The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second largest single Christian communion in the world. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings It is considered by its adherents to be the very same Church established by Christ and his Apostles. It is composed of numerous theologically unified autocephalous ecclesial bodies each shepherded by a synod of independent bishops whose duty is to preserve the inner beliefs and practices (Traditions) of the Church. Autocephaly, in Hierarchical Christian churches and especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches is the status of a hierarchical church whose A synod (also known as a council) is a council of a church, usually a Christian church convened to decide an issue of doctrine administration or application All Orthodox bishops can trace their lineage back to one of the twelve Apostles through the process of apostolic succession. The Twelve Apostles (Greek apostolos, "someone sent out" e
Eastern Orthodox Christians believe that the Orthodox Church is:
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Members of the Eastern Orthodox Church do not usually refer to themselves as "Eastern" Orthodox but rather with a prefix denoting their nation of origin. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) Christ is the English term for the Greek ( Khristós) meaning "the anointed " The virgin birth of Jesus is a religious Tenet of Christianity and Islam which holds that Mary miraculously conceived Jesus while The crucifixion of Jesus is an event recorded in all four Gospels (;;) which takes place after his arrest and trial and includes his scourging Within the body of Christian beliefs the resurrection of Jesus is a core event on which much of Christian doctrine and theology depend Church (disambiguation Christian Church and the word church are used to denote both a Christian association of people and a Place of worship The term New Covenant (; Greek:, diathēkē kainē is used in the Bible (both in the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament) to refer The Twelve Apostles (Greek apostolos, "someone sent out" e This article is about the canonical books of the New Testament The purpose of this timeline is to give a detailed account of Christianity from the beginning of the current era ( AD) to the present Etymology According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word bible is from Latin biblia, traced from the same word through Medieval Latin and Late Latin In Western Christianity, the Old Testament refers to the books that form the first of the two-part Christian Biblical canon. Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Jews and Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox Slavonic Orthodox Georgian Armenian Apostolic A Biblical canon or canon of scripture is a list or Set of Biblical books considered to be authoritative as Scripture by a particular religious The biblical apocrypha (from the Greek word ἀπόκρυφος meaning hidden) are books published in an edition of the Bible whose canonicity Christian Theology is discourse concerning Christian faith Christian theologians use biblical Exegesis, rational analysis and argument SSC RF "Troitsk Institute of Innovative and Termonuclear Research" or TRINITY for shprt Троицкий Институт инновационных и термоядерных In many religions the supreme Deity ( God) is given the title and attributions of Father. Christian views of Jesus consist of the teachings and beliefs held by Christian groups about Jesus including his divinity humanity and earthly life In mainstream Christianity, the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is one of the three entities of the Holy Trinity which make up the single substance This is an overview of the History of Christian Theology from the time of Christ to the present Christian Theology is discourse concerning Christian faith Christian theologians use biblical Exegesis, rational analysis and argument Christian apologetics is a field of Christian theology that aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defend the faith against objections Christian tradition is a collection of Traditions of practice or belief associated with Christianity. Early Christianity is commonly defined as the Christianity of the three centuries between the Crucifixion of Jesus ( c This is a general introduction to ecumenical councils For the Roman Catholic councils, see Catholic Ecumenical Councils. A creed is a statement of Belief — usually Religious belief — or Faith often recited as part of a religious service See also Evangelism, Christianization A Christian mission has been widely defined since the Lausanne Congress of 1974 as that which The East-West Schism, or the Great Schism, divided medieval Christendom into Eastern (Greek and Western (Latin branches which later became known as the The Crusades were a series of military campaigns of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal opponents The Protestant Reformation was a reform movement in Europe that began in 1517 though its roots lie further back in time Denominationalism|List of Christian denominations|Church (disambiguation A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name structure and doctrine within A sermon is an oration by a Prophet or member of the Clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, or religious topic Prayer is an important theme in Christianity, and there are several different forms of prayer Ecumenism (also oecumenism, œcumenism) refers to initiatives aimed at greater Religious unity or cooperation Christianity and other religions appear to share some elements Christian movements are theological, political or philosophical interpretations of Christianity that are not generally represented by a specific church Christian music is music that is written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life A Liturgy is a set form of ceremony or pattern of worship Christian liturgy is a pattern for worship used (whether recommended or prescribed by a Christian congregation or The liturgical year, also known as the Christian year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when Christian symbolism is defined as the investing of outward things or actions with an inner meaning the expression of Christian ideas Christian art is Art produced in an attempt to illustrate supplement and portray in tangible form the principles of Christianity. Throughout the History of Christianity, a wide range of Christians and non-Christians alike have offered criticisms of Christianity, the Church, and Christians Thus, within this article, the terms "Greek", "Russian", or any other "National" Orthodox; as well as The Church, The Orthodox Church, The Byzantine Church, etc. , all refer to a single unified entity, what is today commonly called the Eastern Orthodox Church. Historically and theologically, Orthodox Christians use the adjective "Catholic" or "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" to refer to the Church body which holds to the Orthodox faith. Hence, officially Orthodox documents consistently refer to "the Eastern Orthodox Church" as "the Catholic Church", as in the celebrated Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs of 1848. Year 1848 ( MDCCCXLVIII) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap It is important to note that in proper Orthodox and Patristic theology, the "Church" or "Catholic Church" is the local Church: the bishop, presbyters, deacons and people assembled to celebrate the Eucharist. The Eucharist, also called Holy Communion or Lord's Supper and other names is a Christian Sacrament by which in a common interpretation those Hence, the expression "Eastern Orthodox Church" is admittedly a practical or functional expression, not a theological one. In the same sense, it is possible to speak about the Orthodox Churches (plural): the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, etc. The Greek Orthodox Church ( Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία Hellēnorthódoxē Ekklēsía) is formed by several autocephalous churches See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure
Several other ancient Churches in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa also use the term Orthodox, but are distinct from the Eastern Orthodox Church as described in this article. Eastern Europe is a general term that refers to the Geopolitical region encompassing the easternmost part of the European continent. Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia (largely overlapping with the Middle East) is the southwestern portion of Asia. North Africa or Northern Africa is the Northernmost Region of the African Continent, separated by the Sahara from Sub-Saharan
The Orthodox Church considers Jesus Christ to be the head of the Church and the Church to be His body. This article covers the organization of the Eastern Orthodox Churches rather than the doctrines traditions practices or other aspects of Eastern Orthodoxy. Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) It is believed that authority and the Grace of God is directly passed down to Orthodox bishops and clergy through the laying on of hands—a practice started by the apostles, and that this unbroken historical and physical link is an essential element of the true church (Acts 8:17, 1 Tim 4:14, Heb 6:2). In Christianity, divine Grace refers to the sovereign favour of God for humankind — especially in regard to Salvation — irrespective of actions A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given Religion. Each bishop has a territory (see) over which he governs. An episcopal see is the ecclesiastical domain of authority of a Bishop. His main duty is to make sure the traditions and practices of the Church remain inviolate. Bishops are equal in authority and cannot interfere in each others' territory. Administratively, these bishops and their territories are organized into various autocephalous groups or synods of bishops who gather together at least twice a year to discuss the state of affairs within their respective sees. Autocephaly, in Hierarchical Christian churches and especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches is the status of a hierarchical church whose A synod (also known as a council) is a council of a church, usually a Christian church convened to decide an issue of doctrine administration or application A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight While bishops and their autocephalous synods have the ability to administer guidance in individual cases, their actions do not usually set precedents that affect the entire church. There have been, however, a number of times when heretical ideas arose to challenge the Orthodox faith and it was necessary to convene a general or "Great" council of all available bishops. This is a general introduction to ecumenical councils For the Roman Catholic councils, see Catholic Ecumenical Councils. The Church considers the first seven councils (held between the 4th and the 8th century) to be the most important; however, there have been more, specifically the Synods of Constantinople, 879–880, 1341, 1347, 1351, 1583, 1819, and 1872, the Synod of Iaşi (Jassy), 1642, and the Pan-Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem, 1672, all of which helped to define the Orthodox position. Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS Events By Place Europe Pope John VIII recognizes the Dukedom of Croatia as an independent state See Interstate 880 for the American Freeway Events By Place Europe Oldest known mention of the city of Year 1819 ( MDCCCXIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar in the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common year Year 1872 ( MDCCCLXXII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Iaşi (pronunciation in Romanian: /jaʃʲ/ or Jassy, is a city and municipality in north-eastern Romania. Jerusalem (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, he-Latn Yerushaláyim; Arabic: ar القُدس, ar-Latn al-Quds) is the These councils did not create the doctrines of the church but rather compared the new ideas to the traditional beliefs of the Church. Ideas that were not supported by the traditions of the church were deemed heresy and expunged from the church. The ecumenical councils followed a democratic form with each bishop having one vote. Though present and allowed to speak before the council, members of the Imperial Roman/Byzantine court, abbots, priests, monks and laymen were not allowed to vote. The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial The bishop of the old Roman capital, the Pope of Rome, though not present at all of the councils, was considered to be president of the council and thus called “First Among Equals” until the great schism of 1054. History See also History of the Papacy Catholics recognize the Pope as a successor to Saint Peter, who Jesus named as the "shepherd" and One of the decisions made by the second council and supported by later councils was that the Patriarch of Constantinople, since Constantinople was the New Rome, should be given the honor of second in rank. Later, because of the split with Rome, the honor of presiding over these general councils was transferred to the Patriarch of Constantinople who was also given the title, "First Among Equals", reflecting both his administrative leadership and his spiritual equality. "Patriarch of Constantinople" redirects here For the institutional church itself see Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. He is not, however, considered to be the head or leader of the church.
Based on the numbers of adherents, Eastern Orthodoxy is the second largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church.  The most common estimates of the number of Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide is approximately 225-300 million individuals.   Orthodoxy is the largest single religious faith in Belarus (88%), Bulgaria (83%), Republic of Cyprus (80%), Georgia (89%), Greece (98%), Moldova (98%), Montenegro (84%), Romania (87%), Russia (80%), Serbia (84%), and Ukraine (80%). Faith is a Belief in the trustworthiness of an Idea. Formal usage of the word "faith" is usually reserved for concepts of Religion, as in Belarus ( Belarusian Беларусь / Biełaruś is a Landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the north and east The state of Bulgaria (България transliterated bg-Latn ''Balgaria'' The country preserves the traditions (in ethnic name language and alphabet of the First Bulgarian Cyprus (Κύπρος transliterated: Kýpros,; Kıbrıs officially the Republic of Cyprus (Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía Georgia ( საქართველო, Sakartvelo) is a Transcontinental country in the Caucasus region situated at the dividing line between Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova ( Republica Moldova) is a Landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania Montenegro ( British English) Montenegrin / Serbian: PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THE LANGUAGES WITHOUT CONSENSUS ON THE TALK PAGE! Romania ( dated: Rumania, Roumania Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending Serbia (Србија Srbija) officially the Republic of Serbia (Република Србија Republika Srbija) is a Landlocked Country Ukraine (Україна Ukrayina, /ukrɑˈjinɑ/ is a country in Eastern Europe.  The number of Eastern Orthodox adherents represents about 39% of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Latin script: Bosna i Hercegovina, Cyrillic script: Босна и Херцеговина is a country on the Balkan As the dominant religion in northern Kazakhstan, it represents 44% of the Kazakhstan, and 4% of Lithuania, 9% of Latvia, and 13% of the Estonian population. Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika is a Country in Eastern often referred to as Northern Europe or in the Latvia ( Latvija officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republika is a Country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region. Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia ( Eesti or Eesti Vabariik) is a Country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region Large Christian Orthodox communities exist in the middle eastern countries of Israel (and West Bank and Gaza), Lebanon, Syria and Jordan (some families can trace their ancestry to the earliest Christians of the Holy Land). The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. The West Bank (الضفة الغربية, הגדה המערבית Hagadah Hamaaravit) also referred to in Israel as " Judea and Samaria The Gaza Strip (قطاع غزة, רצועת עזה Retzu'at 'Azza) is a coastal strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Egypt on the south-west Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (الأردنّ al-Urdunn) is an Arab country in Southwest Asia spanning the southern The Holy Land ( Arabic: الأرض المقدسة al-Arḍ ul-Muqaddasah;Ancient Aramaic: ארעא קדישא Ar'a Qaddisha; Hebrew: ארץ_הקודש In addition, there are also significant Orthodox communities in Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a . . . .
