Orthodox Church Worldwide



Orthodox church is the oldest Christian church. After Catholic Church separated from it in 1054 (and after Protestants from Catholics), and after Turks occupied most of Orthodox countries, Orthodox Church was organized depended of historical moment. Churches have Patriarch or Archbishop depending of the way they were re-established, during or after Turkish occupation. Countries which had Emperor now have Patriarchs. As the Churches don't recognized the Pope, and they are, in some way independence from each other, "First Among Equals" is Patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) Bartholomew. The most powerful, and the biggest, is, of course, Russian Orthodox Church.

The basic (and the churches where majority of population belongs to them) churches in their countries are Russian Orthodox Church (Russia, but also basic in Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova), Serbian Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Church, Cyprus Orthodox Church, Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Romanian Orthodox Church, and Georgian Orthodox Church.

Russian Orthodox Church covers all former USSR states except Georgia (autocephalous Orthodox Church) and Armenia (autocephalous Monotheist Church). Serbian Orthodox Church covers all former Yugoslav republics. Almost all Churches have their dioceses where in a countries where basic states have their Diaspora. Patriarch of Constantinople has administration government under Athos , peninsula in Greece.

Most of Churches are still using the Old calendar (Julian) so we are celebrating Christmas and New Year 13 day after other Christians do.
As a layman, I'll try to explain how you will recognize an Orthodox. When we want to make sign of cross, we do it with three fingers first head-bottom-RIGHT-left shoulder. About canon differences I won't write. If you are not lazy - read it ( Differences between Catholic Church , Differences between Protestant Church , Differences between Anglican Church ). I put some links to Churches' web sites so you can find out more. I hope it will help you to find out more about nations and countries you travel to.

Orthodoxy consists of 15 autocephalous and 4 autonomous Churches. Churches of Ethiopia and Armenia are also on the list.



The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa is the second ranking Orthodox See (after the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople) and is in communion with all the Orthodox Churches in the World and belongs to the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian Church on Earth. It has 5 dioceses in Egypt and 9 in rest parts of Africa. It has about 400,000 members, mostly in Kenya (250,000). His Beatitude "Baba" Shenouda III has title "Pope and Patriarch of the City of Alexandria, Libya, Pentapolis, Ethiopia and Whole Africa".
link (in English)


Orthodox Church in America has 12 dioceses in Canada, United States of America and Mexico with almost 1,000,000 members. It was split from Russian Church in 1970 and it has Academy of Saint Vladimir in New York. His His Eminence Metropolitan Herman has title "Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada".
link (in English)


The Church of Cyprus has 6 dioceses and about 500,000 members. His His Eminence, Chrysostomos is Archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus

Orthodox Patriarchate of Georgia has 15 dioceses. His His Beatitude Ilia has title "Patriarch of All Georgia, Archbishop of Mtsheta and Tbilisi". For a first time, Orthodox Church in Georgia was under Patriarchate of Antioch. In 18th century became part of the Russian Orthodox Church, which gave it autocephalous in the year of 1944.

Patriarch of Jerusalem Patriarchate, His Beatitude Eireneos, has title "Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine, Arabia, Transjordania, Galilea and Holy Mountine of Sion". Orthodox Arabians and not married Greek priests are members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Grave and they take care about Holy places in Palestine. 800,000 people are members of this Church (60,000 in Jordan)
link (in Greek, English and Arabian)

The Patriarchate of Antioch has about 500,000 members in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and some parts of Turkey. There is, also, 800,000 Orthodox Arabians in USA and Australia under Patriarchate of Antioch. His Beatitude Ignatius IV has title "Patriarch of the City of Antioch, Syria, Arabia, Cilicia, Georgia, Mesopotamia and All East".
link (in English and Arabian)

His All Holiness Bartholomew, Patriarch of the The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has title "Constantinople, New Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarch". Under its administration are 5 dioceses in Turkey, part of north Greece, some Greeks island, Athos and all Greeks dioceses out of Greece in Western and Middle Europe, America and Australia with several millions of members.
link (in Greek only)



Patriarch of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, His Beatitude Anastasios, has title "Archbishop of Tirana, Durres and All Albania". Orthodox population in Albania is almost 25% of population, mostly in the southern part of Albania. Also, in USA there are about 10,000 members.
link (in Albanian, Greek and English)

Head of Bulgarian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Maxim, has title "Patriarch of Bulgaria and Metropolitan of Sofia". Church has 11 dioceses in the country and one in USA. Also, it has one Spiritual Academy and a high school in Bulgaria.
link (in Bulgarian and English)

The Church of the Czech Land and Slovakia got autocephalous from Russian Orthodox church in 1951. It has 4 dioceses and about 150,000 members. His Eminence Nikolaj, Metropolitan of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is head of the Church.
link (in Czech only)

The Church of Greece has 77 dioceses and 8,000,000 members. Also, it has to Spiritual Academies (in Athens and Thessaloniki) and 11 high schools. His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece, His Eminence Christodoulos is the head of the Church.
link (in Greek and English)

His Eminence the Archbishop Sawa has title "Metropolitan of Warsaw and the Whole Poland". The Church has 4 dioceses and about 500,000 members.
link (only in Polish)

Romanian Patriarchate has 13 dioceses in the country and 3 outside of it, 2 universities and 7 high schools. His Beatitude Teoctist has title "Patriarch of All Romania, Metropolitan of Ungro-Vlachia, Archbishop of Bucharest".
link (only in Romanian)

Russian Orthodox Church or Moscow Patriarchate before the October Revolution had about 50,000 churches and 1,000 monasteries.. Now, there are only 20,000 but reparation of some of them is in progress. His His Beatitude Alexy II has title "Patriarch of Moscow and the Whole Russia".
link (in Russian and English)

Serbian Orthodox Church has 20 dioceses, 155 monasteries, two theological universities (one in Belgrade and one in USA), Orthodox Institute, 4 clerical colleges. Head of the church is His Beatitude Serbian Patriarch Pavle, Archbishop of Pec, Karlovac-Belgrade Metropolitan and Serbian Patriarch.
link (in Serbian and English)

The Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church is basic church in Armenia. The head of the Church is His Holiness Karekin II.

Ethiopian Orthodox church is the oldest of all Eastern Christianities (although Armenians would argue it).



The head of Autonomous Orthodox Church in Japan, His Eminence Daniel, has title "Archbishop of Tokyo and Metropolitan of the Whole Japan". It is part of the Russian Orthodox Church and it has around 35,000 members. Russian missionary St. Nikola Kasatkin established it in 18th century.
link (in Japanese and English)

The Church of Sinai is autonomous church of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. It has seat in Monastery of Saint Catharina on Sinai. The head is His Eminence Damianos Archbishop of Sinai and Raithu.


Finland Autonomous Orthodox has two dioceses and one clerical college. There are around 80,000 people members of the Church. His Eminence, Leo, Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland, is head of it.
link (in Finish only)

Hungarian Orthodox Church is under jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. It has around 40,000 believers.

Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church is part of the Russian Orthodox Church. The head is His Eminence, Volodymyr, Metropolitan of Kyiv and of All Ukraine.
link (in Ukrainian and Russian)

Other links


Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa - Archbishopric of Johannesburg and Pretoria

The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Canada (in English and Serbian)
Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of Canada
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese

The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America

The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Middle Europe (in German and Serbian)

Orthodox Brotherhood of Saint Joan Cassian

Holy Metropolitan of New Zealand (exarch of Korea and Japan)

Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchatein Korea (in Korean, English, Greek and Russian)

Orthodox Ireland