The name Greek Orthodox Church (Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἑκκλησία, Ellinorthódoxi Ekklisía, IPA: [elinorˈθoðoksi ekliˈsia]), 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, and whose 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 heavy emphasis and awarded high prestige to traditions of Eastern Orthodox monasticism and asceticism, with origins in Early Christianity in the Near East and in Byzantine Anatolia.
Historically, the term "Greek Orthodox" has also been used to describe all Eastern Orthodox Churches in general, since "Greek" in "Greek Orthodox" can refer to the heritage of the Byzantine Empire. During the first eight centuries of Christian history, most major intellectual, cultural, and social developments in the Christian Church took place within the Empire or in the sphere of its influence, where the Greek language was widely spoken and used for most theological writings. Over time, most parts of the liturgy, traditions, and practices of the church of Constantinople were adopted by all, and still provide the basic patterns of contemporary Orthodoxy. Thus, the Eastern Church came to be called "Greek" Orthodox in the same way that the Western Church is called "Roman" Catholic. However, the appellation "Greek" was abandoned by the Slavic and other Eastern Orthodox churches in connection with their peoples' national awakenings, from as early as the 10th century A.D. Thus, today it is generally only those churches that are most closely tied to Greek or Byzantine culture that are called "Greek Orthodox".
|Greek Orthodox Church|
|Primate||The Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, and the Archbishops of Athens, Cyprus, Albania and Mount Sinai|
|Language||Koine Greek, Katharevousa, Arabic, and English, with other local languages used in the diaspora|
|Headquarters||Various, but Constantinople is held in special regard|
|Territory||Eastern Mediterranean and Greek diaspora|
|Separations||True Orthodoxy (Greek Old Calendarism) (1920s)|
|Members||23–25 million (about 50% of whom are in Greece)|
The Greek Orthodox churches are descended from churches which the Apostles founded in the Balkans and the Middle East during the first century A.D., and they maintain many traditions practiced in the ancient Church. Orthodox Churches, unlike the Catholic Church, have no single Supreme Pontiff, or Bishop (see also: Pontifex maximus), and hold the belief that Christ is the head of the Church. However, they are each governed by a committee of Bishops, called the Holy Synod, with one central Bishop holding the honorary title of "first among equals".
Greek Orthodox Churches are united in communion with each other, as well as with the other Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Orthodox hold a common doctrine and a common form of worship, and they see themselves not as separate Churches but as administrative units of one single Church. They are notable for their extensive tradition of iconography (see also: Byzantine art), for their veneration of the Mother of God and the Saints, and for their use of the Divine Liturgy on Sundays, which is a standardized worship service dating back to the fourth century A.D. in its current form. The most commonly used Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church was written by Saint John Chrysostom (347–407 A.D.). Others are attributed to St. Basil the Great, St. James, the Brother of God and St. Gregory the Dialogist.
The current territory of the Greek Orthodox Churches more or less covers the areas in the Balkans, Anatolia, and the Eastern Mediterranean that used to be a part of the Byzantine Empire. The majority of Greek Orthodox Christians live within Greece and elsewhere in the southern Balkans (especially in Albania), but also in Jordan, the Occupied Palestinian territories, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Anatolia, European Turkey, and the South Caucasus. In addition, due to the large Greek diaspora, there are many Greek Orthodox Christians who live in North America and Australia. Orthodox Christians in Finland, who compose about 1% of the population, are also under the jurisdiction of a Greek Orthodox Church (the Ecumenical Patriarchate).
There are also many Greek Orthodox Christians, with origins dating back to the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, who are of Arabic-speaking or mixed Greek and Arabic-speaking ancestry and live in southern Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. They attend churches which conduct their services in Arabic, the common language of most Greek Orthodox believers in the Levant, while at the same time maintaining elements of the Byzantine Greek cultural tradition.
