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Eastern Christianity

Orthodox Church in America

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

History The Orthodox faith came to America through the missionary activities of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church established itself in 1784 in Alaska, which at that time was Russian territory. In 1872 the episcopal see moved from Sitka, Alaska to San Francisco; then in 1905 to New York.
After the Russian revolution relations with the Russian Orthodox Church were broken. An attempt at reunion with the Russian Church in 1946 led to a division among the American Orthodox between those who supported reunion and those who opposed it. This problem was resolved in 1970 when the Russian Orthodox Church granted autocephalous status to the Orthodox Church in America.

Symbols Festal icons, Christ as Pantocrator, Mary as Theotokos. (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)

Adherents The church currently has 600,000 members (Europa Publications Limited 1995, 2:3289).

Main Centre
 POB 675, Syosset, New York 11791; tel. (516) 922-0550.