Orthodox churches around the world
Orthodoxy (in translation from the Greek word"Orthodoxy") was formed as the eastern branch of Christianity after the division of the powerful Roman Empire into two parts, the Eastern and the Western, occurred at the beginning of the fifth century. Until the end, this branch took shape after the split of the churches into Orthodox and Catholic churches in 1054. The formation of various kinds of religious organizations is almost directly related to the political and social life of society. Orthodox churches began to spread mainly in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Features of Faith
The basis of Orthodoxy is the Bible and the Sacredtradition. The latter provides for the adopted laws of the Ecumenical and Local Councils, which for all time was only seven, as well as the works of the holy fathers of the church and the canonical theologians. To understand the characteristics of faith, you need to study its origins. It is known that at the first Ecumenical Councils 325 and 381 years. The Symbol of Faith was adopted, which summarized the whole essence of the Christian dogma. All these basic principles, the Orthodox churches were called eternal, unchanging, incomprehensible to the mind of the ordinary man and informed by the Lord Himself. Their preservation in inviolability and became the main duty of religious figures.
Personal salvation of the human soul depends onfulfillment of the ritual order of the Church, thus becoming involved in the Divine grace given through the sacraments: priesthood, chrismation, baptism in infancy, repentance, communion, weddings, anointing, etc.
Orthodox churches spend all these sacraments inservices and prayers, they also attach great importance to religious holidays and fasts, teach the observance of the commandments of God that Moses gave Himself, and the fulfillment of his covenants described in the Gospel.
The main content of Orthodoxy is inlove of one's neighbor, in mercy and compassion, in the denial of resistance to evil by violence, which, in general, constitutes understandable universal norms of life. The emphasis is also placed on transferring the uncomplaining suffering sent by the Lord, in order to be cleansed from sin, to pass the test and strengthen the faith. In special veneration of God, the saints of the Orthodox Church: sufferers, beggars, blessed, holy fools, hermits and deserters.
Organization and role of the Orthodox Church
A single head in a church or a spiritual center inthere is no Orthodoxy. According to religious history, there are 15 autocephalous independent churches in their administration, of which 9 are headed by patriarchs, and the rest are metropolitans and archbishops. In addition, there are autonomous churches, independent of autocephaly in the system of internal management. In turn, autocephalous churches are divided into dioceses, vicariate, deanery and parishes.
The patriarchs and metropolitans direct the life of the church together with the Synod (under the patriarchy, a collegiate organ of the higher ecclesiastical persons), and they are elected for life at the Local Councils.
Orthodox churches are characterized by a hierarchicalprinciple of management. All the clergy are divided into lower, middle, higher, black (monasticism) and white (the rest). The canonical dignity of these Orthodox churches has its official list.
Orthodox churches are divided into a universal(world) Orthodoxy, which includes the four oldest patriarchates: Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, and the newly formed local churches: Russian, Georgian, Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Cypriot, Hellas, Athens, Poland, Czech and Slovak, American.
Today there are also autonomous churches: the Moscow Patriarchate has Japanese and Chinese, Jerusalem has Sinai, of Constantinople - Finnish, Estonian, Cretan and other, jurisdictions that are not recognized by world Orthodoxy, which are considered to be non-canonical.
History of Russian Orthodoxy
After the baptism in 988 of Kievan Rus PrinceVladimir, an educated Russian Orthodox Church for a long time belonged to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and was his metropolis. He appointed metropolitans from the Greeks, but in 1051 the Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion stood at the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Before the fall of Byzantium in 1448, the ROC gained independence from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. At the head of the church stood the Moscow Metropolitan Jonah, and in 1589 for the first time in Russia appeared his patriarch Job.
Moscow Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church (it is also calledMoscow Orthodox Church) was established in 1325, today it has more than 1,500 temples. To the monasteries and parishes of the diocese belong 268 chapels. Numerous districts of the diocese are united in 1153 parishes and 24 monasteries. In the diocese, in addition, there are three co-religionist parishes completely subordinate to the bishop of the Moscow diocese of the ROC Metropolitan Krutitsy and Kolomna Juvenal.