Ethnic Greeks in Russia and Greeks in Ukraine, as well as Pontic Greeks and Caucasus Greeks from the former Russian Transcaucasus, often consider themselves both Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox, which is consistent with the Orthodox faith (since Orthodoxy is the same across ethnic boundaries). Thus, they may attend services held in Old Russian and Old Church Slavonic, without this in any way undermining their Orthodox faith or distinct Greek ethnic identity. Over the centuries, these Pontic Greek-speaking Greek Orthodox communities have mixed through intermarriage in varying degrees with ethnic Russians and other Orthodox Christians from mainly Southern Russia, where most of them settled between the Middle Ages and early 19th century.
The churches where the Greek Orthodox term is applicable are:
The distinctive characteristics of the Greek Orthodox Church are its sense of continuity with the ancient Church of Christ and the Apostles and its changelessness. The Orthodox church traces its existence, through the ordinatinon of Bishops. directly back to the Apostles and through them to Jesus.
The Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches are the oldest with roots going back to the earliest Christian groups.
The Orthodox Church traces its origins to the churches founded by the apostles in the Middle East and the Balkans in the first century.
Catholicism holds that if a Church claims to be Christian, then it must be able to show that its leaders-its bishops and its presbyters (or priests)- are successors of the apostles. That is why the Catholic Church accepts Eastern Orthodox ordinations and sacraments as valid, even though Eastern Orthodoxy is not in full communion with Rome.
This connection is apparent through the historical succession of bishops of churches in a particular geographic locale and by fidelity to the teachings of the apostles (cf. Acts 2:42) and life as it developed in the patristic tradition and was articulated by the seven ecumenical councils.
There are three branches within Christianity: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. ... The Christian church draws its lineage and roots from the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles in CE 25–30 and the birth of the Church at Pentecost in ...
EASTERN ORTHODOXY, one of the major branches of CHRISTIANITY, characterized by its continuity with the apostolic church, its liturgy, and its territorial churches.
the only remaining issues between the two sides concern the extent to which minority members should have equal rights with the rest of the Albanian citizens as well as issues of property and ecclesiastical autonomy for the Greek Orthodox Church of Albania.
Amioun (Arabic: أميون, translit. Amyūn, Greek: Αμιούν) is the capital of the predominantly Greek Orthodox Koura District (i.e. χώρα, "country" in Greek) in the north of Lebanon.Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral (Houston)
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral is the spiritual home of the largest Eastern Orthodox parish in Houston, Texas. It is located in Montrose and Neartown.Built in 1950-52 by the Greek community of Houston. From 1967 to 1974, the church was the seat of the Bishop of the 8th Diocesan District of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. The church provides a variety of ministries and services and houses a number of organizations. It is named for the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and celebrates its feast day on March 25. The church hosts the K-8 school Annunciation Orthodox School.Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, United States, was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956, and completed in 1961. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is one of Wright's last works; construction was completed after his death. The design is informed by traditional Byzantine architectural forms, reinterpreted by Wright to suit the modern context. The church's shallow scalloped dome echoes his Marin County Civic Center.Church of Cyprus
The Church of Cyprus (Greek: Ἐκκλησία τῆς Κύπρου) is one of the autocephalous Greek Orthodox Churches that together with other Eastern Orthodox Churches form the communion of the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is one of the oldest Eastern Orthodox autocephalous churches, achieving independence from the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East in 431. The bishop of the ancient capital, Salamis (renamed Constantia by Emperor Constantius II) was constituted metropolitan by Emperor Zeno, with the title archbishop.Church of the Dormition of Our Lady
Church of the Dormition of Our Lady (Arabic: كنيسة رقاد السيدة العذراء) is a Greek Orthodox church in Jdeydeh quarter of Aleppo, Syria. The church belongs the Greek Orthodox Prelacy, the Diocese of Aleppo. It was built during the first half of the 15th century and is active up to now.Evangelical Orthodox Church
The Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC), founded in 1979, is a small Christian syncretic denomination established by former leaders of Campus Crusade for Christ, who, reacting against the freewheeling Jesus People movement, developed their own synthesis of Evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Shepherding Movement principles.Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, headquartered in New York City, is an eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Its current primate is Archbishop Demetrios of America.Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa (Ancient Greek: Πατριαρχεῖον Ἀλεξανδρείας καὶ πάσης Ἀφρικῆς, translit. Patriarcheîon Alexandreías kaì pásēs Aphrikês, lit. 'The Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa'), also known as the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, is an autocephalous patriarchate that is part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Its seat is in Alexandria and it has canonical responsibility for the entire African continent.
