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|Eastern Orthodox Church|
Based on the numbers of adherents, the Eastern Orthodox Church (also known as Eastern Orthodoxy) is the second largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church.The most common estimates of the number of Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide is approximately 200–260 million. The numerous Protestant groups in the world, if taken all together, outnumber the Eastern Orthodox, but they differ theologically and do not form a single communion.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. Roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than also by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.
Eastern Orthodoxy is the largest single religious faith in the world's largest country by area: Russia (41%-77%), where roughly half of the Eastern Orthodox Christians live. It is the majority religion in Ukraine (65.4% -77%), Romania (82%), Belarus (48% -73% ) Greece (95%-98%), Serbia (97%), Bulgaria (88%), Moldova (93%), Georgia (84%), North Macedonia (65%), Cyprus (89%) and Montenegro (72%), and it is also predominant in the disputed territories of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria.
Faith, derived from Latin fides and Old French feid, is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept. In the context of religion, one can define faith as confidence or trust in a particular system of religious belief. Religious people often think of faith as confidence based on a perceived degree of warrant, while others who are more skeptical of religion tend to think of faith as simply belief without evidence.
Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is, by a considerable margin, the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.79 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religions in the country are Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.
Significant minorities, making up between 1 and 31 per cent of the population, are present in several European countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina (43%),Latvia (18%), Estonia (14%), Albania (7%), Lithuania (4%), Croatia (4%), Slovenia (2%), and Finland (1.5%). In Asia, around the former USSR, Eastern Orthodoxy constitutes the dominant religion in northern Kazakhstan, representing 23.9%, of the population of the region, and is also a significant minority in Kyrgyzstan (17%), Turkmenistan (5%), Uzbekistan (5%), Azerbaijan (2%), and Tajikistan (1%). In Lebanon, 8% are Eastern Orthodox. In Syria, 5-8% were Eastern Orthodox prior to the war, and Eastern Orthodox Christians represent between 0.5% and 2.5% in Palestine, and over 1% in Jordan. Recent immigration and missionary activity raised the numbers of the Eastern Orthodox community in Catholic and Protestant countries such as Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada and Switzerland to roughly 2% of the population in each.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, located within the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city.
Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi). The country has a temperate seasonal climate.
The percentage of Christians in Turkey fell from 19 percent in 1914 to 2.5 percent in 1927,due to events which had a significant impact on the country's demographic structure, such as the Armenian Genocide, the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, and the emigration of Christians to foreign countries (mostly in Europe and the Americas). Today there are more than 160,000 people of different Christian denominations.
Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).
Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, the part of Turkey in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city while Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.
The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, was the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of 700,000 to 1.5 million Armenians, mostly citizens of the Ottoman Empire. The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day that Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and deported from Constantinople to the region of Angora (Ankara), 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, the majority of whom were eventually murdered. The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases—the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly, and the infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian Desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. Other ethnic groups were similarly targeted for extermination in the Assyrian genocide and the Greek genocide, and their treatment is considered by some historians to be part of the same genocidal policy. Most Armenian diaspora communities around the world came into being as a direct result of the genocide.
The number of members of the Eastern Orthodox Church in each country has been subject to a lot of debate. Each study performed that seeks to discover the number of adherents in a country may use different criteria, and be submitted to different populations. As such, some numbers may be inflated, and therefore inaccurate. Examples of this are Greece and Russia, where estimates of adherence to Eastern Orthodoxy may reach 80-98%, but where surveys found lower percentages professing Eastern Orthodoxy or belief in God. The likely reason for this disparity is that many people in these majority Eastern Orthodox countries will culturally identify with the Eastern Orthodox Church, especially if they were baptized as children, even if they are not currently practicing. This includes those who may be irreligious, yet culturally identify with the Eastern Orthodox Church, or for whom Eastern Orthodox Christianity is listed on official state records. Other cases of incongruent data also might be due to counting ethnic groups from Eastern Orthodox countries rather than actual adherents. A case of this is the United States, which has large numbers of immigrants from Eastern Orthodox countries. The Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions often reported large numbers of members, which together would total 2-3 million across the country. However, a 2010 study by Alexei Krindatch sought data from each parish, with the specific criteria of annual participation. This study produced the "Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches", and discovered that there were only about 817,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians actively practicing their faith (that is to say, attending church services on a regular basis) in the United States. The study explained that such a difference was due to a variety of circumstances, for example the higher numbers having counted all people who self-identify as Eastern Orthodox on a census regardless of active participation, or all people belonging to ethnic groups originating in Eastern Orthodox countries. This study, while initially controversial, proved groundbreaking, and has since been officially approved for use by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America is an organization of church hierarchs of Eastern Orthodox Churches in United States.
