a commission to investigate the possibility of union with Rome through the Reunion Movement of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in India. The Diocese of Cosmopolis was converted into a Roman Catholic style personal apostolic administration in order to meet the requirements laid out by H.E. Joseph Mar Thomas, the then Apostolic Visitor for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church outside of India. The inquiry culminated in March 2011, when his replacement, the newly appointed Exarch of the United States, H.E. Thomas Mor Eusebius Naickamparampil, invited Mar Elijah to make a second trip to India, to meet with H. B. Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Thottunka, the Major-Archbishop of Trivandrum. The purpose of the trip was ostensibly to petition the Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church to accept him and his communities in America; however Mor Eusebius didn't forward the invitation or paperwork and the petition was never heard, causing Mar Elijah to stranded in Kerala for three months to fend for himself without a sponsor.

Nazarani Church

H.E. Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel - three days after his retirement in 2017.

It was on 21 December 2012, that Mar Elijah first traveled to Nazareth, and it was there, in the city where Yeshue had started His ministry, that the name of his personal apostolic administration was changed to the "Nazarani Church". This church exists, independent of all political authority, for the purpose of recovering the ancient faith of Yeshue and His apostles, in the Aramaic language; worships according to the "Nazarani Rite" which is a modern adaptation of the most ancient form of the liturgy; and keeps the ancient faith and traditions as they are found in the original Aramaic scriptures.

A third attempt was made to join the Patriarch of Antioch, as shown in this letter from His Excellency Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel to His Holiness Aphrem II.


In 2015, he founded the Nazarani Library, to serve as the archive of the Nazarani Church, and to hold the many Aramaic manuscripts, artefacts and art that he has collected, so that they may be preserved for future generations. The library is housed at the Comunidad de San Adaï in Guanajuato, México.

Mar Elijah resigned his position as Nazarani Metropolitan on 14 March 2017, due to complications of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). He is still mentoring a number of students in religious studies, and continues his work as a clinician and founder of la Clinique Complémentaire. He is presently involved in writing A Theory Of Mind, and finishing his other works, the Nahura, and The Bible Translated.

His autobiography, Random Acts of Surgery will be out in stores in 2018.