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What is Orthodoxy?

To answer that question we have provided a list of trusted resources and recommended videos about the Orthodox faith, however it is always best to speak face to face. Please consider contacting us and scheduling a meeting to discuss your questions.

The Orthodox Church is the first Christian Church.  The Church was founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and described in the pages of the New Testament. Her history can be traced in unbroken continuity all the way back to Christ and His Twelve Apostles.

Incredible as it seems, for nineteen and a half centuries she has continued in her undiminished and unaltered faith and practice. Today, her apostolic doctrine, worship, and structure remain intact. The Orthodox Church maintains that the Church is the living Body of Jesus Christ.

Many of us are surprised to learn that for the first 1000 years of Christian history there was just one Church. It was in the eleventh Century that a disastrous split occurred, resulting in the Western Church, under the pope, separating itself from the Orthodox Church. The papacy sought to establish itself over all of Christendom and finally succeeded in the West. But the rest of the Church rejected this innovation, knowing no so-called “universal head” apart from Jesus Christ himself.

Quick Facts about the Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Church is …

  • The oldest Church in Christendom, although it is not familiar to many Americans.
  • The second largest body in Christendom with over 225 million people worldwide, less than 2 million of which are in North America.
  • One, Holy, Catholic (literally for all people), and Apostolic, having Holy Tradition, an unbroken and unchanging deposit of Faith from Jesus Christ and the Apostles passed down from generation to generation.
  • Often referred to as “the Church of the Martyrs”. In the twentieth century alone, more than 20 million Orthodox Christians have given their life for their faith, primarily under communism.
  • The Church of some of history’s greatest theologians, scholars and writers including John Chrysostom, Jerome, Basil the Great, John of Damascus, Dostoyesvky and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
  • Often referred to by any number of its “ethnic” titles such as Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian, Syrian, Romanian, Bulgarian, etc. Orthodox literally means “true worship” or “true belief” and is a name that describes nearly all of Christianity in the first ten centuries of Church history.
  • We are Orthodox because we ascribe to the Orthodox teachings defined in the Bible, the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and the writings of the church fathers. The Nicene Creed and the Bible play a prominent role in our worship, beliefs, and piety.

Source: St John of Damascus Church, Dedham, MA

The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant.
It is orthodox, but not Jewish.
It is catholic, but not Roman.
It isn’t non-denominational – it is pre-denominational.
It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago.

Resources

Daily Bible Readings

Ancient Faith Radio
A collection of podcasts about all things Orthodox.

A list of podcasts specifically relevant to those looking into the Orthodox church.

The Orthodox Faith
Short and concise articles dealing with common questions about the Orthodox faith.

Journey to Orthodoxy
A collection of stories of people from other faith traditions who have joined the Orthodox Church.

Videos