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  1. The name Greek Orthodox Church, or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, whose liturgy is or was traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the Septuagint and the New Testament. Its history, traditions, and theology are rooted in the early Church Fathers and the culture of the Byzantine Empire. Greek Orthodox Christianity has also traditionally placed strong emphasis on and awarded

    Greek Orthodox Church - Wikipedia
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    • The Time of Persecution
    • The Time of Growth
    • The Great Schism
    • Time of Struggle
    • Time of Renewal and Reconciliation

    The earliest Church, which is described in the Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles, did not confine itself to the land of Judea. She took very seriously the command of Our Lord to go into the whole world and preach the Gospel. The words of Christ and the event of His saving Death and Resurrection were destined not only for the people of the first century and the Mediterranean world of which they were a part, but also for persons in all places and in every age. Within only a few years after...

    The beginning of the fourth century marked a new stage in the development of the Church. After centuries of vicious persecution at the direction of the Roman Emperors, an Emperor of Rome became a Christian. This was Constantine the Great, who in the year 313 granted Christians freedom of worship. The Edict was a recognition that the Church not only had survived the persecutions but also had become a significant force in the Empire. From that time onward, the Church and the Empire began a very...

    The Great Schism is the title given to separation between the Western Church (the Roman Catholic) and the Eastern Church, (the Orthodox), which took place in the eleventh century. Relations between the two great traditions of the East and the West had often been strained since the fourth century. Yet, unity and harmony was maintained in spite of differences in theological expression, liturgical practices, and views of authority. By the ninth century, however, legitimate differences were inten...

    In the year 1453, the City of Constantinople fell to the invading Muslims. With its capital, the Byzantine Empire came to an end; and the vast lands of Asia Minor fell subject to non-Christians. The great ecclesiastical cities of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, which had come under the political control of Islam centuries earlier, were now joined by Constantinople. Throughout the Ottoman Empire, Christians came to be treated as second-class citizens who paid heavy taxes and wore distincti...

    Throughout the past two hundred years the Orthodox Church in the Western Hemisphere has been developing as a valuable presence and distinctive witness. For example, in the United States, Orthodoxy has been recognized as one of the four major faiths. She has more than five million members, who are grouped into more than a dozen ecclesiastical jurisdictions. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, which is the largest, has about 500 parishes and operates church schools, parochial schools, an orphanage,...

  3. Greek Orthodox Church - Wikipedia › wiki › Greek_Orthodox_Church

    The name Greek Orthodox Church, or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, whose liturgy is or was traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the Septuagint and the New Testament. Its history, traditions, and theology are rooted in the early Church Fathers and the culture of the Byzantine Empire. Greek Orthodox Christianity has also traditionally placed strong emphasis on and awarded

    • 23–25 million (about 40% of whom are in Greece)
    • Various, but Constantinople is held in special regard
  4. Basic History of the Greek Orthodox Church › religion › history-orthodox-church
    • Apostolic Succession
    • Orthodox History Begins with Pentecost
    • Apostles Travel to Spread Christianity
    • Persecution and Martyrdom of Christians
    • Emperor Constantine I – Constantine The Great
    • The Byzantine Church

    As mentioned above, the Orthodox Christian Church that is around today is the exact church that the Apostles set up in the New Testament. This unbroken unity is referred to as Apostolic Succession. Through it, all bishops and priests can be traced back to the original Apostles through ordination. In doing so, this keeps the original doctrine of the Church intact.

    Much of what occurred in the early years of the church has been documented in the New Testament. Officially, the history of the church begins at Pentecost, which is documented in the Acts of the Apostles and took place in 33 A.D. During Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and the people who had gathered and they began to speak in tongues. Today, the Orthodox Church celebrates this event fifty days after Pascha.

    In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gave the Apostles what is known as “The Great Commission” amongst Biblical scholars. In that passage, he told them to “go, make disciples of all nations.” Filled with the Holy Spirit, the Apostles traveled extensively to lead people to Christ and to build churches. The Apostle Paul, for example, traveled to Asia Minor, Greece, and even to Rome.

    It was also during this time when Christians were heavily persecuted and martyred. Though persecution and martyrdom of Orthodox Christians still happens today, it was a very frequent occurrence during the first few hundred years of the Church. Yet, despite that, the number of believers continued to grow.