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Orthodox Christians believe in a God who is both three and one (triune). Families of churches Eastern Christians have a shared tradition but they became divided ( Schism) during the early centuries of Christianity in disputes about The Crusades were a series of military campaigns of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal opponents This is a general introduction to ecumenical councils For the Roman Catholic councils, see Catholic Ecumenical Councils. The Christianization of Bulgaria was the process of converting 9th-century medieval Bulgaria to Christianity. The Christianization of Kievan Rus' took place in several stages The East-West Schism, or the Great Schism, divided medieval Christendom into Eastern (Greek and Western (Latin branches which later became known as the See also Christianity in Asia Judging from the New Testament account of the rise and expansion of the early church during the first few centuries of Christianity the Coptic history is part of History of Egypt that begins with the introduction of Christianity in Egypt in the 1st century AD during the The Eastern Orthodox Churches trace their roots back to the Apostles and Jesus Christ. Christianity in ancient and feudal Georgia According to tradition when the Apostles were sent out to preach the Gospel to the nations of the world the Apostle This article should include material from Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate, Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate, Ukrainian Oriental Orthodoxy is the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three Ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the History of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria Apostolic foundation Egypt is identified in the Bible as the place of refuge that the The Armenian Apostolic Church (Հայաստանեայց Առաքելական Եկեղեցի Hayasdaneaytz Arakelagan Syriac Christianity is a culturally and linguistically distinctive community within Eastern Christianity. The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox church. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (in transliterated Amharic: Yäityop'ya ortodoks täwahedo bétäkrestyan) is an Oriental The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East (ܥܕܬܐ ܩܕܝܫܬܐ ܘܫܠܝܚܝܬܐ ܩܬܘܠܝܩܝ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܪ̈ܝܐ ‘Ittā Qaddishtā wa-Shlikhāitā Qattoliqi This article refers to Eastern Churches in full communion with the Holy See The Sign of the Cross, or Signum crucis in Latin is a ritual hand motion made by members of many but not all branches of Christianity. The Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. Iconography is the branch of Art history which studies the identification description and the interpretation of the content of images Ascetic redirects here You might also be looking for Acetic acid. In the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic liturgical tradition the omophorion ( Greek:; Slavonic: омофоръ omofor) Hesychasm ( Greek hesychasmos, from hesychia, "stillness rest quiet silence" is an Eremitic tradition of Prayer in An icon (from Greek εἰκών eikōn, "image" is a religious work of art most commonly a painting from Eastern Christianity. Negative theology - also known as the Via Negativa ( Latin for "Negative Way" and Apophatic theology - is a Theology that Filioque, a Latin phrase meaning "and (from the Son" In Western Christianity, it was added to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed Miaphysitism (sometimes called henophysitism) is the Christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches Monophysitism (from the Greek monos meaning 'one alone' and physis meaning 'nature' or Monophysiticism is the Christological position that Nestorius Nestorius (c  386 &ndashc  451) was a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia in Antioch in Syria (modern In Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholic theology theosis (written also theiosis, theopoiesis, theōsis Theoria (Greek) is Greek for Contemplation or 'the perception of Beauty regarded as a Moral faculty' ( OED) Phronema is a Greek term that is used in Eastern Orthodox Theology to refer to mindset or outlook; it is the Orthodox mind. The Philokalia ( Gk φιλοκαλείν "Love of the Beautiful" is a collection of texts by masters of the Eastern Orthodox, hesychast Praxis is the customary use of knowledge or skills distinct from theoretical knowledge Theotokos (Θεοτόκος translit Theotókos) is a title of Mary the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Ousia () is the Ancient Greek noun formed on the feminine present participle of ( to be) it is analogous to the English participle Historical context The Energies of God are a central principle of Theology in the Eastern Orthodox Church, understood by the orthodox Fathers Metousiosis is a Greek term () that means literally a change of (essence inner reality Eastern Orthodox Christian theology is the Theology particular to the Eastern Orthodox Church. God is the principal or sole Deity in Religions and other belief systems that worship one deity. The Father is the cause or origin of the Godhead, from whom the Son is begotten eternally and also from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally. In mainstream Christianity, the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is one of the three entities of the Holy Trinity which make up the single substance The Holy Trinity is three, distinct, divine persons (hypostases), without overlap or modality among them, who share one divine essence (ousia)—uncreated, immaterial and eternal. SSC RF "Troitsk Institute of Innovative and Termonuclear Research" or TRINITY for shprt Троицкий Институт инновационных и термоядерных In Christianity, Sabellianism (also known as modalism, modalistic monarchianism, or modal monarchism) is the Nontrinitarian belief In Philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is and which it has by necessity While in the popular mind eternity often simply means existing for a limitless amount of Time, many have used it to refer to a timeless existence altogether outside of  Orthodox doctrine regarding the Holy Trinity is summarized in the Symbol of Faith. The Nicene Creed (ˈnaɪsiːn is an ecumenical Christian statement of faith accepted in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Assyrian Church of 
In discussing God's relationship to his creation, Orthodoxy used the concept of a distinction between God's eternal essence which is totally transcendent and his uncreated energies which is how he reaches us. Historical context The Energies of God are a central principle of Theology in the Eastern Orthodox Church, understood by the orthodox Fathers It is also necessary to understand that this is an artificial distinction, not a real one. The God who is transcendent and the God who touches us are one and the same. 
Human nature, before the fall of man, was pure and innocent. The Fall of Man, or simply the Fall, in Christian doctrine refers to the transition of the first humans from a state of innocent obedience to God, When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, they introduced a new element into human nature (i. Adam (אָדָם ʼĀḏām, "dust man mankind" آدم; Ge'ez: አዳ and Eve (חַוָּה Ḥawwā, "living Not to be confused with Eden Gardens.The Garden of Eden ( Hebrew "pleasure" גַּן עֵדֶן Arabic: جنات عدن, e. sin and corruption). This new state prevented man from participation in the Kingdom of Heaven. When God became incarnate on Earth, he changed human nature by uniting the human and the Divine; for this Christ is often called "The New Adam. The Incarnation is the belief in Christianity that Jesus Christ is the God of Israel in the flesh " By his participation in human life, death, and resurrection he sanctified the means whereby we could be restored to our original purity and regain our right relationship with the Father. This is what the Orthodox call salvation from consequences of the sickness of sin. Christ’s salvific act worked retroactively back to the beginning of time thus saving all the righteous people from the bonds of sin, including Adam and Eve.
The Resurrection of Christ is the central event in the liturgical year of the Orthodox Church and is understood in literal terms as a real historical event. See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure Within the body of Christian beliefs the resurrection of Jesus is a core event on which much of Christian doctrine and theology depend The Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar describes and dictates the rhythm of the life of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified and died, descended into Hell (Hades in Greek), rescued all the souls held there through sin; and then, because Hell could not restrain the infinite God, rose from the dead, thus saving all mankind. Through these events, he released mankind from the bonds of Hell and then came back to the living as man and God. That each individual human may partake of this immortality, which would have been impossible without the Resurrection, is the main promise held out by God in his New Testament with mankind, according to Orthodox Christian tradition.
Every holy day of the Orthodox liturgical year relates to the Resurrection directly or indirectly. Every Sunday of the year is dedicated to celebrating the Resurrection. In the liturgical commemorations of the Passion of Christ during Holy Week there are frequent allusions to the ultimate victory at its completion. This article describes the Christian Passion For other meanings see Passion. Holy Week ( Latin: Hebdomada Sancta or Maior Hebdomada, "Greater Week" in Christianity is the last week before Easter.
The Orthodox Church considers itself to be the historical and organic continuation of the original Church founded by Christ and His apostles.  The faith taught by Jesus to the apostles, given life by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and passed down to future generations uncorrupted, is known as Holy Tradition. In mainstream Christianity, the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is one of the three entities of the Holy Trinity which make up the single substance Pentecost (πεντηκοστή, pentekostē, "the fiftieth day" is one of the prominent feasts in the Christian Liturgical year, celebrated the  The primary and authoritative witness to Holy Tradition is the Bible, texts written or approved by the apostles to record revealed truth and the early history of the Church. Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a technical theological term used in some Christian traditions primarily in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Etymology According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word bible is from Latin biblia, traced from the same word through Medieval Latin and Late Latin Because of the Bible's inspired origin, it is regarded as central to the life of the Church.
The Bible is always interpreted within the context of Holy Tradition, which gave birth to it and canonized it. Orthodox Christians maintain that belief in a doctrine of sola scriptura would be to take the Bible out of the world in which it arose. Sola scriptura ( Latin ablative, "by scripture alone" is the assertion that the Bible as God's written word is self-authenticating Orthodox Christians therefore believe that the only way to understand the Bible correctly is within the Orthodox Church. 
Other witnesses to Holy Tradition include the liturgy of the Church, its iconography, the rulings of the Ecumenical councils, and the writings of the Church Fathers. Iconography is the branch of Art history which studies the identification description and the interpretation of the content of images This is a general introduction to ecumenical councils For the Roman Catholic councils, see Catholic Ecumenical Councils. The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church From the consensus of the Fathers (consensus patrum) one may enter more deeply and understand more fully the Church's life. Individual Fathers are not looked upon as infallible, but rather the whole consensus of them together will give one a proper understanding of the Bible and Christian doctrine. 
The Eastern Orthodox Church believes death and the separation of body and soul to be unnatural; a result of man’s fall. They also feel that the congregation of the Church comprises both the living and the dead. All persons currently in heaven are considered to be Saints, whether their names are known or not. A saint (from the Latin sanctus) is a human being to whom has been attributed (and who has generally demonstrated a high level of Holiness and Sanctity There are, however, those saints of distinction whom God has revealed to us as particularly good examples for us to learn from either their teachings or their lives. When a Saint is revealed and ultimately recognized by a large portion of the Church a service of official recognition (glorification) is celebrated for the saint. Canonization is the act by which a particular Christian church declares a deceased person to be a Saint and is included in the canon or list of recognized saints This does not “make” the person a saint, it merely recognizes him and announces it to the rest of the Church. A day is prescribed for the saint’s celebration, hymns are composed, and icons are created. Numerous saints are celebrated on each day of the year. They are venerated (shown great respect and love) but not worshiped, for worship is due to God alone. In showing the saints this love and requesting their prayers, it is believed by the Orthodox that they thus assist in the process of salvation for others. 
Preeminent among the saints is the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos ("birthgiver of God"). This ecumenical article is about general Christian views on and veneration of the Virgin Mary Theotokos (Θεοτόκος translit Theotókos) is a title of Mary the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, The Theotokos was chosen by God and freely cooperated in that choice to be the mother of Jesus Christ, the God-man. The Orthodox believe that the Christ Child from the moment of conception was both fully God and fully Man. She is thus called Theotokos as an affirmation of the divinity of the one to whom she gave birth. It is also believed that her virginity was not compromised in giving birth to God incarnate, that she was not harmed, that she felt no pain, and that she remained forever a virgin. Because of her unique place in salvation history, she is honored above all other saints and especially venerated for the great work that God accomplished through her. 
Because of the holiness of the lives of the saints, their bodies and physical items connected with them are regarded by the Church as also holy. Many miracles have been reported throughout history connected with the saints' relics, often including healing from disease and injury. A relic is an object or a personal item of religious significance carefully preserved with an air of Veneration as a tangible memorial The veneration and miraculous nature of relics continues from Biblical times. 