As such, any data used to figure the population of Eastern Orthodox per nation, should be understood as estimated rather than exact. Additionally, total numbers of Eastern Orthodox Christians throughout the world may be anywhere from 150 million to 300 million, depending on the studies and definitions which are used.
|Country||Total Population||% Eastern Orthodox||Eastern Orthodox total|
|2,621,977||6.75% (as per census, number likely upwards of 20%)||148,992 (census unreliable, deemed corrupt, number is expected to be much higher)|
|84,550,000||0.39%||350,000[ citation needed ]|
|1,433,842||1.48% (as per census)||25,837 (census boycotted by Northern Kosovo, and by a part of Serbs in the south)|
|145,500,000||46.6% -77.0%||58,800,000 -101,450,000|
The Eastern Orthodox Church is organized as a union of several autocephalous subdivisions, which are also called "Churches" (or, sometimes, "jurisdictions"). Some are associated with a specific country, while others are not. This table presents some known data regarding individual jurisdictions. "NA" means that data is not available.
Autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical Christian Church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. The term is primarily used in Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches. The status has been compared with that of the churches (provinces) within the Anglican Communion.
|Czech Lands & Slovakia||6||NA||NA||NA||172|
|Orthodox Church in America||14||NA||NA||20||700|
Religion in Canada encompasses a wide range of groups and beliefs.
Christianity in Albania was established throughout the country in 325 AD. From 1100 AD, the Byzantine Empire carried out Church missions in the area. In relation to the increasing influence of Venice, the Franciscans started to settle down in the area in the 13th century. From the 15th century to the 19th century, under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Christianity was replaced by Islam as the majority religion in Albania dring the Ottoman Empire. The Albanian government gives the percentages of religious affiliations with only 36% Muslim, 28% Eastern Orthodox, 21% Catholic and 15% atheist or nonreligious since the fall of Communism in 1991, yet the 2011 census did not get most of the population due to poor counting of the population and the inability to reach most citizens. In the 2011 census the declared religious affiliation of the population was: 56.7% Muslims, 13.79% undeclared, 10.03% Catholics, 6.75% Orthodox believers, 5.49% other, 2.5% atheists, 2.09% Bektashis and 0.14% other Christians. However, due to the low number of people actually reached during the collection of data for the census, especially in Catholic and Orthodox regions, this census can be viewed as not wholly accurate.
Religion in Russia is diverse with Christianity, especially Eastern Orthodox Christianity, being the most widely professed faith, but with significant minorities of irreligious people, Muslims and Pagans. A 1997 law on religion recognises the right to freedom of conscience and creed to all the citizenry, the spiritual contribution of Orthodox Christianity to the history of Russia, and respect to "Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other religions and creeds which constitute an inseparable part of the historical heritage of Russia's peoples", including ethnic religions or Paganism, either preserved or revived. According to the law, any religious organisation may be recognised as "traditional" if it was already in existence before 1982, and each newly founded religious group has to provide its credentials and re-register yearly for fifteen years, and, in the meantime until eventual recognition, stay without rights.
