Orthodox Church - Number of Adherents

Number of Adherents

Further information: Eastern Orthodox Church by country

Based on the numbers of adherents, Orthodoxy is the second largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church. The most common estimates of the number of Orthodox Christians worldwide is approximately 225–300 million. The numerous Protestant groups in the world, if taken all together, outnumber the Orthodox, but they differ theologically and do not form a single communion.

Orthodoxy is the largest single religious faith in Greece (95%) and in Eastern Europe, including Moldova (93%), Georgia (89%), Romania (87%), Belarus (85%), Serbia (84%), Bulgaria (83%), Cyprus (80%), Ukraine (80%), Russia (75%), Montenegro (74%), and Macedonia (65%).

The number of Orthodox adherents represents about 38% of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Albania the adherents number around 7% of the population. As the dominant religion in northern Kazakhstan, it represents 20% of Kazakhstan, and 4% of Lithuania and 13% of the Estonian population. Large Orthodox Christian communities exist in the Mediterranean countries of Lebanon (8% of the whole Lebanese population) Jordan (80% of Christian population), Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Palestinian Christians) with some families able to trace their ancestry to the earliest Christians of the Holy Land. Orthodox minorities live in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary (Romanian minority), Turkey and Azerbaijan.

In addition, there are also significant Eastern Orthodox communities in the rest of Europe (including the transplanted Greek, Romanian, Serbian, Macedonian, Albanian, Bulgarian and Russian communities), Africa, Asia (see the Orthodox Church of China and Orthodox Church of Japan), Australia, and North America through the pattern of immigration from Eastern Europe and the Middle East in the last 400 or some years. In USA and Canada the Orthodox minority is growing and at present comprises between 1% and 5% of the total population.

Ancient Eastern Orthodox communities still have large populations in countries such as Lebanon, Israel and Palestine (Jerusalem and Bethlehem). Large Orthodox communities with ancient histories have been completely removed from some of their ancestral homes and therefore no longer have a presence in those locations, specifically Anatolia and Cappadocia.

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