Orthodox Christians believe that when a person dies his soul is “temporarily” separated from his body. Though it may linger for a short period on Earth, it is ultimately escorted either to paradise (Abraham's bosom) or the darkness of hades, following the Temporary Judgment (Orthodox do not use the term Purgatory). Particular judgment, according to Christian Eschatology, is the judgement given by God a departed Soul undergoes immediately after death in See also Intermediate state Limbo|Heaven|Sheol|Hades in Christianity|Hell in Christianity Purgatory, in the original sense is the condition or process of purification The soul’s experience of either of these states is only a “foretaste,” being experienced only by the soul, until the Final Judgment, when the soul and body will be reunited. In Christian eschatology, the Last Judgment or Day of the Lord is the judgment by God of every human who ever lived  The Orthodox believe that the state of the soul in Hades can be affected by the love and prayers of the righteous up until the Last Judgment. See also Intermediate state Sheol|Hell in Christianity Hades is "the place or state of departed spirits"  For this reason the church offers special prayer for the dead on the third day, ninth day, fortieth day, and the one-year anniversary after the death of an Orthodox Christian. Wherever there is a belief in the continued existence of Man 's personality through and after Death, Religion naturally concerns itself with the relations There are also several days throughout the year that are set aside for general commemoration of the departed. These days usually fall on a Saturday, since it was on a Saturday that Christ lay in the Tomb. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Sanctum Sepulchrum also called the Church of the Resurrection, ( Greek: Ναός της Αναστάσεως Naos tis Anastaseos
While the Orthodox consider the text of the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) to be a part of scripture, it is also regarded by them to be a mystery. The Book of Revelation, also called Revelation to John, Apocalypse of John ( pronounced, from the Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰωάννου Speculation on the contents of this text are minimal and it is never read in church as part of the regular order of services. Those theologians who have delved into its pages tend to be amillenniaist in their eschatology, believing that the "thousand years" spoken of in biblical prophecy refers to the present time (from the Crucifixion of Christ until the Second Coming). Amillennialism ( Latin: a- "not" + mille "thousand" + annum "year" is a view in Christian eschatology Eschatology (from the Greek, Eschatos meaning "last" and -logy meaning "the study of" is a part of Theology The crucifixion of Jesus is an event recorded in all four Gospels (;;) which takes place after his arrest and trial and includes his scourging In Christianity, the Second Coming is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven to earth an event that will fulfill aspects of Messianic And while it is not usually taught in church it is often used as a reminder of God’s promise to those who love him, and the benefits of avoiding sinful passions. Iconographic depictions of the final judgment are often portrayed on the back wall of the church to remind the faithful as they leave to be vigilant in their struggle against sin. Likewise it is often painted on the walls of the Trapeza (refectory, the room in a monastery where the monastics eat their meals) to inspire sobriety and dis-attachment from worldly things.
The Orthodox believe that after the Final Judgment:
The church building has many symbolic meanings; perhaps the oldest and most prominent is the concept that the Church is the Ark (as in Noah's) in which the world is saved from the flood of temptations. An Orthodox church as a Church building of Eastern Orthodoxy has a distinct recognizable style among Church architectures History While Noah's Ark, according to the Book of Genesis (chapters 6-9 is the story of a large vessel built at God 's command to save Noah, his family Because of this, most Orthodox Churches are rectangular in design. Another popular shape, especially for churches with large choirs is cruciform or cross-shaped. For the resurrection device/parasite at the Hyperion Cantos see Cruciform (Hyperion Cantos. Architectural patterns may vary in shape and complexity, with chapels sometimes added around the main church, or triple altars (Liturgy may only be performed once a day on any particular altar), but in general, the symbolic layout of the church remains the same.
The origin of the layout of each Orthodox church is based on Solomon's Temple with the Holy of Holies being separated by the iconostasis or templon. Solomon's Temple (בית המקדש transliterated Beit HaMikdash) also known as the First Temple, was according to The Holy of Holies is a term in the Hebrew Bible which referred to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem which could be entered In Eastern Christianity an iconostasis (the plural is iconostases) also called the Templon, is a wall of Icons and religious paintings A templon (from Greek τέμπλον meaning "temple" plural templa) is a feature of Byzantine architecture that first appeared in Christian
The Church building is divided into three main parts: the narthex (vestibule), the nave and the sanctuary (also called the altar or holy place). The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area located at the end of the Nave, at the far end from the church's main Altar. A vestibule (ˈvɛstɨbjuːl is a lobby, entrance Hall, or passage between the entrance and the interior of a Building. In Romanesque and Gothic Christian Abbey, Cathedral Basilica and church Architecture, the nave is the Sanctuary has multiple meanings A sanctuary is the consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar The narthex is where catechumens and non-Orthodox visitors were traditionally asked to stand during services. It is separated from the nave by “The Royal Gate”. On either side of this gate are candle stands (Menalia) representing the pillars of fire that went before the Hebrew people escaping from Egypt. Hebrews (or Hebertes, Eberites, Hebreians, " Habiru " or " Habiri " Hebrew: עברים The nave is where most of the congregation stand during services. Traditionally, men stand on the right and women on the left (This is for a number of reasons, when one considers the family unit the husband dominates the relationship. So, in order to emphasize our relationship is with God and not each other, the family unit is broken up. Men and women stand equally before God, equal distance from the altar, male dominance is de-emphasized). In general, men and women dress modestly with little jewelry or make-up. Women cover their heads as prescribed by St. Paul. Children are considered full members of the Church and stand attentive and quiet during services. There may be a choir area on either side or in a loft in back. There is usually a dome in the ceiling with an icon of Christ depicted as Ruler of the Universe (Pantocrator). Meaning The most common translation of Pantocrator is "Almighty" or "All-powerful At the eastern end of the church is a raised dais with an icon covered screen or wall (iconostasis or templon) separating the nave from the sanctuary. In Eastern Christianity an iconostasis (the plural is iconostases) also called the Templon, is a wall of Icons and religious paintings A templon (from Greek τέμπλον meaning "temple" plural templa) is a feature of Byzantine architecture that first appeared in Christian In the center of this wall is the “Beautiful Gate” through which only the clergy may pass. There are access doors on either side usually with icons of the Archangels on them. In the center of the sanctuary is the Altar. Orthodox priests, when standing at the altar face away from the congregation (They face East). The sanctuary contains all the necessary implements for conducting the various services.
The term Icon comes from the Greek word eikona, which simply means image. The Orthodox believe that the first icons of Christ and the Virgin Mary were painted by Luke the Evangelist. Luke the Evangelist ( Hebrew: לוּקָֻא Greek: Loukás) was an early Christian leader who is said by tradition to be the author of Icons are filled with symbolism designed to convey information about the person or event depicted. For this reason, icons tend to be formulaic, following a prescribed methodology for how a particular person should be depicted, including hair style, body position, clothing worn, and background details. Icon painting, in general, is not an opportunity for artistic expression, though each iconographer brings his own vision to the piece. It is far more common for an icon to be copied from an older model, though with the recognition of a new saint in the church, a new icon must be created and approved. The personal, idiosyncratic and creative traditions of Western European religious art are largely lacking in Orthodox iconography before the 17th century, when Russian iconography was strongly influenced by religious paintings and engravings from both Protestant and Catholic Europe. Sacred art is Imagery intended to uplift the Mind to the spiritual. Greek iconography also began to take on a strong romantic western influence for a period and the difference between some Orthodox icons and western religious art began to vanish. More recently there has been a strong trend of returning to the more traditional and symbolic representations.
Free-standing statues (three dimensional depictions) are almost non-existent within the Orthodox Church. This is partly due to the rejection of the previous pagan Greek age of idol worship and partly because icons are meant to show the spiritual nature of man, not the sensual earthly body. Idolatry is usually defined as Worship of any Cult image, Idea, or object, as opposed to the worship of a monotheistic God. Bas reliefs, however, became common during the Byzantine period and lead to a tradition of covering a painted icon in a silver or gold “Riza” in order to preserve the icon. A relief is a Sculptured Artwork where a modeled form is raised (or alternatively lowered from a flattened background without being disconnected from it Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 4th century until the Fall of Constantinople Such bas relief coverings usually leave the faces and hands of the saints exposed for veneration.
Icons are not considered by the Orthodox to be idols or objects of worship. The parameters of their usage was clearly spelled out by the 7th ecumenical council. The Second Council of Nicaea was the seventh Ecumenical council of Christianity; it met in 787 AD in Nicaea (site of the First Council Justification for their usage utilizes the following logic: Before Christ, God took human form no material depiction was possible and therefore blasphemous even to contemplate. Once Christ became human, he was able to be depicted. And because he is God, it is justified to hold in one's mind the image of God Incarnate. Likewise, when one venerates an icon, it is not the wood or paint that are venerated but rather the individual shown, just as it is not the paper one loves when one might kiss the photograph of a loved one. As Saint Basil famously proclaimed, honor or veneration of the icon always passes to its archetype. Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great (c 330 – January 1, 379) (Άγιος Βασίλειος ο Μέγας Latin Following this reasoning through, the veneration of the glorified human saint made in God's image, is always a veneration of the divine image, and hence God as foundational archetype.
Icons can be found adorning the walls of churches and often cover the inside structure completely.  Most Orthodox homes have an area set aside for family prayer, usually an eastern facing wall, where are hung many icons.
Icons are often illuminated with a candle or oil lamp. (Beeswax for candles and olive oil for lamps are preferred because they are natural and burn cleanly. ) Besides the practical purpose of making icons visible in an otherwise dark church, both candles and oil lamps symbolize the Light of the World which is Christ.
Tales of miraculous icons that moved, spoke, cried, bled, or gushed fragrant myrrh are not uncommon, though it has always been considered that the message of such an event was for the immediate faithful involved and therefore does not usually attract crowds. Some miraculous icons whose reputations span long periods of time nevertheless become objects of pilgrimage along with the places where they are kept. As several Orthodox theologians and saints have explored in the past, the icons' miraculous nature is found not in the material, but in the glory of the saint who is depicted in the icon. The icon is a window, in the words of St Paul Florensky, that actually participates in the glory of what it represents. This is why several icons are believed to bleed myrrh, which is a physical manifestation of the uncreated holy spirit.
See also Eastern Orthodox icons.
An iconostasis, also called the templon, is a wall of icons and religious paintings, separating the nave from the sanctuary in a church. An icon (from Greek εἰκών eikōn, "image" is a religious work of art most commonly a painting from Eastern Christianity. In Romanesque and Gothic Christian Abbey, Cathedral Basilica and church Architecture, the nave is the Sanctuary has multiple meanings A sanctuary is the consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar Iconostasis also refers to a portable icon stand that can be placed anywhere within a church. The modern iconostasis evolved from the Byzantine templon in the eleventh century. Byzantine architecture is the Architecture of the Byzantine Empire. A templon (from Greek τέμπλον meaning "temple" plural templa) is a feature of Byzantine architecture that first appeared in Christian The evolution of the iconostasis probably owes a great deal to 14th-century Hesychast mysticism and the wood-carving genius of the Russian Orthodox Church. Hesychasm ( Greek hesychasmos, from hesychia, "stillness rest quiet silence" is an Eremitic tradition of Prayer in Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure The first ceiling-high, five-leveled Russian iconostasis was designed by Andrey Rublyov in the cathedral of the Dormition in Vladimir in 1408. Andrei Rublev (Andrew Rublev Andrey Rublev Andrey Roublyov Russian: Андре́й Рублёв (c The Cathedral of the Dormition (Успенский Собор Uspensky Sobor) is the Mother church of Muscovite Russia. Vladimir (Влади́мир) is a city in Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway
Depictions of the Cross within the Orthodox Church are numerous and often highly ornamented. The Christian cross is the best-known Religious symbol of Christianity. Some carry special significance. The Tri-Bar Cross, as seen to the right, has three bars instead of the single bar normally attached.
The small top crossbar represents the sign that Pontius Pilate nailed above Christ's head. It often is inscribed with an acronym meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”; however, It is often replaced or amplified by the phrase "The King of Glory" in order to answer Pilate's mocking statement with Christ's affirmation, "My Kingdom is not of this world".
There is also a bottom slanting bar. This appears for a number of reasons. Evidence indicates that there was a small wooden platform for the crucified to stand on in order to support his weight; in Jesus' case his feet were nailed side by side to this platform with one nail each in order to prolong the torture of the cross.
Evidence for this comes mainly from two sources within Holy Tradition, the Bible (in order to cause the victim to die faster their legs were broken so they could not support their weight and would suffocate) and iconography (all early depictions of the crucifixion show this arrangement, not the later with feet on top with single nail). It has also been pointed out by some experts that the nailed hands of a body crucified in the manner often shown in modern secular art would not support the weight of the body and would tear through, a platform for the feet would relieve this problem.
The bottom bar is slanted for two reasons, to represent the very real agony which Christ experienced on the cross (a refutation of Docetism) and to signify that the thief on Christ's right chose the right path while the thief on the left did not. In Christianity, Docetism (from the Greek, "to seem" is the belief that Jesus ' physical body was an illusion as was his Crucifixion Other crosses associated with the Orthodox church are the more traditional single-bar crosses, budded designs, the Jerusalem cross (cross pattée), Celtic crosses, and others.
