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The Greek Orthodox Church

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is one of the three major branches of
Christianity, which "stands in today's society as one of the communities created
by the apostles of Jesus in the region of the eastern Mediterranean, and which
spread by missionary activity throughout Eastern Europe" (Meyendorff 5).The word
orthodox comes from Greek, meaning right-believing. currently the orthodox
religion has more than 174 million followers throughout the world.
The Greek Orthodox church is autocephalous, that is, governed by its own
head bishop. The head bishops of this autocephalous church may be called
patriarch, metropolitan, or archbishop. These clergymen are much like the Pope
in that they decide church doctrine and generally make the important decision on
controversial topics.
In its doctrinal statements, 'the Greek Orthodox church strongly affirms
that it holds the original Christian faith, which was common to East and West
during the first millennium of Christian history" (Meyendorff 18).
More particularly, it recognizes the authority of the ecumenical
councils at which East and West were represented together. These were the
councils of Nicaea I (325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus(431), Chalcedon(451),
Constantinople II (553), Constantinople III (680), and Nicaea II (787) (Encarta
1996). The power of teaching and guiding the community is bestowed on certain
ministries, particularly that of the bishop of each diocese or is directed
through certain institutions, such as councils. Because the church is composed<...

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