What is Orthodoxy?

Orthodoxy is the truth about “life, the universe, and everything.” (Thank you Douglas Adams!)

OK, you knew I was gonna say that. But this isn’t like other groups’ truth-claims. In the language of Evangelicals, Orthodoxy is a world-view completely different from anything else in the world, especially in the West. I hope to provide some sense of that in this blog. But basically, Orthodoxy claims to see everything more clearly, more truthfully, than anything else, including Christianity that isn’t Orthodox. But rather than polemicize (too much!), I hope to show Orthodoxy in its own light.

Orthodoxy is the traditional Faith of the Near East, Eastern Europe, and vicinity. This includes Russians, Greeks, Arab Christians, Serbs, Romanians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Belarusans, Georgians (in the Caucasus) and others, as well as – beginning in the mid-1700s – Alaska Natives!

It began trickling West in the 1500s, and became a veritable flood in the 19th and 20th centuries, with migration and mission work. Today there may be as many as 7 million Eastern Orthodox in the U.S. and Canada, with more joining almost every week.

The Orthodox Church is one, in all these places, but with local self-government instead of a single worldwide center like Catholicism. We all share common faith, heritage, worship, principles, and structures, but with local variations and emphases.

We’re known for long hair, beards, services, and robes…but long hair and beards are strictly optional!


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