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Eastern Christianity

The Orthodox Church of Greece

Doctrines On all major issues the Orthodox Church of Greece is in agreement with other Eastern Orthodox Churches. (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)

History The Orthodox Church of Greece considers itself to be in direct continuity with the early Christian communities of Thessalonica, Philippi, Corinth, and Athens which were founded by Saint Paul. After the division of eastern and western Christendom of 1054 the Church of Greece remained under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Following the liberation of Greece from the Turkish empire in 1833 the bishops of Greece proclaimed their church to be self-governing. In 1850 Constantinople recognised the Church of Greece's independence.
With the end of the first world war the Church's membership soared as a result of an influx of refugees from Turkey. Between 1910 and 1920 Church membership increased from 2,000,000 to 6,000,000.
This growth coincided with the emergence of a number of important lay movements which were set up to reform and renew Orthodox Christian values. The most famous of these is the Zoe (life) Brotherhood which promotes Christian education. The success of this movement has inspired the Church to found the Apostolic Service whose purpose is to publish theological and religious works.

Symbols Festal icons, Mary as Theotokos, Christ as Pantocrator, Christ as Deisis. (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)
The Greek Cross is depicted in such a way that the transverse branch divides the upright shaft into equal parts so that all arms are of equal length.

Adherents The Orthodox Church of Greece has 9,025,000 (Europa Publications Limited 1995, 1:1356).

Main Centre
 Odos Ioannou Gennadiou 14, 11521 Athens; tel. (1) 7218381.