The services of the church are properly conducted each day following a rigid, but constantly changing annual schedule (i. Canonical hours are divisions of time developed by the Christian Church, serving as increments between the prescribed Prayers of the daily round Canonical hours are divisions of time developed by the Christian Church, serving as increments between the prescribed Prayers of the daily round e. , parts of the service remain the same while others change depending on the day of the year). Services are conducted in the church and involve both the clergy and faithful. Services cannot properly be conducted by a single person, but must have at least one other person present (i. e. a Priest cannot celebrate alone, but must have at least a Chanter present and participating). Usually, all of the services are conducted on a daily basis only in monasteries and cathedrals, while parish churches might only do the services on the weekend and major feast days. On certain Great Feasts (and, according to some traditions, every Sunday) a special All-Night Vigil (Agrypnia) will be celebrated from late at night on the eve of the feast until early the next morning. The feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, called Pascha (Easter is the greatest of the feasts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. For the musical setting by Rachmaninoff, see All-Night Vigil (Rachmaninoff The All-night vigil is a service of the Eastern Orthodox Because of its festal nature it is usually followed by a breakfast feast shared together by the congregation.
Services, especially the Divine Liturgy, can only be performed once a day on a single altar (some churches have multiple altars in order to accommodate large congregations). The Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. Each priest may only celebrate the Divine Liturgy once a day. From its Jewish roots, the liturgical day begins at sundown. The traditional daily cycle of services is as follows:
The Divine Liturgy is the celebration of the Eucharist. Although it is usually celebrated between the Sixth and Ninth Hours, it is not considered to be part of the daily cycle of services, as it occurs outside the normal time of the world. The Divine Liturgy is not celebrated on weekdays during the preparatory season of Great Lent and in some places during the lesser fasting seasons either. Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important Fasting season in the Church year in Eastern Christianity, which prepares Christians Reserve communion is prepared on Sundays and is distributed during the week at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, informally Presanctified Liturgy, is an Eastern Christian liturgical service for the distribution of communion
This daily cycle services are conceived of as both the sanctification of time (chronos, the specific times during which they are celebrated), and entry into eternity (kairos). In Greek mythology, Chronos ( Ancient Greek:) in pre-Socratic philosophical works is said to be the personification of Time. Kairos (grc καιρός is an Ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment They consist to a large degree of litanies asking for God's mercy on the living and the dead, readings from the Psalter with introductory prayers, troparia, and other prayers and hymns surrounding them. Psalms ( Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים, or "praises" is a book of the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) included A troparion ( Greek: τροπάριον plural troparia, τροπάρια Church Slavonic: тропа́рь tropar) in Byzantine The Psalms are so arranged that when all the services are celebrated the entire Psalter is read through in their course once a week, and twice a week during Great Lent when the services are celebrated in an extended form. A Psalter is a volume containing the Book of Psalms and which often contains other devotional material Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important Fasting season in the Church year in Eastern Christianity, which prepares Christians
Orthodox services are sung nearly in their entirety. Services consist in part of a dialog between the clergy and the people (often represented by the choir or the Psaltis (Cantor). Musical instruments are almost never used except where there is a heavy western influence. In each case the text is sung or chanted following a prescribed musical form. Almost nothing is read in a normal speaking voice, with the exception of the homily if one is given. A homily is a commentary that follows a reading of scripture In the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and in the Eastern Orthodox Church The church has developed eight Modes or Tones, (see Octoechos) within which a chant may be set, depending on the time of year, feast days, or other considerations of the Typikon. Octoechos (also Octoichos; Greek:, meaning the "Eight Modes" is the fundamental structure for classifying and describing modes ( The Typikon, or Typicon ( Greek:, (typikon lit "following the order" Slavonic: ѹставъ, (ustav is a Liturgical There are numerous versions and styles that are traditional and acceptable and these vary a great deal between cultures.  It is common, especially in the United States, for a choir to learn many different styles and to mix them, singing one response in Greek, then English, then Russian, etc. It should also be noted that in the Russian tradition there have been some very famous composers of Church music such as Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff; and many traditional Church tones can likewise be seen influencing their music. WikipediaWikiProject Composers#Lead section --> Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (Сергей Васильевич Рахманинов
As part of the legacy handed down from its Judaic roots, incense is used during all services in the Eastern Orthodox Church as an offering of worship to God as it was done in the Jewish First and Second Temples in Jerusalem (Exodus chapter 30). Incense is composed of Aromatic biotic materials It releases fragrant Smoke when burned Traditionally, the base of the incense used is the resin of Boswellia thurifera, also known as frankincense, but the resin of fir trees has been used as well. Boswellia is a Genus of Trees known for their fragrant Resin which has many Pharmacological uses particularly as anti-inflammatories It is usually mixed with various floral essential oils giving it a sweet smell. Incense represents the sweetness of the prayers of the saints rising up to God (Psalm 141:2, Revelation 5:8, 8:4). The incense is burned in an ornate golden censer that hangs at the end of three chains representing the Trinity. In the Greek tradition there are 12 bells hung along these chains representing the 12 apostles (usually no bells in Slavic tradition). The censer is used (swung back and forth) by the priest/deacon to venerate all four sides of the altar, the holy gifts, the clergy, the icons, the congregation, and the church structure itself.
According to Orthodox theology, the purpose of the Christian life is to attain theosis, the mystical union of man with God. In Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholic theology theosis (written also theiosis, theopoiesis, theōsis This union is understood as both collective and individual. St. Athanasius of Alexandria, wrote concerning the Incarnation that, "He (Jesus) was made man that we might be made god (θεοποιηθῶμεν)". The Incarnation is the belief in Christianity that Jesus Christ is the God of Israel in the flesh  See 2 Peter 1:4, John 10:34–36, Psalm 82:6. The entire life of the church is oriented towards making this possible and facilitating it.
In the Orthodox Church the terms “Mystery” or “The Mysteries” refer to the process of theosis. While it is understood that God theoretically can do anything instantly and invisibly, it is also understood that he generally chooses to use material substance as a medium in order to reach people. The limitations are those of mankind, not God. Matter is not considered to be evil by the Orthodox. Water, oil, bread, wine, etc. , all are means by which God reaches out to allow people to draw closer to him. How this process works is a “Mystery”, and cannot be defined in human terms. These Mysteries are surrounded by prayer and symbolism so that their true meaning will not be forgotten.
Those things which in the West are often termed Sacraments or sacramentals are known among the Orthodox as the Sacred Mysteries. A sacrament, as defined in Hexam's Concise Dictionary of Religion is "a Rite in which God is uniquely active Sacramentals are material objects or things ( sacramentalia) set apart or blessed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches and the Anglican While the Roman Catholic Church numbers seven Sacraments, and many Protestant groups list two (Baptism and the Eucharist) or even none, the Orthodox do not limit the number. However, for the sake of convenience, catechisms will often speak of the seven Great Mysteries. A catechism (ˈkætəkɪzəm κατηχισμός is a summary or exposition of Doctrine, traditionally used in Christian religious teaching from New Testament Among these are Holy Communion (the most direct connection), Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Unction, Matrimony, and Ordination. The Eucharist, also called Holy Communion or Lord's Supper and other names is a Christian Sacrament by which in a common interpretation those In Christianity, baptism ( Greek, "immersing" "performing Ablutions " is the ritual act with the use of water by which one is admitted Chrismation is the name given in Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches as well as in the Assyrian Church of the East The confession of one's Sins is a religious practice important to many faiths e To anoint is to pour or smear with perfumed oil milk water melted butter or other substances a process employed ritually by many religions and races NOTICE TO WOULD-BE ROMEOS ************** In general religious use ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is set apart as Clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies But the term also properly applies to other sacred actions such as monastic Tonsure or the blessing of holy water, and involves fasting, almsgiving, or an act as simple as lighting a candle, burning incense, praying or asking God's blessing on food. Tonsure is the practice of some Christian churches mystics Buddhist novices and Monks and some Hindu temples of cutting the Hair from the Holy water can also refer to water that has been blessed, such as by a Priest, and is considered Holy. 
Baptism is the mystery which transforms the old sinful man into the new, pure man; the old life, the sins, any mistakes made are gone and a clean slate is given. In Christianity, baptism ( Greek, "immersing" "performing Ablutions " is the ritual act with the use of water by which one is admitted Through baptism one is united to the Body of Christ by becoming a member of the Orthodox Church. Body of Christ is a term of Christian Theology, implicitly traceable to Jesus 's statement at the Last Supper that "This is my body" During the service water is blessed. Holy water can also refer to water that has been blessed, such as by a Priest, and is considered Holy. The catechumen is fully immersed in the water three times in the name of the Holy Trinity. This is considered to be a death of the "old man" by participation in the crucifixion and burial of Christ, and a rebirth into new life in Christ by participation in his resurrection.  Properly a new name is given, which becomes the person's name.
Children of Orthodox families are normally baptized shortly after birth. Converts to Orthodoxy (even converts from other Christian denominations) are usually formally baptized into the Orthodox Church though exceptions are sometimes made. Denominationalism|List of Christian denominations|Church (disambiguation A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name structure and doctrine within Those who have left Orthodoxy and adopted a new religion, if they return to their Orthodox roots are usually received back into the church through the mystery of Chrismation.
Properly, the mystery of baptism is administered by bishops and priests; however, in emergencies any Orthodox Christian can baptize.  In such cases, should the person survive the emergency, it is likely that the person will be properly baptized by a priest at some later date. This is not considered to be a second baptism, nor is it imagined that the person is not already Orthodox, but rather it is a fulfillment of the proper form.
The service of baptism used in Orthodox churches has remained largely unchanged for over 1500 years. This fact is witnessed to by St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (Κύριλλος Α΄ Ἱεροσολύμων was a distinguished theologian of the early Church (ca 386), who, in his Discourse on the Sacrament of Baptism, describes the service in much the same way as is currently in use.
Chrismation (sometimes called confirmation) is the mystery by which a baptized person is granted the gift of the Holy Spirit through anointing with Holy Chrism. Chrismation is the name given in Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches as well as in the Assyrian Church of the East Confirmation is a Rite of initiation in many Christian Churches normally in the form of Laying on of hands and/or Anointing for In mainstream Christianity, the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is one of the three entities of the Holy Trinity which make up the single substance Chrism (Greek word literally meaning "an anointing" also called "Myrrh" ( Myron) "Holy Oil" or "Consecrated Oil" is a Consecrated  It is normally given immediately after baptism as part of the same service, but is also used to receive lapsed members of the Orthodox Church.  As baptism is a person's participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, so Chrismation is a person's participation in the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Pentecost (πεντηκοστή, pentekostē, "the fiftieth day" is one of the prominent feasts in the Christian Liturgical year, celebrated the 
A baptized and Chrismated Orthodox Christian is a full member of the Church, and may receive the Eucharist regardless of age. 
The creation of Chrism may be accomplished by any bishop at any time, but usually is done only once a year, often when a synod of bishops convenes for its annual meeting. (Some autocephalous churches get their chrism from others. ) Anointing with it substitutes for the laying-on of hands described in the New Testament, even when an instrument such as a brush is used. 
The number of fast days varies from year to year, but in general the Orthodox Christian can expect to spend a little over half the year fasting at some level of strictness. Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all Food, Drink, or both for a period of time There are spiritual, symbolic, and even practical reasons for fasting. In the Fall from Paradise mankind became possessed by a carnal nature; that is to say, he became inclined towards the passions. The Fall of Man, or simply the Fall, in Christian doctrine refers to the transition of the first humans from a state of innocent obedience to God, This article describes the Christian Passion For other meanings see Passion. Through fasting, Orthodox Christians attempt to return to the relationship of love and obedience to God enjoyed by Adam and Eve in Paradise in their own lives, by refraining from carnal practices, by bridling the tongue (James 3:5–6), confession of sins, prayer and almsgiving. Paradise is a word of Persian origin ( Persian: پردیس Pardìs) that is generally identified with the Garden of Eden or with Heaven.
Fasting is seen as purification and the regaining of innocence. Through obedience to the Church and its ascetic practices the Orthodox Christian seeks to rid himself or herself of the passions (The desires of our fallen carnal nature). All Orthodox Christians are expected to fast following a prescribed set of guidelines. They do not view fasting as a hardship, but rather as a privilege and joy. The teaching of the Church fixes both the times and the amount of fasting that is expected as a minimum for every member. For greater ascesis, some may choose to go without food entirely for a short period of time. A complete three-day fast at the beginning and end of a fasting period is not unusual, and some fast for even longer periods, though this is usually practiced only in monasteries.
In general, fasting means abstaining from meat and meat products, dairy (eggs and cheese) and dairy products, fish, olive oil, and wine. Wine and oil — and, less frequently, fish — are allowed on certain feast days when they happen to fall on a day of fasting; but animal products and dairy are forbidden on fast days, with the exception of "Cheese Fare" week which precedes Great Lent, during which dairy products are allowed. Wine and oil are usually also allowed on Saturdays and Sundays during periods of fast. In some Orthodox traditions, caviar is permitted on Lazarus Saturday, the Saturday before Palm Sunday, although the day is otherwise a fast day. Lazarus Saturday, in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, is the day before Palm Sunday Married couples also abstain from sexual relations on fast days, that they may devote themselves to prayer (I Corinthians 7:5).