It is commonly called the Greek or Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria to distinguish it from the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, which is part of Oriental Orthodoxy. Members of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate were once referred to as "Melkites" by non-Chalcedonian Christians because they remained in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople after the schism that followed the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
Mark the Evangelist is considered the founder of the See, and the Patriarchate's emblem is the Lion of Saint Mark.Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch
The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as the Antiochian Orthodox Church (Greek: Πατριαρχεῖον Ἀντιοχείας, translit. Patriarcheĩon Antiokheías, lit. 'Patriarchate of Antioch'; Arabic: بطريركية أنطاكية وسائر المشرق للروم الأرثوذكس, translit. Baṭriyarkiyya Anṭākiya wa-Sāʾir al-Mashriq li'l-Rūm al-Urthūdhuks, lit. 'Roman Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East'), is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Headed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, it considers itself the successor to the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter and Paul.Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem
The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem (Arabic: كنيسة الروم الأرثوذكس في القدس Kanisatt Ar-rum al-Urtudoks fi al-Quds, literally Rûmi Orthodox Church of Jerusalem),(Hebrew: הפטריארכיה היוונית-אורתודוקסית של ירושלים) and officially called simply the Patriarchate of Jerusalem (Greek: Πατριαρχεῖον Ἱεροσολύμων, Patriarcheîon Hierosolýmōn), is an autocephalous Church within the wider communion of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity. It is headed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, the incumbent being Theophilos III since 2005. Christians believe that it was in Jerusalem that the Church was established on the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:1-41) and that the Gospel of Christ spread from Jerusalem. The Church celebrates its liturgy in the Byzantine Rite, whose original language is Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament, and follows its own calendar of feasts, preserving the Julian calendar (that is thirteen days behind the Western (Gregorian) calendar). It is also often called "Σιωνίτις Εκκλησία" (Greek: Sionitis Ecclesia, i.e. the "Church of Zion").
The number of Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land is estimated at about 500,000. A majority of Church members are Palestinians and Jordanians, and there are also many Russians, Romanians, and Georgians. The Church's hierarchy is dominated by Greek clergy, which in effect excludes the Arab majority from the Church's upper ranks. This has been a point of endless contention between Greeks in the patriarchate, who are backed in this regard by the Greek government, Israel and the Turkey-based Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and the native Palestinian clergy- some of whom seek to nationalize their Church's leadership. (see Arab Orthodox).
The headquarters of the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
On the importance of Jerusalem, the Catholic Encyclopedia reads:
During the first Christian centuries the church at this place was the centre of Christianity in Jerusalem, "Holy and glorious Sion, mother of all churches." Certainly no spot in Christendom can be more venerable than the place of the Last Supper, which became the first Christian church.Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas, Toxteth
The Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas is a Grade II Listed building in Toxteth, Liverpool, situated at the junction of Berkley Street and Princes Road. It was built 1870 in the Neo-Byzantine architecture style. The architects were W. & J. Hay and the church was built by Henry Sumners. It is an enlarged version of St Theodore's church in Constantinople (now converted into the Vefa Kilise Mosque).
St. Nicholas' was built in the Liverpool neighbourhood of Toxteth in a period when Liverpool's magnates were filling Toxteth with opulent mansions. The church stands in a neighbourhood of substantial homes and in a cluster of houses of worship designed to advertise the wealth and status of a group of captains of industry that was remarkably ethnically diverse, by the standards of Victorian England. Immediately adjacent to St. Nicholas are the Princes Road Synagogue and an early French gothic, Welsh Presbyterian Church.
