History Of The Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Churches trace their roots back to the Apostles and Jesus Christ. Apostolic succession established the seats of Patriarchy (for example see the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem). Orthodoxy reached its golden age during the high point of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, taken over by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church before it continued to flourish in Russia after the Fall of Constantinople. Numerous autocephalous churches have been established in Eastern Europe and Slavic areas.
Four stages of development can be distinguished in the history of the Orthodox Churches. Early Christianity, which is roughly the first three centuries through the early age of Constantine the Great, constitutes the Apostolic and ancient period. The Byzantine period, beginning with the First seven Ecumenical Councils, comprises over eleven centuries from the First Council of Nicaea in 325 to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Ottoman period starts, roughly, for the Greek and Balkan communities in the fifteenth century with the Fall of Constantinople, and ends about the year 1830, which marks Greek and Serbian independence from the Ottoman Empire. The last stage is the modern period.
The Orthodox Churches with the largest number of adherents in modern times are the Russian and the Romanian Orthodox churches. The most ancient of the Orthodox churches of today are the Churches of Armenia, Constantinople, Alexandria (which includes all of Africa), Georgia, Antioch and Jerusalem.
Read more about History Of The Orthodox Church: Apostolic Era, The Pentarchy, The Eastern Monastic or Ascetic Tradition, Ecumenical Councils, Medieval Period, Tensions With The Papacy, The Crusades Against The Orthodox, Establishment of The Roman Catholic Latin Empire, Hesychast Controversy, Ottoman Empire, Republic of Turkey, Orthodoxy in Other Muslim-majority States of The Middle East and Central Asia, Russia Under Mongol Rule, Orthodox Church in China, The Eastern Catholic Churches or Byzantine Rite Churches, Russian Orthodox Church in The Russian Empire, Russian Orthodox Church in The Soviet Union, World War II, Diaspora Emigration To The West, Church Today
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