While it may seem that fasting in the manner set forth by the Church is a strict rule, there are circumstances where a person's spiritual guide may allow a dispensation because of some physical necessity (e. In the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches and in the teaching of the Church Fathers which undergirds the theology of those Churches economy g. those who are pregnant or infirm, the very young and the elderly, or those who have no control over their diet, such as prisoners or soldiers).
The time and type of fast is generally uniform for all Orthodox Christians; the times of fasting are part of the ecclesiastical calendar, and the method of fasting is set by the Holy Canons and Sacred Tradition. The liturgical year, also known as the Christian year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when Canon law is internal ecclesiastical law governing the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Anglican Communion of churches Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a technical theological term used in some Christian traditions primarily in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox There are four major fasting periods during the year:
In addition to these fasting seasons, Orthodox Christians fast on every Wednesday (in commemoration of Christ's betrayal by Judas Iscariot) and Friday (in commemoration of his Crucifixion) throughout the year. Judas Iscariot, יהודה איש־קריות Yəhûḏāh ʾÎš-qəriyyôṯ was according to the New Testament, one of the twelve original apostles Crucifixion (from Latin crucifixio, noun of process crucifixio, from perfect passive participle crucifixus, fixed to a cross from Monastics often fast on Mondays (in imitation of the Angels, who are commemorated on that day in the weekly cycle, since monastics are striving to lead an angelic life on earth, and angels neither eat nor drink). An angel is a Spiritual Supernatural being found in many Religions Although the nature of angels and the tasks given to them vary from tradition to tradition
Orthodox Christians who are preparing to receive the Eucharist do not eat or drink at all from midnight until after taking Holy Communion. The Eucharist, also called Holy Communion or Lord's Supper and other names is a Christian Sacrament by which in a common interpretation those The Eucharist, also called Holy Communion or Lord's Supper and other names is a Christian Sacrament by which in a common interpretation those A similar total fast is expected to be kept on the Eve of Nativity, the Eve of Theophany (Epiphany), Great Friday and Holy Saturday for those who can do so. Christmas Eve, December 24, is the day before Christmas Day, the celebrated birthday of Jesus. Epiphany ( Greek for "to manifest" or "to show" is a Christian Feast day which celebrates the "shining forth" or revelation of Good Friday, also called Holy Friday or Great Friday, is the Friday preceding Easter Sunday ("Pascha" Holy Saturday ( Latin: Sabbatum Sanctum) is the day after Good Friday. There are other individual days observed as fasts (though not as days of total fasting) no matter what day of the week they fall on, such as the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on August 29 and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14. This article is about the biblical event and the liturgical commemoration of it Events 708 - Copper coins are minted in Japan for the first time (Traditional Japanese date: August 10, 708) In the Christian Liturgical calendar, there are several different feasts known as Feasts of the Cross, all of which commemorate the cross used in the Events 81 - Domitian becomes Emperor of the Roman Empire upon the death of his brother Titus.
Strict fasting is canonically forbidden on Saturdays and Sundays due to the festal character of the Sabbath and the Resurrection, respectively. In Christianity, the Sabbath is generally a weekly religious Day of rest as ordained by one of the Ten Commandments (the third by Roman Catholic This article concerns itself with Jesus Christ Christian, Islamic and other religious interpretations of resurrection in general On those days wine and oil are permitted even if abstention from them would be otherwise called for. Holy Saturday is the only Saturday of the year where a strict fast is kept. Holy Saturday ( Latin: Sabbatum Sanctum) is the day after Good Friday.
There are also four periods in the liturgical year during which no fasting is permitted, even on Wednesday and Friday. These fast-free periods are:
When certain feast days fall on fast days, the fasting laws are lessened to a certain extent, to allow some consolation in the trapeza (refectory) for the longer services, and to provide an element of sober celebration to accompany the spiritual joy of the feast. Trapeza redirects here for the prehistoric Greek settlement see Trapeza Crete.
It is considered a greater sin to advertise one's fasting than to not participate in the fast. Fasting is a purely personal communication between the Orthodox Christian and God. If one has health concerns, or responsibilities that cannot be fulfilled because of fasting, then it is perfectly permissible not to fast. An individual's observance of the fasting laws is not to be judged by the community (Romans 14:1–4), but is a private matter between him and his Spiritual Father or Confessor. A starets (стáрец fem стáреца is an elder of a Russian Orthodox monastery who functions as venerated adviser and teacher The title confessor is used in the Christian Church in several ways
"Almsgiving" refers to any charitable giving of material resources to those in need. Alms or almsgiving exists in a number of religions In general it involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue Along with prayer and fasting, it is considered a pillar of the personal spiritual practices of the Orthodox Christian tradition. Almsgiving is particularly important during periods of fasting, when the Orthodox believer is expected to share the monetary savings from his or her decreased consumption with those in need. As with fasting, bragging about the amounts given for charity is considered anywhere from extremely rude to sinful.
The Eucharist is at the center of Orthodox Christianity. The Eucharist, also called Holy Communion or Lord's Supper and other names is a Christian Sacrament by which in a common interpretation those The term Orthodox Christianity may refer to The Eastern Orthodox Church: the Eastern Christian churches of Byzantine In practice, it is the partaking of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the midst of the Divine Liturgy with the rest of the church. Body of Christ is a term of Christian Theology, implicitly traceable to Jesus 's statement at the Last Supper that "This is my body" The Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. The bread and wine are believed to become the genuine Body and Blood of the Christ Jesus through the operation of the Holy Spirit. Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) The Eastern Orthodox Church has never described exactly how this occurs, or gone into the detail that the Roman Catholic Church has in the West. The doctrine of transubstantiation was formulated after the Great Schism took place, and the Orthodox churches have never formally affirmed or denied it, preferring to state simply that it is a "Mystery". See also Eucharist (Catholic Church On the related belief that Christ is present in the Eucharist in body blood soul and divinity see Real Presence. The East-West Schism, or the Great Schism, divided medieval Christendom into Eastern (Greek and Western (Latin branches which later became known as the  Communion is given only to baptized, Chrismated Orthodox Christians who have prepared by fasting, prayer, and confession. The priest will administer the Gifts with a spoon directly into the recipient's mouth from the chalice.  From baptism young infants and children are carried to the chalice to receive Holy Communion. 
Orthodox Christians who have committed sins but repent of them, and who wish to reconcile themselves to God and renew the purity of their original baptisms, confess their sins to God before a spiritual guide who offers advice and direction to assist the individual in overcoming their sin. The confession of one's Sins is a religious practice important to many faiths e In Christianity, baptism ( Greek, "immersing" "performing Ablutions " is the ritual act with the use of water by which one is admitted Parish priests commonly function as spiritual guides, but such guides can be any person, male or female, who has been given a blessing to hear confessions. Spiritual guides are chosen very carefully as it is a mandate that once chosen, they must be obeyed. Having confessed, the penitent then has his or her parish priest read the prayer of repentance over them.
Sin is not viewed by the Orthodox as a stain on the soul that needs to be wiped out, or a legal transgression that must be set right by a punitive sentence, but rather as a mistake made by the individual with the opportunity for spiritual growth and development. An act of Penance (epitemia), if the spiritual guide requires it, is never formulaic, but rather is directed toward the individual and their particular problem, as a means of establishing a deeper understanding of the mistake made, and how to effect its cure. Penance is repentance of Sins as well as the proper name of the Catholic and Orthodox Christian Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation/Confession Though it sounds harsh, temporary excommunication is fairly common (The Orthodox require a fairly high level of purity in order to commune, therefore certain sins make it necessary for the individual to refrain from communing for a period). Confession and repentance are required in order to raise the individual to a level capable of communing (though no one is truly worthy). Because full participatory membership is granted to infants, it is not unusual for even small children to confess; though the scope of their culpability is far less than an older child, still their opportunity for spiritual growth remains the same.
Marriage, within the Orthodox Church is seen as an act of God in which He sanctifies the joining of two people into one. Introduction The Sacrament of Marriage does not unite a man and a woman First and foremost this joining is seen as a dispensation allowed by God for the mutual comfort and support of the individuals involved. While procreation and the perpetuation of the species is seen as important, what is more important is the bond of love between the two individuals as this is a reflection of our ultimate union with God. In Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholic theology theosis (written also theiosis, theopoiesis, theōsis Although difficult to accurately measure, the divorce rate in the Orthodox Church seems to be lower than that of the societal averages where its members reside, comprising at least 14% of marriages performed but probably somewhat higher due to civil divorces obtained without an accompanying ecclesiastical divorce.  The Church does recognize that there are occasions when it is better that couples do separate. It remains the decision of one's Bishop if they should desire to marry again if they will be permitted to do so. Generally widows may remarry as well as some divorced. A man is not permitted to be a priest if he or his wife have ever been divorced. If a person is undergoing a second marriage because of a divorce the sacrament is different and contains prayers or repentance for the first failed marriage.
The Mystery of Marriage in the Orthodox Church has two distinct parts: The Betrothal and The Crowning. The Betrothal includes: The exchange of the rings, the procession, the declaration of intent, and the lighting of candles. The Crowning includes: The readings from the epistle and gospel, the Blessing of the Common Cup, and the Dance of Isaiah (the bride and groom are led around the table 3 times), and then the Removal of the Crowns. There is no exchange of vows. There is a set expectation of the obligations incumbent on a married couple, and whatever promises they may have privately to each other are their responsibility to keep. After that there is the Greeting of the Couple.
All Orthodox Christians are expected to participate in at least some ascetic works, in response to the commandment of Christ to "come, take up the cross, and follow me. The Degrees of Eastern Orthodox monasticism are the stages an Eastern Orthodox Monk or Nun passes through in their religious vocation Saint Catherine's Monastery ( Greek:) on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of an inaccessible gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt is one " (Mark 10:21 and elsewhere) They are therefore all called to imitate, in one way or another, Christ himself who denied himself to the extent of literally taking up the cross on the way to his voluntary self-sacrifice. Content Authorship The gospel itself is anonymous but as early as Papias in the early 2nd century a text was attributed to Mark, a cousin However, laypeople are not expected to live in extreme asceticism since this is close to impossible while undertaking the normal responsibilities of worldly life. Ascetic redirects here You might also be looking for Acetic acid. Those who wish to do this therefore separate themselves from the world and live as monastics: monks and nuns. Monasticism (from Greek μοναχός, monachos, derived from Greek monos, alone is the religious practice in which one As ascetics par excellence, using the allegorical weapons of prayer and fasting in spiritual warfare against their passions, monastics hold a very special and important place in the Church. This kind of life is often seen as incompatible with any kind of worldly activity including that which is normally regarded as virtuous. Social work, school teaching, and other such work is therefore usually left to laypeople.
There are three main types of monastics. Those who live in monasteries under a common rule are coenobitic. Each monastery may formulate its own rule, and although there are no religious orders in Orthodoxy some respected monastic centers such as Mount Athos are highly influential. A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion usually Mount Athos (Όρος Άθως is a mountain on the Peninsula of the same name in Macedonia, of northern Greece, called in Greek Άγιον Eremitic monks, or hermits, are those who live solitary lives. A hermit (from the Greek ἔρημος erēmos, signifying " Desert " "uninhabited" hence "desert-dweller" adjective "eremitic" It is the yearning of many who enter the monastic life to eventually become solitary hermits. This most austere life is only granted to the most advanced monastics and only when their superiors feel they are ready for it. Hermits are usually associated with a larger monastery but live in seclusion some distance from the main compound. Their local monastery will see to their physical needs, supplying them with simple foods while disturbing them as little as possible. In between are those in semi-eremitic communities, or sketes, where one or two monks share each of a group of nearby dwellings under their own rules and only gather together in the central chapel, or kyriakon, for liturgical observances.
The spiritual insight gained from their ascetic struggles make monastics preferred for missionary activity. Bishops are almost always chosen from among monks, and those who are not generally receive the monastic tonsure before their consecrations.
Many (but not all) Orthodox seminaries are attached to monasteries, combining academic preparation for ordination with participation in the community's life of prayer. A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is a specialized and often live-in Higher education institution for the purpose of instructing students In a general sense the term Holy Orders refers to those in the Christian religion who have been ordained in Apostolic Succession. Monks who have been ordained to the priesthood are called hieromonk (priest-monk); monks who have been ordained to the diaconate are called hierodeacon (deacon-monk). Not all monks live in monasteries, some hieromonks serve as priests in parish churches thus practicing "monasticism in the world".
