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Orthodox Christianity

Further information

Interfaith calendar

The Orthodox stream of Christianity developed from the church's spread across the eastern Roman, or Byzantine, empire in the first few centuries after Jesus.

During its history, Orthodoxy has tended to divide into independent national and ethnic groupings. Predominant among these are the Greek, Russian, Albanian, Antiochian, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian and Ukrainian Churches.

Despite these divisions, all Orthodox churches are united theologically, doctrinally and sacramentally.

Heads of Eastern Orthodox churches are known as Patriarchs. The Patriarch of Constantinople is a figurehead for all Orthodox Christians.

Orthodox Christians follow the principal festivals of the Western church, but many use the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian, so that their commemorations occur 13 days after those of the West.

Every day in the calendar of the Orthodox Church is assigned remembrance of a saint or feast.

There are around 200 million adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy world-wide.

Source: ABC website