    Emperor Constantine I is listed as a saint in the Orthodox Church because he legitimized Christianity in the Roman Empire and made persecution of Christians illegal. In 313 A.D. he enacted the Edict of Milan, which stated that Christians would be able to practice their faith without harm or oppression. A Christian himself, he declared his faith when he was around forty years old. Prior to this Edict, the Roman Empire was one of the heaviest persecutors of Christians and many of them were martyred.

    Emperor Constantine moved his residence to a new city, which he named Constantinople after himself. Eventually, Constantinople became the capital of Byzantium, which is where the Byzantine Church eventually had its center. Later on, the Turks renamed the city Istanbul and the head of the Orthodox Christian Church is still located there today. The Orthodox Christian Church has a rich history, which has its roots with Jesus. When He commissioned His Apostles to “make disciples of all nations,” they traveled the world to form churches. The Orthodox Church that exists today is the same one that the Apostles set up over two thousand years ago. Categorized in: Religion This post was written by

  5. History of the Orthodox Church › history

    History of the Orthodox Church A. THE INFANT CHURCH. The Apostolic Era. This being so, our brief survey of the long and complex evolution of Orthodox... B. THE BYZANTINE CHURCH. The Formative Age. If the early fourth century marks the end of the period of persecutions and... C. THE CAPTIVE CHURCH. ...

  6. History of the Orthodox Church - Theology - Greek Orthodox ... › - › history-of-the-orthodox-church
    • Introduction
    • The Infant Church
    • The Byzantine Church
    • The Captive Church
    • The Modern Church
    • Suggestions For Further Reading

    Christianity has always been unusually sensitive to the past; its enduring relevance has, in fact, never been in doubt. The basic reason for this sensibility is that Christian biblical revelation takes place in a historical context and is, quite simply, a revelation of historical data, of God's activity in history. It is in time and human space that man's salvation unfolds-God's chosen way to redeem us. That Christian Scripture takes the form, more often than not, of a richly detailed historical narrative should come as no surprise. These considerations, taken together, explain the powerful appeal history has always had for Orthodox Christianity. Orthodox worship, for example, is invariably also a witness to history; it recalls, in its rich diversity, particular historical events not only from the earthly life of the Lord, but from the life of the Church, its saints, ascetics, martyrs, and theologians. Every liturgy, every feast, is at once a celebration of time and of the eschatolo...

    The Apostolic Era

    This said, our brief survey of the long evolution of Orthodox Christianity begins with the first Pentecost in Jerusalem and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Christ's small circle of disciples. It is then that the Orthodox Church was born - today the second largest organized body of Christians in the world. The Apostles, it is true, had been historic witnesses to Christ's messianic ministry and resurrection before the Spirit of God descended on them. Still, it was with this event that they...

    Persecution and Success

    The causes of this success are understandably complex. The disciplined close-knit structure of the Church, its social solidarity and internal cohesion, its care for the poor and the deprived did not go unnoticed. Both the hostile critic and the ordinary pagan observer were aware of these advantages. Furthermore, the persecution and martyrdom of Christians - despite the streak of cruelty in some who observed these punishments - could not but raise doubts and questions for many individuals. Nor...

    The Impact of Christian Victory

    In a very real sense, the first four centuries of the Christian era were among the most creative. The Christian victory was undeniably revolutionary both for the Roman Empire and the European civilization that followed. From the perspective of the Church itself the period was even more significant. It is then that the Church achieved a certain self-identity, even self-awareness, which has since remained normative for Orthodoxy. Two developments which affected its self-understanding -- one ins...

    The Medieval Period

    If the early fourth century marks the end of the period of persecutions and the Church's formative age, it also marks the dawn of the medieval period. With the fourth century we are standing on the threshold of a new civilization -- the Christian empire of medieval Byzantium. Clearly, Constantine's recognition of Christianity was decisive. Equally momentous doubtless was his decision to transfer the imperial residence -- the center of Roman government -- to Constantinople in 330. The importan...