Cultural practices differ slightly but in general, Father is the correct form of address for monks who have been tonsured, while Novices are addressed as Brother. Similarly, Mother is the correct form of address for nuns who have been tonsured, while Novices are addressed as Sister. Nuns live identical ascetic lives to their male counterparts and are therefore also called monachoi (monastics) or the feminine plural form in Greek, monachai, and their common living space is called a monastery.
Since its founding, the Church spread to different places, and the leaders of the Church in each place came to be known as episkopoi (overseers, plural of episkopos, overseer — Gr. ἐπίσκοπος), which became "bishop" in English. A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight The other ordained roles are presbyter (Gr. In a general sense the term Holy Orders refers to those in the Christian religion who have been ordained in Apostolic Succession. πρεσβύτερος, elder), which became "prester" and then "priest" in English, and diakonos (Gr. A priest or priestess is a person having the authority or power to administer religious rites in particular rites of sacrifice to and propitiation of a deity or deities διάκονος, servant), which became "deacon" in English (see also subdeacon). Deacon is a role in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind but which varies among theological and denominational traditions Subdeacon (or sub-deacon is a title used in various branches of Christianity. There are numerous administrative positions in the clergy that carry additional titles. In the Greek tradition, bishops who occupy an ancient See are called Metropolitan, while the lead bishop in Greece is the Archbishop. (In the Russian tradition, however, the usage of the terms "Metropolitan" and "Archbishop" is reversed. ) Priests can be archpriests, archimandrites, or protopresbyters. Deacons can be archdeacons or protodeacons, as well. The position of deacon is often occupied for life. The deacon also acts as an assistant to a bishop.
With the exception of Bishops, who remain celibate, the Orthodox Church has always allowed priests and deacons to be married, provided the marriage takes place before ordination. In a general sense the term Holy Orders refers to those in the Christian religion who have been ordained in Apostolic Succession. In general it is preferable for parish priests to be married as they often act as council to married couples and thus can draw on their own experience. Unmarried priests usually are monks and live in monasteries, though there are occasions when, because of a lack of married priests, a monk-priest is temporarily assigned to a parish. Widowed priests and deacons may not remarry, and it is common for such a member of the clergy to retire to a monastery (see clerical celibacy). Clerical celibacy is the practice in various religious traditions, in which Clergy, Monastics and those (of either sex in religious orders adopt a This is also true of widowed wives of clergy, who do not remarry and become nuns when their children are grown. There is serious discussion about reviving the order of (deaconess), which fell into disuse in the first millennium; the deaconesses had both liturgical and pastoral functions within the church. Deaconess (and also Deacon) comes from a Greek word diakonos (διακονος  Although it has fallen out of practice (the last deaconess was ordained in the 19th century) there is no reason why deaconesses could not be ordained today.
Anointing with oil, or Holy Unction, is one of the many mysteries administered by the Orthodox Church. The Mystery is far more common in the Orthodox Church than it had traditionally been in the Roman Catholic Church (until recent years). In both Churches today it is not reserved for the dying or terminally ill, but for all in need of spiritual or bodily healing. In Greece, during the Ottoman occupation, it became the custom to administer this Mystery annually on Great Wednesday to all believers; in recent decades, this custom has spread to many other locations. In Christianity, Holy Wednesday (also called Spy Wednesday, and in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches Holy and Great Wednesday It is often distributed on major feast days, or any time the clergy feel it necessary for the spiritual welfare of its congregation.
According to Orthodox teaching Holy Unction is based on the Epistle of James:
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The Epistle of James is a book in the Christian New Testament. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. — James 5:14–15
Christianity spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire in part because Greek was the lingua franca, and partly because its philosophy of truth was something new and different than the old Roman and Greek social religions. A lingua franca (from Italian, literally meaning Frankish language, see etymology under Sabir and Italian below is any Language widely Paul and the Apostles traveled extensively throughout the Empire, including Asia Minor, establishing Churches in major communities, with the first Churches appearing in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, then in Antioch and its surrounding regions, Rome, Alexandria, Athens, Thessalonica, and Byzantium, which, centuries later would become far more prominent as the New Rome. Paul the apostle (שאול התרסי Šaʾul HaTarsi, meaning " Saul of Tarsus " Σαούλ Saul and Σαῦλος Saulos and The Twelve Apostles (Greek apostolos, "someone sent out" e Jerusalem (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, he-Latn Yerushaláyim; Arabic: ar القُدس, ar-Latn al-Quds) is the Antioch on the Orontes (Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ Μεγάλη Antiochia ad Orontem also Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 Alexandria ( Egyptian Arabic: اسكندريه Eskendereyya; Standard Arabic: ar الإسكندرية Al-Iskandariyya; Ἀλεξάνδρεια Athens (ˈæθənz Αθήνα Athina,) the Capital and largest city of Greece, dominates the Attica periphery as one of the world's Thessaloniki (Θεσσαλονίκη), Thessalonica, or Salonica is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of Macedonia Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS The term " New Rome " has been used in the following contexts Christianity was met with some resistance as its adherents would not comply with the state (even at the threat of death) in offering sacrifice to the pagan gods. The blood of numerous and often famous martyrs became the mortar binding the structure of the Church together. Despite persecution, or perhaps, because of it, the Church spread and flourished. It was finally released from bondage by the Emperor Constantine the Great in 324 AD.
By the 4th century Christianity had spread far and wide with hundreds of bishops in numerous countries. A number of influential schools of thought had arisen, particularly the Alexandrian and Antiochian philosophical approaches. One smaller group, the Arians, had managed to gain some influence which was causing some theological conflicts within the Church. The Emperor Constantine realized the need for a great ecumenical synod to be held in order to better define the Church's position. He made it possible for this council to meet not only by providing a location, but by offering to pay for the transportation of all the existing bishops of the Church.
Several doctrinal disputes from the 4th century onwards led to the calling of Ecumenical councils. This is a general introduction to ecumenical councils For the Roman Catholic councils, see Catholic Ecumenical Councils.
The canons set forth by nine ecumenical councils are considered by Eastern Orthodox Christianity to be the most significant and binding.
In addition to these councils there have been a number of significant councils meant to further define the Orthodox position. They are the Synods of Constantinople, 1484, 1583, 1755, 1819, and 1872, the Synod of Iaşi (Jassy), 1642, and the Pan-Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem, 1672. Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS Iaşi (pronunciation in Romanian: /jaʃʲ/ or Jassy, is a city and municipality in north-eastern Romania. Jerusalem (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, he-Latn Yerushaláyim; Arabic: ar القُدس, ar-Latn al-Quds) is the
Orthodox Christian culture reached its golden age during the high point of Byzantine Empire and continued to flourish in Russia, after the fall of Constantinople. Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending The Fall of Constantinople refers to the capture of the Byzantine Empire's capital by the Ottoman Empire on Tuesday May 29, 1453 (Julian Calendar Numerous autocephalous churches were established in Eastern Europe and Slavic areas. Autocephaly, in Hierarchical Christian churches and especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches is the status of a hierarchical church whose Eastern Europe is a general term that refers to the Geopolitical region encompassing the easternmost part of the European continent.
In the 530s the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) was built in Constantinople under emperor Justinian I. Events and Trends 532 — Nika riots in Constantinople; the cathedral was destroyed Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya Αγία Σοφία " Holy Wisdom " Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia) is a former patriarchal Basilica, later Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus ( Greek: Φλάβιος Πέτρος Σαββάτιος Ιουστινιανός; known in English as Justinian I or
The Church in Egypt (Patriarchate of Alexandria) split into two groups following the Council of Chalcedon (451), over a dispute about the relation between the divine and human natures of Jesus. The Patriarch of Alexandria is the Archbishop of Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt. The Council of Chalcedon was the fourth Ecumenical council. It was held from 8 October to 1 November 451 at Chalcedon (a city of Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) Eventually this led to each group anathematizing the other. Those that remained in communion with the other patriarchs (those who accepted the Council of Chalcedon) were called "Melkites" (the king's men, because Constantinople was the city of the emperors) [not to be confused with the Melkite Catholics of Antioch]. Meaning of church name Melkite comes from the Syriac word malko for "imperial" which was originally a Pejorative term for Middle-Eastern Those who disagreed with the findings of the Council of Chalcedon are today known as the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, currently led by Pope Shenouda III. History of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria Apostolic foundation Egypt is identified in the Bible as the place of refuge that the HH Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria ( Coptic:, Arabic: البابا شنوده الثالث (born 3 August 1923) born Nazeer Gayed There was a similar split in Syria (Patriarchate of Antioch) resulting in the Syriac Orthodox Church. Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Patriarch of Antioch is a traditional title carried by the Bishop of Antioch. The Syriac Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Middle East with members spread throughout the world
Those who disagreed with the Council of Chalcedon are sometimes called "Oriental Orthodox" to distinguish them from the Eastern Orthodox, who accepted the Council of Chalcedon. Oriental Orthodoxy is the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three Ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the Oriental Orthodox are also sometimes referred to as "monophysites", "non-Chalcedonians", or "anti-Chalcedonians", although today the Oriental Orthodox Church denies that it is monophysite and prefers the term "miaphysite", to denote the "joined" nature of Jesus. Monophysitism (from the Greek monos meaning 'one alone' and physis meaning 'nature' or Monophysiticism is the Christological position that Miaphysitism (sometimes called henophysitism) is the Christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches Both the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches formally believe themselves to be the continuation of the true church and the other fallen into heresy, although over the last several decades there has been some reconciliation.
As well, there are the "Nestorian" churches, which are Eastern Christian churches that keep the faith of only the first two ecumenical councils, i. Nestorius Nestorius (c  386 &ndashc  451) was a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia in Antioch in Syria (modern e. , the First Council of Nicaea and the First Council of Constantinople. "Nestorian" is an outsider's term for a tradition that predated the influence of Nestorius. Thus, "Persian Church" is a more neutral term.
In the ninth and tenth centuries, Orthodoxy made great inroads into Eastern Europe, including Kievan Rus'. The Christianization of Bulgaria was the process of converting 9th-century medieval Bulgaria to Christianity. The Christianization of the Rus' Khaganate is supposed to have happened in the 860s and was the first stage in the process of Christianization of the The Christianization of Kievan Rus' took place in several stages Vologda (Во́логда is a city in Russia and the administrative center of Vologda Oblast. Eastern Europe is a general term that refers to the Geopolitical region encompassing the easternmost part of the European continent. Kievan Rus′ (Ки́евская Русь romanised: Kievskaya Rus', rusʲ also written as Kyivan Rus′ (Ки́ївська Русь or Kievan This work was made possible by the work of the Byzantine saints Cyril and Methodius. A saint (from the Latin sanctus) is a human being to whom has been attributed (and who has generally demonstrated a high level of Holiness and Sanctity Saints Cyril and Methodius (Κύριλλος και Μεθόδιος Old Church Slavonic: Кѷриллъ и Меѳодїи) were two Byzantine Greek brothers born Saints Cyril and Methodius (Κύριλλος και Μεθόδιος Old Church Slavonic: Кѷриллъ и Меѳодїи) were two Byzantine Greek brothers born When Rastislav, the king of Moravia, asked Byzantium for teachers who could minister to the Moravians in their own language, Byzantine emperor Michael III chose these two brothers. Rastic or Rastiz (in modern Slovak Rastislav) (died after 870 was the second ruler of Great Moravia between 846 and 870 Great Moravia (see Name section was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe from the 9th century to the early 10th century Michael III the Drunkard (Μιχαήλ Γ΄ ο Μέθυσος Mikhaēl III ho Methysos) ( January 19, 840 &ndash September 23–24 867 As their mother was a Slav from the hinterlands of Thessaloniki, Cyril and Methodius spoke the local Slavonic vernacular and translated the Bible and many of the prayer books. Thessaloniki (Θεσσαλονίκη), Thessalonica, or Salonica is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of Macedonia Saints Cyril and Methodius (Κύριλλος και Μεθόδιος Old Church Slavonic: Кѷриллъ и Меѳодїи) were two Byzantine Greek brothers born The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages) a group of closely related Languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages Etymology According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word bible is from Latin biblia, traced from the same word through Medieval Latin and Late Latin As the translations prepared by them were copied by speakers of other dialects, the hybrid literary language Old Church Slavonic was created. to make sure old Cyrillic letters are displayed properly (For example instead of just Ѣ write Ѣ Originally sent to convert the Slavs of Great Moravia, Cyril and Methodius were forced to compete with Frankish missionaries from the Roman diocese. Great Moravia (see Name section was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe from the 9th century to the early 10th century Frankish mythology comprises the mythology of the Franks, from its roots in polytheistic Germanic paganism through the inclusion of Greco - Roman Their disciples were driven out of Great Moravia in AD 886. For the processors see 80886 - 8th generation x86 like Opteron and Core 2.