The exterior is extremely ornate, featuring arches within arches, done in alternating bands of white stone and red brick. There is a row of three domes on the portico, and a fourth dome over the nave, all raised on drums. The interior, with white marble columns and Byzantine capitals, is surprisingly plain compared with the exterior.Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Manchester
The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Manchester (Greek: Ιερός Ναός Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου) is a Greek Orthodox Church in Salford, Greater Manchester. Completed in 1861 in a classical architectural style, it is the oldest purpose-built Greek orthodox church in England and since 1980, a grade II listed building for its “special architectural or historic interest”. As of 2017 the church provides liturgies on Sundays and acts as a hub for a community of an estimated 2,500 Greek diaspora, particularly Greek Cypriots, British Cypriots and Greek students in Manchester.A church hall annexe is used for a Greek community school with over 100 pupils studying the culture of Greece, history of Greece and Greek language. The church hall is also used to celebrate events in the calendar of saints and the liturgical year such as Easter, Christmas and other traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Church.Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity and St Luke
The Church of The Holy Trinity and St Luke is a Greek Orthodox church in the north of Birmingham, England, dedicated to The Holy Trinity and St Luke. In Greek: "Ellinorthodoxi Ekklisia Tis Agias Triados kai Apostolou Louka". The church celebrates the Feast Day of St. Luke on 18 October.Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (Sioux City, Iowa)
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is located in Sioux City, Iowa, United States. Designed by architect William L. Steele, the church building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1998.Mersin Orthodox Church
Mersin Orthodox Church (Turkish: Mersin Ortodoks Kilisesi) is a church in Mersin, Turkey.St. John's Greek Orthodox Church (Omaha, Nebraska)
St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church is located at 602 Park Avenue in Midtown Omaha, Nebraska. The original congregation was formed in 1907 to meet the needs of Omaha's then-burgeoning Greek community. The current building is a city landmark that was originally constructed in 1908 for Omaha's Temple Israel, and was sold to the St. John's parish in 1951.St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (officially the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine) is a church under construction as part of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City. The church is being developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Originally scheduled to be completed in 2017, the church's construction was later stalled.
The church is located in Liberty Park, overlooking the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Its dome is inspired by the world-famous Byzantine Church of the Savior in Edirnekapı, Istanbul. It will contain a meditation/bereavement space and a community room housed in the upper levels above the Narthex "to welcome visitors and faithful." According to its official website, the new "Saint Nicholas would welcome all and be a House of Prayer for all people."
It will replace the original church of the same name located at 155 Cedar Street, which was destroyed on September 11, 2001 when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed after being struck by United Airlines Flight 175. It was the only building not part of the World Trade Center complex to be completely destroyed as a result of the attacks, although the Deutsche Bank Building next door was later demolished due to severe damage and contamination.St Barnabas Greek Orthodox Church
Saint Barnabas Greek Orthodox Church is a Greek Orthodox church in Finsbury Road, Wood Green, London.Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC) is an Eastern Orthodox Church in Canada, primarily consisting of Orthodox Ukrainian Canadians. Its former name was the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada (UGOCC). The Church, currently a Metropolis of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, is part of the wider Eastern Orthodox communion, however was created independently in 1918.
It has cathedrals in many Canadian cities including Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal. The Metropolitan Cathedral, seminary (St. Andrew's College), and central administrative office are all based in Winnipeg. Also the Church is affiliated with four residences for university students: St. Vladimir's in Toronto, Ontario; St. Petro Mohyla Institute in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; St. John's Institute in Edmonton, Alberta; and one operating at St. Andrew's College. The Church's membership is about ten thousand. The current Primate of the Church is Metropolitan Yurij (Kalistchuk).
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