    Heresies and Ecumenical Councils

    Space does not permit us to elaborate on this period in detail. It is, as it turns out, the single longest chapter in the history of the Church. The Byzantine Empire was characterized by a remarkable endurance: it survived for over a millennium until its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. We will therefore limit ourselves to an outline of this age, to the events and developments which exercised the greatest influence on the life of the Church. The seven ecumenical councils with their doctrina...

    The Pentarchy

    To sum up, by the fifth century, a "pentarchy" or system of five sees (patriarchates), with a settled order of precedence, had been established. Rome, as the ancient center and largest city of the empire, was understandably given the presidency or primacy of honor within the pentarchy into which Christendom was now divided. Plainly, this system of patriarchs and metropolitans was exclusively the result of ecclesiastical legislation; there was nothing inherently divine in its origin. None of t...

    The Ottoman Conquest

    In general, the fall of Constantinople in 1453 was a great misfortune for Christianity. For Eastern Christendom it was nothing less than an unqualified disaster. As a result of the Ottoman conquest, the entire Orthodox communion of the Balkans and the Near East was suddenly isolated from the West. For the next four hundred years it would instead be confined within a hostile Islamic world, with which it had little in common religiously or culturally. Orthodox Russia alone escaped this fate. It...

    Religious Rights Under Islam

    The new Ottoman government that arose from the ashes of Byzantine civilization was neither primitive nor barbaric. Islam not only recognized Jesus as a great prophet, but tolerated Christians as another People of the Book. As such, the Church was not extinguished nor was its canonical and hierarchical organization significantly disrupted. Its administration continued to function. One of the first things that Mehmet the Conqueror did was to allow the Church to elect a new patriarch, Gennadius...

    The Results of Corruption

    It was likewise the Church's fate to be affected by the Turkish system of corruption. The patriarchal throne was frequently sold to the highest bidder, while new patriarchal investiture was accompanied by heavy payment to the government. In order to recoup their losses, patriarchs and bishops taxed the local parishes and their clergy. Nor was the patriarchal throne ever secure. Few patriarchs between the fifteenth and the nineteenth centuries died a natural death while in office. The forced a...

    Orthodoxy and Modern Ideology

    The tragedy of the Orthodox Church for much of the twentieth century has been to live for a good portion of its flock, at least - under the new political framework of atheistic totalitarianism. The dislocation of communism is the latest in a long series of misfortunes - Arabic, Seljuk, Crusader, Mongol, Ottoman - with which it has had to cope in the last millennium and a half. As St. Paul observes, "it was given to us not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him" (Phil. 1:29). The...

    Confrontation with Atheistic Regimes

    The result of this militant atheism has been to transform the Church into a persecuted and martyred Church. Thousands of bishops, monks, clergy, and faithful died as martyrs for Christ, both in Russia and in the other communist nations. Their numbers may well exceed the Christians who perished under the Roman Empire. Equally frightening for the Church was communism's indirect, but systematic, strangulation policy. In the Soviet Union, in addition to the methodical closing, desecration and des...

    Orthodoxy and Immigration

    One of the most striking developments in modern historical Orthodoxy is the dispersion of Orthodox Christians to the West. Emigration from Greece and the Near East in the last hundred years has, in fact, created a sizable Orthodox diaspora in Western Europe, North and South America, and Australia. In addition, the Bolshevik Revolution forced thousands of Russian exiles westward. As a result, Orthodoxy's traditional frontiers have been profoundly modified. Millions of Orthodox are no longer "e...

    The first three works (all currently available as inexpensive paperbacks) contain readable, scholarly introductions to Eastern Orthodox history and theology. The last four titles contain more detailed analyses of Orthodox doctrine. 1. J. Meyendorff, The Orthodox Church: Its Past and Role in the World Today (London, 1962). 2. A. Schmemann, The Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy (Chicago, 1966). 3. T. Ware, The Orthodox Church (Penguin Books, 1963). 4. V. Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (James Clark; London, 1957). 5. J. Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes (Fordham University Press; New York, 1974). 6. A. Papadakis and J. Meyendorff, The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy 1071-1453 (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press; Crestwood, N.Y., 1994) 7. J. Pelikan, The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700)(The University of Chicago Press; Chicago and London, 1977).