Some of the disciples, namely Saint Clement of Ohrid, Saint Naum who were of noble Bulgarian descent and St. Saint Clement of Ohrid (Свети Климент Охридски sve'ti 'kliment 'oxridski (ca Saint Naum of Preslav (Свети Наум Преславски sve'ti na The Bulgarians (българи balgari) are a South Slavic people generally associated with the Republic of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian language Angelaruis, returned to Bulgaria where they were welcomed by the Bulgarian Tsar Boris I who viewed the Slavonic liturgy as a way to counteract Greek influence in the country. The state of Bulgaria (България transliterated bg-Latn ''Balgaria'' The country preserves the traditions (in ethnic name language and alphabet of the First Bulgarian Tsar csar and tzar redirect here For other uses see Tsar (disambiguation. Boris I or sometimes Boris-Mihail (Michael (Борис I (Михаил also known as Bogoris (died 2 May 907 In a short time the disciples of Cyril and Methodius managed to prepare and instruct the future Slav Bulgarian clergy into the Glagolitic alphabet and the biblical texts and in AD 893, Bulgaria expelled its Greek clergy and proclaimed the Slavonic language as the official language of the church and the state. The Glagolitic alphabet or Glagolitsa is the oldest known Slavic Alphabet. This article refers to the year 893 The number 893 can also refer to Japanese traditional organized crime groups Yakuza. Bulgarian (български език IPA: ɛzˈik is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group The success of the conversion of the Bulgarians facilitated the conversion of East Slavic peoples, most notably the Rus', predecessors of Belarusians, Russians, and Ukrainians. Rus’ (Русь rusʲ Русичи Русы are an ancient people whose name survives in the cognates Russians, Rusyns, and Ruthenians Belarusians or Belorussians (Беларусы Biełarusy previously also spelled Belarussians, Byelorussians and Belorusians, also The Russian people (Русские— Russkie) are an East Slavic Ethnic group, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries Ukrainians (Українці Ukrayintsi,) are an East Slavic Ethnic group primarily living in Ukraine, or more broadly— Citizens
The missionaries to the East and South Slavs had great success in part because they used the people's native language rather than Latin as the Roman priests did, or Greek. The South Slavs are a southern branch of the Slavic peoples that live in the Balkans mainly throughout the former Yugoslavia (meaning "Land of Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly Today the Russian Orthodox Church is the largest of the Orthodox Churches. See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure
In the 11th century the Great Schism took place between Rome and Constantinople, which led to separation of the Church of the West, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The East-West Schism, or the Great Schism, divided medieval Christendom into Eastern (Greek and Western (Latin branches which later became known as the The East-West Schism, or the Great Schism, divided medieval Christendom into Eastern (Greek and Western (Latin branches which later became known as the Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS There were doctrinal issues like the filioque clause and the authority of the Roman Catholic Pope involved in the split, but these were exacerbated by cultural and linguistic differences between Latins and Greeks. Filioque, a Latin phrase meaning "and (from the Son" In Western Christianity, it was added to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed History See also History of the Papacy Catholics recognize the Pope as a successor to Saint Peter, who Jesus named as the "shepherd" and Prior to that, the Eastern and Western halves of the Church had frequently been in conflict, particularly during periods of iconoclasm and the Photian schism. Iconoclasm, Greek for "image-breaking" is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious Icons and other symbols or monuments The Photian schism is a term for a controversy lasting from 863 - 867 between Eastern (Byzantine later Orthodox and Western (Roman Catholic Christianity
The final breach is often considered to have arisen after the capture and sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The Fourth Crusade (1202&ndash1204 was originally designed to conquer Muslim Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. The sacking of the Church of Holy Wisdom and establishment of the Latin Empire as a seeming attempt to supplant the Orthodox Byzantine Empire in 1204 is viewed with some rancour to the present day. Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya Αγία Σοφία " Holy Wisdom " Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia) is a former patriarchal Basilica, later The Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople (original Latin name Imperium Romaniae, " Empire of Romania " is the In 2004, Pope John Paul II extended a formal apology for the sacking of Constantinople in 1204; the apology was formally accepted by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Pope Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I ( Greek: Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαῖος Α' Turkish: Patrik I Many things that were stolen during this time—holy relics, riches, and many other items—were not returned and are still held in various Western European cities, particularly Venice. A relic is an object or a personal item of religious significance carefully preserved with an air of Veneration as a tangible memorial Venice ( Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venesia or Venexia) is a city in Northern Italy, the capital of the
East and West attempted reunion twice, in 1274 at the Second Council of Lyon, and in 1439 at the Council of Basel. The First Council of Lyon, the Thirteenth Ecumenical Council took place in 1245 The Council of Florence (originally Council of Basel) was an Ecumenical Council of Bishops and other ecclesiastics of the Roman Catholic Church In each case, however, the councils were rejected by the Orthodox people as a whole.
In 1453, the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923 ( Old Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish By this time Egypt had been under Muslim control for some seven centuries, but Orthodoxy was very strong in Russia which had recently acquired an autocephalous status; and thus Moscow called itself the Third Rome, as the cultural heir of Constantinople. This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. A Muslim (مسلم pronounced Muslim, not Muzlim) is an adherent of the Religion Autocephaly, in Hierarchical Christian churches and especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches is the status of a hierarchical church whose Moscow (Москва́ romanised: Moskvá, IPA: see also other names) is the Capital and the largest city of The term " New Rome " has been used in the following contexts
Under Ottoman rule, the Greek Orthodox Church acquired substantial power as an autonomous millet. History Early history Christianity in Byzantium existed from the time of the Twelve Apostles, but it was in the year 330 that the Roman Emperor Millet is an Ottoman Turkish term for a Confessional community in the Ottoman Empire. The ecumenical patriarch was the religious and administrative ruler of the entire "Greek Orthodox nation" (Ottoman administrative unit), which encompassed all the Eastern Orthodox subjects of the Empire.
As a result of the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, and the Fall of Constantinople, the entire Orthodox communion of the Balkans and the Near East became suddenly isolated from the West. Stavronikita monastery ( Greek: Μονή Σταυρονικήτα is an Eastern Orthodox Monastery at the monastic state of Mount Athos Mount Athos (Όρος Άθως is a mountain on the Peninsula of the same name in Macedonia, of northern Greece, called in Greek Άγιον The Fall of Constantinople refers to the capture of the Byzantine Empire's capital by the Ottoman Empire on Tuesday May 29, 1453 (Julian Calendar For the next four hundred years, it would be confined within Islamic world, with which it had little in common religiously or culturally. The term Muslim world (or Islamic world) has several meanings The Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Churches from Valachia and Moldova were the only part of the Orthodox communion which remained outside the control of the Ottoman Empire. This article is about the region in what is now Southern Romania Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova ( Republica Moldova) is a Landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania It is, in part, due to this geographical and intellectual confinement that the voice of Eastern Orthodoxy was not heard during the Reformation in sixteenth century Europe. It should not be surprising that this important theological debate often seems strange and distorted to the Orthodox; after all, they never took part in it and thus neither Reformation nor Counter-Reformation is part of their theological framework. The Protestant Reformation was a reform movement in Europe that began in 1517 though its roots lie further back in time The Counter-Reformation (also Catholic Reformation denotes the period of Catholic revival from the pontificate of Pope Pius IV in 1560 to the close of the
Up until 1666, when Patriarch Nikon was deposed by the tsar, the Russian Orthodox Church had been independent of the State. Tsar csar and tzar redirect here For other uses see Tsar (disambiguation.  In 1721 Tsar Peter I abolished completely the patriarchate and so the Church effectively became a department of the government, ruled by a Most Holy Synod composed of senior bishops and lay bureaucrats appointed by the Tsar himself. Year 1721 ( MDCCXXI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a The Most Holy Governing Synod (Святейший Правительствующий Синод was the highest governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church between 1721 and Since 1721 until the October Revolution of 1917, the Russian Orthodox Church was essentially transformed into a governmental agency, a tool used to various degrees by the tsars in the imperial campaigns of russification. The October Revolution (Октябрьская революция Oktyabrskaya revolyutsiya) also known as the Soviet Revolution Year 1917 ( MCMXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Russification (in Russian: русификация rusifikátsiya)is an adoption of the Russian language or some other Russian attribute (whether voluntarily The Church was allowed by the State to levy taxes off on the peasants. A peasant is an agricultural worker who subsists by working a small plot of ground Therefore, the Church, along with the Tsarist State to which it belonged, came to be perceived as an enemy of the people by the Bolsheviks and the other Russian revolutionaries, mostly atheists. The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists ( Большевик Большевист (singular, derived from bolshe, "more" were a faction The revolution brought, however, a brief period of liberation for the Church: an independent patriarchate was reestablished briefly in 1917, until Stalin quashed the Church a few years later, imprisoning or killing many of the clergy and of the faithful. Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party Part of the clergy escaped the Soviet persecutions by fleeing abroad, where they founded an independent church in exile, reunified with the Russian one in 2007. A soviet (сове́т, "council" originally was a workers' local council in late Imperial Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Ру́сская Правосла́вная Це́рковь Заграни́цей ru Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov' Zagranitsey Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.
The Orthodox Church clergy in Russia was seen as sympathetic with the cause of the White Army in the Civil War (see White movement) after the October Revolution, and occasionally collaborated with it; Patriarch Tikhon's declared position was harshly anti-Bolshevik in 1918. The White movement (Beloie Dvijenie Белое движение whose military arm is known as the White Army (Belaia Armia Белая Армия or White Guard The Russian Civil War (1917–1923 was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed The White movement (Beloie Dvijenie Белое движение whose military arm is known as the White Army (Belaia Armia Белая Армия or White Guard The October Revolution (Октябрьская революция Oktyabrskaya revolyutsiya) also known as the Soviet Revolution Collaborationism, can describe the Treason of cooperating with enemy Forces occupying one's Country. Saint Tikhon of Moscow ( January 19, 1865 &ndash April 7, 1925) born Vasily Ivanovich Bellavin (Василий Иванович This may have further strengthened the Bolshevik animus against the church.
Before and after the October Revolution of November 7, 1917 (October 25 Old Calendar) there was a movement within the Soviet Union to unite all of the people of the world under Communist rule (see Communist International). Events 1492 - The Ensisheim Meteorite the oldest Meteorite with a known date of impact strikes the Earth around noon in a Wheat Year 1917 ( MCMXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 The Comintern ( Com munist Intern ational also known as the Third International) was an international Communist organisation founded in Moscow This included the Eastern European bloc countries as well as the Balkan States. Since some of these Slavic states tied their ethnic heritage to their ethnic churches, both the peoples and their church were targeted by the Soviet.  
The Soviets' official interpretation of freedom of conscience was one of "guaranteeing the right to profess any religion, or profess none, to practice religious cults, or conduct atheist propaganda", though in effect atheism was sponsored by state and was taught in all educational establishments. Atheism  Public criticism of atheism was unofficially forbidden and sometimes led to imprisonment. Criticism of atheism is made chiefly by Theistic sources though some forms of Atheism also receive criticism from nontheistic sources 
The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion. Toward that end, the Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed. Some actions against Orthodox priests and believers along with execution included torture being sent to prison camps, labour camps or mental hospitals. Capital punishment, the death penalty or execution, is the Killing of a person by judicial process as Punishment. Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, is "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental is intentionally The Gulag was the government agency that administered the penal labor camps of the Soviet Union. Sharashka (sometimes Sharaga or Sharazhka, шара́шка) was an informal name for secret Research and development In the Soviet Union, Psychiatry was used for punitive purposes 
The result of this militant atheism was to transform the Church into a persecuted and martyred Church. In the first five years after the Bolshevik revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were executed. 
The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are engaged in Penal labor. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited. In the period between 1917 and 1940, the number of Orthodox Churches in the Russian Republic fell from 59,584 to less than 500. Between 1917 and 1935, 130,000 Orthodox priests were arrested. Of these, 95,000 were put to death, executed by firing squad.
After Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, Joseph Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox Church to intensify patriotic support for the war effort. Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party By 1957 about 22,000 Russian Orthodox churches had become active. But in 1959 Nikita Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (April 17 1894 – September 11 1971 served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 following By 1985 fewer than 7,000 churches remained active. It is estimated that 50,000 clergy were executed by the end of the Khrushchev era.  Members of the church hierarchy were jailed or forced out, their places taken by docile clergy, many of whom had ties with the KGB.
In the Soviet Union, in addition to the methodical closing and destruction of churches, the charitable and social work formerly done by ecclesiastical authorities was taken over by the state. As with all private property, Church owned property was confiscated into public use. The few places of worship left to the Church were legally viewed as state property which the government permitted the church to use. After the advent of state funded universal education, the Church was not permitted to carry on educational, instructional activity of any kind. Outside of sermons during the celebration of the divine liturgy it could not instruct or evangelise to the faithful or its youth. Catechism classes, religious schools, study groups, Sunday schools and religious publications were all illegal and or banned. This persecution continued, even after the death of Stalin until the Fall of Communism in 1991. Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based This caused many religious tracts to be circulated as illegal literature or samizdat. Samizdat (самиздат was the clandestine copying and distribution of government-suppressed literature or other media in Soviet-bloc 
Among the most damaging aspects of Soviet rule, along with these physical abuses, the Soviet Union frequently manipulated the recruitment and appointment of priests, sometimes planting agents of the KGB within the church to monitor religious persons who were viewed -- simply for not being atheists -- as suspicious and potential threats to Soviet communism. KGB ( Transliteration of "КГБ" is the Russian abbreviation of Committee for State Security ( Komityet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosty Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based The recovery of religious beliefs in Russia after the fall of communism, part of a significant religious revival, has been made more challenging as a result of those leaders forced involuntarily upon the church by the KGB during Soviet times. A soviet (сове́т, "council" originally was a workers' local council in late Imperial Russia.
Albania was the first state to have declared itself officially fully atheist. This article is about the country in southern Europe For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Albania topics. State atheism is the official promotion of Atheism by a Government, typically by active suppression of Religious freedom and practice 
In some other communist states such as Romania the Orthodox Church as an organisation enjoyed relative freedom and even prospered, albeit under strict secret police control. Romania ( dated: Rumania, Roumania The Romanian Orthodox Church ( Biserica Ortodoxă Română in Romanian) is a Autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church That, however, did not rule out demolishing churches and monasteries as part of broader systematization (urban planning), state persecution of individual believers, and Romania stands out as a country which ran a specialised institution where many Orthodox (along with peoples of other faiths) were subjected to psychological punishment or torture and mind control experimentation in order to force them give up their religious convictions (see Piteşti prison). Systematization in Romania refers to a program of Urban planning carried out under Nicolae Ceauşescu 's communist regime. A psychological punishment is a type of punishment that relies not or only in secondary order on the actual harm inflicted (such as Corporal punishments or fines but on psychological Mind control is a broad range of psychological tactics able to subvert an individual's control of his own thinking, behavior emotions or decisions The Piteşti prison (Închisoarea Piteşti was a penal facility in Piteşti, Romania, best remembered for the Brainwashing experiment carried out by 
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 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 geographically "eastern" since they live permanently in their newly adopted countries in the West. Nonetheless, they remain Eastern Orthodox in their faith and practice. Virtually all the Orthodox nationalities – Greek, Arab, Russian, Serbian, Macedonian, Albanian, Ukrainian, Armenian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Assyrian – are represented in the United States. The Greeks ( Greek: Έλληνες) are a Nation and Ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighbouring regions The araB gene Promoter is a bacterial promoter activated by e L-arabinose binding The Russian people (Русские— Russkie) are an East Slavic Ethnic group, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries Serbs ( Serbian: Срби Srbi) are a South Slavic people living in the Balkans and Central Europe, mainly in Serbia, The Macedonians (Македонци transliterated Makedonci) also referred to as Macedonian Slavs --> --> are a South Slavic people } Albanians (Shqiptarët are an Ethnic group and a Nation, in the sense of sharing a common Albanian culture speaking the Albanian language Ukrainians (Українці Ukrayintsi,) are an East Slavic Ethnic group primarily living in Ukraine, or more broadly— Citizens The Armenians (Հայեր Hayer) are a Nation and Ethnic group originating in the Caucasus and in the Armenian Highlands A large The Romanians (dated Rumanians or Roumanians; Romanian: români or historically and today rather seldom and only regional rumâni The Bulgarians (българи balgari) are a South Slavic people generally associated with the Republic of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian language The Assyrians are an Ethnic group whose origins lie in what is today Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
The various autocephalous and autonomous synods of the Orthodox Church are distinct in terms of administration and local culture, but for the most part exist in full communion with one another. Full communion is a term used in Christian Ecclesiology to describe the relationship of communion, with mutually recognized sharing of the same essential Relations have recently been restored between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the Moscow Patriarchate (MP), two branches of the Russian Orthodox Church which separated from each other in the 1920s, due to the subjection of the latter to the hostile Soviet regime. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Ру́сская Правосла́вная Це́рковь Заграни́цей ru Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov' Zagranitsey See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure The 1920s is sometimes referred to as the " Jazz Age " or the " Roaring Twenties " when speaking about the United States and Canada The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 (see Act of Canonical Communion)
Tensions exist in the philosophical differences between those who use the Revised Julian Calendar ("New Calendarists") for calculating the feasts of the ecclesiastical year and those who continue to use the traditional Julian Calendar ("Old Calendarists"). The Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate reunited the two branches of the Russian Orthodox Church: the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR The Revised Julian calendar or less formally New Calendar, is a Calendar scheme originated in 1923 which effectively discontinued the 340 years of divergence between The New calendarists are those Eastern Orthodox Churches that adopted the Revised Julian calendar, namely the Orthodox churches of Constantinople Alexandria Antioch The liturgical year, also known as the Christian year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when The Julian calendar, a reform of the Roman calendar, was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and came into force in 45 BC (709 Ab urbe condita The term Old Calendarist refers to any Orthodox Christian or any Orthodox Church body which uses the historic Julian calendar (called " Old Style Calendar The calendar question reflects the dispute between those who wish to synchronize with the modern Gregorian calendar which its opponents consider unnecessary and damaging to continuity, and those who wish to maintain the traditional ecclesiastical calendar which happens to be based on the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used Calendar in the world today The dispute has led to much acrimony, and sometimes even to violence. Following canonical precepts, some adherents to the Old Calendar have chosen to abstain from clerical intercommunion with those synods which have embraced the New Calendar until such a time that the conflict is resolved. The monastic communities on Mount Athos have provided the strongest opposition to the New Calendar, and to modernism in general, while still maintaining communion with their mother church. Mount Athos (Όρος Άθως is a mountain on the Peninsula of the same name in Macedonia, of northern Greece, called in Greek Άγιον Modernism in the Roman Catholic Church is a theological viewpoint that usually includes a rationalist approach to the Bible, Secularism and modern
Some latent discontent between different national churches exists also in part due to different approach towards ecumenism. The term national church is usually a reference to a church organization in Christianity that claims pastoral jurisdiction over a Nation. Ecumenism (also oecumenism, œcumenism) refers to initiatives aimed at greater Religious unity or cooperation While the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the Orthodox bishops in North America gathered into the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), Romanian bishops, and others are fairly open to dialog with the Roman Catholic Church, both conservative and moderate Old Calendarists, many of the monks of Mount Athos, several bishops of Russian, Serbian, and some of Greek and Bulgarian churches regard ecumenism as compromising essential doctrinal stands in order to accommodate other Christians, and object to the emphasis on dialogue leading to inter-communion; believing instead that Orthodox must speak the truth with love, in the hope of leading to the eventual conversion to Orthodoxy of heterodox Christians. "Patriarch of Constantinople" redirects here For the institutional church itself see Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA is an Eastern Orthodox organization designed to help cooperation among the canonical Orthodox List of Christian denominations (or Denominations self-identified as Christian) ordered by historical and doctrinal relationships Heterodoxy includes "any opinions or doctrines at variance with an official or orthodox position"
Proponents of ecumenism are currently engaged in discussing key theological differences such as the Filioque, Papal primacy, and a possible agreement on rapprochement and eventually full communion with the Catholic and Anglican Churches. Filioque, a Latin phrase meaning "and (from the Son" In Western Christianity, it was added to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed The primacy of the Roman Pontiff is the apostolic authority of the Pope ( Bishop of Rome) from the Holy See, over the several churches Full communion is a term used in Christian Ecclesiology to describe the relationship of communion, with mutually recognized sharing of the same essential
Nowadays, there are 14 (15 by some) autocephalous Orthodox churches, in full communion with each other, with the precise order of seniority of their heads as listed below. Autocephaly, in Hierarchical Christian churches and especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches is the status of a hierarchical church whose Some of them contain autonomous (marked below) and/or semi-autonomous dioceses (listed within the mother churches). The first nine of the autocephalous churches are led by patriarchs. Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a Pater familias over an extended family
|Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches of Eastern Orthodoxy|
|Four Ancient Patriarchates: Constantinople | Alexandria | Antioch | Jerusalem|
Russia | Serbia | Romania | Bulgaria | Georgia
Cyprus | Greece | Poland | Albania | Czechia and Slovakia | OCA*
|Sinai* | Finland | Estonia* | Japan* | China* | Ukraine | Western Europe* | Bessarabia* | Moldova | Ohrid* | ROCOR**|
|The * designates a church whose autocephaly or autonomy is not universally recognized. See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure The Open Directory Project ( ODP) also known as dmoz (from directory The Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Holy Cross is an Eastern Orthodox Christian Seminary located in Brookline Massachusetts. This article covers the organization of the Eastern Orthodox Churches rather than the doctrines traditions practices or other aspects of Eastern Orthodoxy. Autocephaly, in Hierarchical Christian churches and especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches is the status of a hierarchical church whose Pentarchy is a Greek -derived word meaning "rule by five" A patriarchate is the Office or jurisdiction of a Patriarch. A patriarch as the term is used here is either one of the highest-ranking History Early history Christianity in Byzantium existed from the time of the Twelve Apostles, but it was in the year 330 that the Roman Emperor The Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, also known as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa ( Greek:) is one of the autocephalous The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as the Eastern Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East, the Antiochian Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Patriarchate The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem ( Greek: Patriarcheîon Hierosolýmōn, Arabic كنيسة الروم الأرثوذكس في القدس See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure The Serbian Orthodox Church ( Serbian: Српска Православна Црква / Srpska Pravoslavna Crkva; СПЦ / SPC) or the The Romanian Orthodox Church ( Biserica Ortodoxă Română in Romanian) is a Autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church The Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Българска православна църква Bălgarska pravoslavna cărkva) is an Autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church Christianity in ancient and feudal Georgia According to tradition when the Apostles were sent out to preach the Gospel to the nations of the world the Apostle The ancient Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus ( Greek: Ekklēsía tês Kýprou) is one of the fourteen or fifteen independent (' autocephalous The Church of Greece ( Greek: Ekklēsía tês Helládos, ekliˈsia tis eˈlaðos is one of the fifteen Autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches History The establishment of the church was undertaken after the Treaty of Riga left large amount of territory previously under the Russian Empire, as part The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania ( Albanian: Kisha Orthodhokse Autoqefale e Shqipërisë) is one of the newest autocephalous Eastern The Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church ( Czechoslovak Orthodox Church up to 1993 in Czech Pravoslavná církev, in Slovak Pravoslávna cirkev The Orthodox Church in America ( OCA) is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church in North America. Autocephaly, in Hierarchical Christian churches and especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches is the status of a hierarchical church whose Saint Catherine's Monastery ( Greek:) on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of an inaccessible gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt is one Structure and organization Along with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland the Orthodox Church of Finland has a special position in Finnish law The Japanese Orthodox Church (日本ハリストス正教会 is an autonomous The Chinese Orthodox Church is an autonomous Eastern Orthodox church in China, which prior to the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1966 was estimated Name For the purpose of distinguishing the two Orthodox Churches the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is often referred to in public as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate The Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe is an Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Russian Orthodox The Metropolis of Bessarabia is one of the metropoles of the Romanian Orthodox Church, aside from the six metropoles inside Romania proper Relation with the Metropolis of Bessarabia In the lead up to the independence of Moldova the Romanian society and by the Romanian Orthodox Church encouraged unification with The Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric (Православна Охридска Архиепископија Pravoslavna Ohridska Arhiepiskopija) is an autonomous Eastern The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Ру́сская Правосла́вная Це́рковь Заграни́цей ru Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov' Zagranitsey |
The ** designates a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure