Since the Orthodox Church was founded by Jesus and his apostles in the year 33 A.D., it is the most ancient Christian Church in the world.

Orthodox Christians have been worshiping in Greece and the Middle-East for nearly 2000 years, and in Russia for over 1000 years.

All of Europe, including England, Germany, and France, was Orthodox until the split with the Roman (Catholic) church, called the ‘Great Schism’, in 1054.

Orthodoxy is by far the largest Christian denomination in Russia, with 98% of Russian Christians belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church.  75% of Russians identify as Orthodox.  The next two largest religions are Islam and Buddhism.

The Orthodox Church is the second largest group of Christians in the world, with over 225 million people worldwide. Approximately 6 million of these are in America.

It is the fastest-growing denomination in America, primarily due to converts from American Protestantism, such as Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Lutherans who are unwilling to accept liberal tendencies in their churches, especially homosexual marriage and homosexual priests.

Orthodox jurisdictions tend to be socially conservative, with a few exceptions. The Russian Orthodox Church is socially conservative and is against LGBT rights, gay marriage, does not allow women to be priests, and encourages patriarchy, i.e. submission of wives to husbands.

The Orthodox Church is often called “the Church of the Martyrs”. In the twentieth century alone, an estimated 40 million Orthodox Christians gave their lives for Christ, primarily under communism.

The Orthodox Church has given us some of history’s greatest theologians, scholars, and writers — people like John Chrysostom, Justin Martyr, Augustine, Dostoevsky, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

For more information, read What on Earth is the Orthodox Church? and Get To Know the Original.