Religion in Egypt controls many aspects of social life and is endorsed by law. The state religion of Egypt is Islam. Although estimates vary greatly in the absence of official statistics. Since the 2006 census religion has been excluded, and thus available statistics are estimates made by religious and non-governmental agencies. The country is majority Sunni Muslim, with the next largest religious group being Coptic Christians. The exact numbers are subject to controversy, with Christians alleging that they have been systemically under-counted in existing censuses.
As of the year 2015, Christianity has more than 2.3 billion adherents, out of about 7.5 billion people. The faith represents one-third of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world, with the three largest groups of Christians being the Catholic Church, Protestantism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The largest Christian denomination is the Catholic Church, with 1.2 billion adherents. The second largest Christian branch is either Protestantism, or the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Religion in Europe has been a major influence on today's society, art, culture, philosophy and law. The largest religion in Europe is Christianity, but irreligion and practical secularization are strong. Three countries in Southeastern Europe have Muslim majorities. Ancient European religions included veneration for deities such as Zeus. Modern revival movements of these religions include Heathenism, Rodnovery, Romuva, Druidry, Wicca, and others. Smaller religions include the Dharmic religions, Judaism, and some East Asian religions, which are found in their largest groups in Britain, France, and Kalmykia.
Serbia has been traditionally a Christian country since the Christianization of Serbs by Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum in the 9th century. The dominant confession is Eastern Orthodoxy of the Serbian Orthodox Church. During the Ottoman rule of the Balkans, Sunni Islam established itself in the territories of Serbia, mainly in southern regions of Raška and Preševo Valley, as well as in the disputed territory of Kosovo and Metohija. The Catholic Church has roots in the country since the presence of Hungarians in Vojvodina, while Protestantism arrived in the 18th and 19th century with the settlement of Slovaks in Vojvodina.
Religion in Montenegro refers to adherents, communities, institutions and organizations of various religions in Montenegro. While Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religious denomination in Montenegro, there are also sizable numbers of adherents of both Catholic Christianity and Islam. The dominant Church is the Serbian Orthodox Church although traces of a forming Montenegrin Orthodox Church are present.
As of 2011, most Armenians are Christians (94.8%) and are members of Armenia's own church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is one of the oldest Christian churches. It was founded in the 1st century AD, and in 301 AD became the first branch of Christianity to become a state religion.
Religion in Ethiopia consists of a number of faiths. Among these mainly Abrahamic religions, the most numerous is Christianity totaling at 62.8%, followed by Islam at 33.9%. There is also a longstanding but small Jewish community. Some adherents of the Bahá'í Faith likewise exist in a number of urban and rural areas. Additionally, there are a few followers of traditional faiths, who mainly reside in the southwestern part of the country.
Romania is a secular state, and it has no state religion. Romania is one of the most religious countries in the European Union and a majority of the country's citizens are Christian. The Romanian state officially recognizes 18 religions and denominations. 81.04% of the country's stable population identified as part of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the 2011 census. Other Christian denominations include the Catholic Church, Calvinism (2.99%), and Pentecostal denominations (1.80%). This amounts to approximately 92% of the population identifying as Christian. Romania also has a small but historically significant Muslim minority, concentrated in Northern Dobruja, who are mostly of Crimean Tatar and Turkish ethnicity and number around 44,000 people. According to the 2011 census data, there are also approximately 3,500 Jews, around 21,000 atheists and about 19,000 people not identifying with any religion. The 2011 census numbers are based on a stable population of 20,121,641 people and exclude a portion of about 6% due to unavailable data.
Religion in Ukraine is diverse, with a majority of the population adhering to Christianity. A 2018 survey conducted by the Razumkov Centre found that 71.7% of the population declared themselves believers. About 67.3% of the population declared adherence to one or another strand of Orthodox Christianity, 7.7% 'Christian' with no declared denominational affiliation, 9.4% Ukrainian Byzantine Rite Catholics, 2.2% Protestants and 0.8% Latin Rite Catholics. Judaism was the religion of the 0.4%; while Buddhism, Paganism (Rodnovery), and Hinduism were each the religions of 0.1% of the population. A further 11.0% declared themselves non-religious or unaffiliated. According to the surveys conducted by Razumkov in the 2000s and early 2010s, such proportions have remained relatively constant throughout the last decade, while the proportion of believers overall has decreased from 76% in 2014 to 70% in 2016 and 72% in 2018. (p. 22).
