The Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Catholic Church of Jesus Christ
The undivided Christian Church was called orthodox (the right way to glorify God) in the fourth century to distinguish their way of glorifying God (Glory be to the father, son and Holy Spirit) from that of the Arians. The entire Christian Church was Orthodox until the 11th century when the western Church separated itself with the name Roman Catholic. A few centuries later, the Roman Catholic Church got split into two, giving rise to the Protestant Churches after the reformation.
Many believe that Orthodoxy is one of the many ‘Churches’ around. They believe that Orthodoxy is just another sect of Christianity. Both contentions are wrong. ‘Orthodoxy’ simply means ‘true glory’ or ‘true faith’. The Orthodox Church is not ‘one’ of the ‘Churches’, it is the ONLY true Church of Christ. This is nothing, but TRUTH. Since the Lord has instituted one Church, then the question of many is irrelevant. Moreover, Orthodoxy cannot be called a religion, because every religion tries to meet the inner needs of man. In contrast, Orthodoxy heals the spiritually ailing man (meaning every human) and renders him holy; this being the tangible and obvious proof of her truth.
Orthodox Church is the original Christian Church, the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ as described within the pages of the New Testament. Her history can be traced in unbroken continuity all the way back to Christ and His Apostles.
Orthodox Church is the one true Catholic Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Orthodox Christianity is not simply a religion with rituals and celebrations. It is transcendental. It is a way of life. Orthodox Church has maintained the correct apostolic succession without any break or interruption. Orthodox Church has a large number of martyrs who have given their lives for Jesus Christ.
Millions of Orthodox Christians lost their lives during the attack of militant warriors in the Middle East, Asia Minor, and Syria. In recent times, also terrorist and communist rulers have assassinated millions of Orthodox Christians. Historians often call the Orthodox Church the ‘Church of Martyrs’.
The Orthodox Church is the home of great writers right from St. Cyril of Alexandria, the Cappadocian fathers and to mention of recent times, there are people like Dostoevsky, Paulose Mar Gregorious, Fr. V. C. Samuel and many others.
The Orthodox Church upholds and strictly follows the teachings of the Holy Apostles and those of the Holy Church Fathers. The Priesthood, Apostolic Succession, the Sacraments of Church life, prayers for the departed and the intercession of the saints are just some of the core elements of the Orthodox Faith.
Orthodox Church inherited the worship style of Judaism, which they created according to the vision of Isaiah.
The term ‘Orthodox’ was associated with the Church in the first century after Christ. It became more common and prolific in the fourth century (e.g. the Synodal Letter to Alexandria written by the First Ecumenical Council begins, ‘To the Church of Alexandria, by the grace of God, Holy and Great; and to our well-beloved brethren, the Orthodox clergy and laity throughout Egypt…’). Well into the 20th century, the Orthodox Church was called ‘Catholic’. The full name is the Orthodox Catholic Church, which denotes the universality of the Church. The term ‘Catholic’ simply means universal, although only the Latin Church seems to, surreptitiously, however, have patented the word. We adopted the term Orthodox to distinguish the Original Church of Christ from the heresies that sprouted during the early centuries of Christianity.
Ortho: Right as opposed to wrong
dox: Glory or praise
Christ: Jesus Christ in whom our faith is rooted
Ian: One who strives to live as Christ did
Families of Orthodox Churches
There are different types of Orthodox Churches. Apart from Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, there exist various independent Orthodox Churches. Please note that the list is not complete.
The Orthodox Church compromises three different families of Churches
(Old Believers, Old Calendar, Traditional, Unrecognized, Non-Canonical and new generation Orthodox Churches are not in communion with Eastern or Oriental Orthodox Churches).