Introduction to Orthodox Christianity

Theotokos
Orthodoxy is that form of Christianity which gives right glory or right worship to God the Holy Trinity. Orthodoxy is the Christian Church, in succession to the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Priests of the Old Testament, which was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ when He Ordained His Apostles and sent the Holy Spirit upon the faithful gathered in Jerusalem at Pentecost. The followers of the Way were first called Christians at Antioch; and the Christians were first called Catholics in a letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch in about the year AD 98. The Orthodox are the original Christians, the first Catholics, the Church of the Apostles, and the Community of the New Testament.

The Western Churches, including that of Rome, were part of the unity of Orthodoxy through the whole of the first 1,000 years. Rome only separated from the unity of the church by making extraordinary claims for the earthly powers of her patriarch (Pope) at the beginning of the 11th century and completed the break with the Orthodox by the 13th century. The usual date of the great schism is given as AD 1054. The ancient churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople are all Orthodox. About 250 million people now living are members of the Orthodox churches around the world with about 5 million in the USA.

The Orthodox Church is universal (catholic), has Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Laity, and a rich Monastic life with Communities of Monks and of Nuns in nearly every country. Most Priests and Deacons are married. Bishops are not married because they are elevated from celebate monastic life for the most part.

Links to Off-site Introductions to Orthodoxy

PLEASE NOTE:  Not all links to the works and articles listed below are still active. The internet is always changing!  If a link fails to work, please search for the work or article online using a Google search or through another search engine.  The articles suggested are still good resources even if they are not present on this website. 
Some Straight Answers about the Orthodox
Q & A by the Monks at Ascension Monastery (OCA) in Resaca, Ga., at the Orthodox Christian Foundation.
What is the Orthodox Church?
From A Short History of the Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, New York, 1972. From theROCOR periodical Orthodox America.
The Unity of the Orthodox Church
By Fr. Andrew Phillips, from the ROCOR periodical Orthodox America.
One in Christ: An Historical Look
An article by V. Rev. Prof. John Behr of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
Introduction to the Orthodox Church
An article by Rev. Leonidas Costos Ph.D, at Orthodox Ministry Faith articles.
The Orthodox Church
An article by Prof. Constantine Scouteris of the University of Athens Department of Theology.
Understanding Orthodox Christianity
A monograph by Jim Forest of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.
Introduction to Orthodoxy
published by the Serbian Diocese of Raska and Prizren.
Meeting the Orthodox: Questions and Answers
An article by Fr. Thomas Hopko of the Orthodox Church in America.
Little Known or Fascinating Facts about Eastern Orthodoxy
An article in Christian History Magazine by Danial Clendenin. Published by a group not in communion with the Patriarchate of Antioch and the rest of the Patriarchal Orthodox Churches.
The Orthodox Churches
A list of autocephalous and autonomous jurisdictions recognised by the Orthodox Church in America.
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