  7. What is the Orthodox Church? History and Beliefs of Orthodoxy › church › denominations
    • Orthodox Definition and Meaning
    • History of The Orthodox Church
    • Beliefs and Worship of The Orthodox Church
    • Orthodox Easter

    Orthodox: (of a person or their views, especially religious or political ones, or other beliefs or practices) conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true; established and approved. Orthodoxy is belief or adherence to traditional or affirmed creeds, notably in religion. In the Christian sense, the term means, "conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church." The first seven ecumenical councils were between the years of 325 and 787 A.D. with the purpose of establishing accepted doctrines. In historic Christian use, the word orthodox relates to the collection of doctrines which were accepted by the early Christians. Several ecumenical councils were gathered over a period of several centuries in an attempt to establish these doctrines. The most notable of these historic declarations was that between the Homoousian doctrine, which became Trinitarianism, and the Heteroousian doctrine, called Arianism. The Homoousian doctri...

    Although originally the Eastern and Western Christians shared the same faith, the two sides began to separate after the seventh Ecumenical Council in 787 A.D. and is generally considered to have ultimately divided over the dispute with Rome in the so-called Great Schismin 1054. Particularly, this occurred over the papal claim to supreme authority and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The split became definitive with the failure of the Council of Florence in the 15th century. Yet, in the determinations of majority Orthodox, a crucial significance was the conquering of Constantinople in 1204 during the (Western Christian) Fourth Crusade. The sacking of Constantinople by the Crusaders eventually led to the loss of this Byzantine capital to the Muslim Ottomans in 1453. Following the 1054 Great Schism, both the Western Church and Eastern Church continued to consider themselves uniquely orthodox and catholic. Augustine wrote in On True Religion: “Religion is to be sought ... only among tho...

    Eastern Christianity emphasizes a way of life and belief that is manifested especially through worship. By preserving the conventional method of worshipping God, passed on from the very beginnings of Christianity. Eastern Christians maintain that they acknowledge the true doctrine of God in the right (orthodox) way. The Bibleof the Orthodox Church is that of most Western Churches, except that its Old Testament is based not on the Hebrew, but on the ancient Jewish translation into Greek called the Septuagint. The wisdom of the Fathers of the Church is fundamental to the Orthodox way of life as today's successors of the "true faith and Church" passed on in its most authentic form. By maintaining the virtue of the received teachings of the apostles, followers are more conscious of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit being present both in history and in the modern-day. Fastingand prayer represent an essential part of the Orthodox Christian life. Orthodox believe that fasting can be the "...

    Easteris the most meaningful and holy season of the Orthodox Church calendar. Orthodox Easter primarily commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ with a series of celebrations or movable feasts. In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the spiritual preparations begin with Great Lent, 40 days of introspection and fasting (including Sundays), which starts on Clean Monday and finishes on Lazarus Saturday. According to, Clean Monday falls seven weeks before Easter Sunday. The term "Clean Monday" refers to cleansing from sinful behavior through the Lenten fast. Lazarus Saturday occurs eight days before Easter Sunday and signifies the end of Great Lent. Next comes Palm Sunday, one week before Easter, commemorating the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, followed by Holy Week, which ends on Easter Sunday, or Pascha. Fasting continues throughout Holy Week. Many Orthodox churches observe a Paschal Vigil which ends just before midnight on Holy Saturday (or Great S...

  8. History | Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church › our-faith › history

    A Brief History of the Orthodox Church. Our Faith. History. The Church has her origin with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, not with a human teacher, or group, nor a code of conduct or religious philosophy. Orthodoxy believes that the Church has her origin in the Apostolic Community called into being by Jesus Christ, and enlivened by the Holy Spirit.

  9. A Brief Life of Meletios Metaxakis. In the early 20th century, no fewer than six of the world's Orthodox Churches had succession crises (Cyprus, Greece, Constantinople, Moscow, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem). Meletios Metaxakis was involved in four of them.

  10. Eastern Orthodoxy | Definition, Origin, History, & Facts ... › topic › Eastern-Orthodoxy

    The official designation of the church in Eastern Orthodox liturgical or canonical texts is “the Orthodox Catholic Church.”. Because of the historical links of Eastern Orthodoxy with the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium (Constantinople), however, in English usage it is referred to as the “Eastern” or “Greek Orthodox” Church.