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Eastern Christianity

Orthodox Church of Cyprus

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

History The Orthodox Church of Cyprus is one of the oldest autocephalous churches in the eastern communion. Its independence was first recognised by the Council of Ephesus (431) and reaffirmed by the Council of Trullo (692). In spite of occupation by the French (1191-1489), the Venetians (1489-1571), and the Ottomans (1571-1832), the Church of Cyprus has always remained independent. This independence has enabled it to play an important role in the political life of the island. The church was active in the war of independence against the Turks. During the period of British control (1878-1958) the Cypriot church was at the forefront of the movement seeking union with Greece. On attaining independence in 1960, Archbishop Makarios was elected as head of the new republic. The tradition of combining the offices of head of state and head of church continued until the death of Archbishop Makarios in 1977.

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

Adherents The church has some 442,000 members (Europa Publications Limited 1995, 1:964).

Main Centre
 Archbishop of Nova Justiniana and all Cyprus, POB 1130, Arch. Kyprianos St., Nicosia; tel., (2) 474411; fax (2) 429155.