Christianity in Russia is the most widely professed religion in the country, with nearly 71% of the population identifying as Orthodox Christian according to World Atlas(The Muslim population stands at 10%, and the rest - about 15% - is unaffiliated). The largest tradition is the Russian Orthodox Church. According to official sources, there are 68 eparchies of the Russian Orthodox Church. There are from 500,000 to one million Old Believers, who represent an older form of Russian Orthodox Christianity, and who separated from the Orthodox Church in the 17th century as a protest against Patriarch Nikon's church reforms.
Christianity is the main religion in Belarus, with Eastern Orthodoxy being the largest denomination. The legacy of the state atheism of the Soviet era is evident in the fact that a large part of the Belarusians are not religious. Moreover, other non-traditional and new religions have sprung up in the country after the end of the Soviet Union. According to the most recent estimations for 2011 by the Ministry of the Interior, 48.3% of the Belarusians are Orthodox Christians, 41.1% are irreligious, 7.1% are Catholics, and 3.5% are members of other religions.
The wide variety of peoples inhabiting Georgia has meant a correspondingly rich array of active religions. Today most of the population in Georgia practices Orthodox Christianity, primarily in the Georgian Orthodox Church whose faithful make up 82.4% of the population. Around 1% belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, while about 3.9% of the population follow the Armenian Apostolic Church, almost all of which are ethnic Armenians. Adherents of Islam make up 10.7% of the population and are mainly found in the Adjara and Kvemo Kartli regions and as a sizeable minority in Tbilisi. Catholics of the Armenian and Latin churches make up around 0.8% of the population and are mainly found in the south of Georgia and a small number in Tbilisi. There is also a sizeable Jewish community in Tbilisi served by two synagogues.
Christianity is the most adhered to religion in Canada, with 67.3% of Canadians identifying themselves as Christians. The preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms refers to God. The monarch carries the title of "Defender of the Faith". The French colonization beginning in the 17th century established a Roman Catholic francophone population in New France, especially Acadia and Lower Canada. British colonization brought waves of Anglicans and other Protestants to Upper Canada, now Ontario. The Russian Empire spread Orthodox Christianity in a small extent to the tribes in the far north and western coasts, particularly hyperborean nomadics like the Inuit; Orthodoxy would arrive to the mainland with immigrants from the Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc, Greece and elsewhere during the 20th century.
Estonia, which historically was a Lutheran Protestant nation, is today one of the "least religious" countries in the world in terms of declared attitudes, with only 14 per cent of the population declaring religion to be an important part of their daily life.
Religion in Hungary has been dominated by forms of Christianity for centuries. According to the 2011 census, 54.2% of the Hungarians declared to believe in Christianity, of whom 38.9% were Catholics, 13.8% were Protestants, 0.1% were Orthodox Christians, and 1.3% were members of other Christian groups. At the same time, 27.2% of the Hungarians did not declare a religious affiliation, 16.7% declared explicitly to be not religious and 1.5% atheists. Minority religions practised in Hungary include Buddhism, Islam and Judaism.
Eastern Orthodoxy in Uzbekistan refers to adherents and religious communities of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan has a Muslim majority, but some 5% of the population are Eastern Orthodox Christians, mainly ethnic Russians.
The Orthodox Slavs form a religious grouping of the Slavic peoples, including ethnic groups and nations that predominantly adhere to the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith and whose Churches follow the Byzantine Rite liturgy. Orthodoxy spread to Eastern Europe in the Early Middle Ages through Byzantine influence, and has been retained in several countries until today.
The Orthodox Church today, numbering over 250 million worldwide, is a communion of self governing Churches, each administratively independent of the other, but united by a common faith and spirituality.
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