Orthodox Churches

The Orthodox church is a group of individual churches, each led by a patriarch, or senior bishop. Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia - with its striking onion domes - is under the leadership of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.

Orthodox priests often have long beards and long hair

Portable icon designed to be worn as a pendant

The Orthodox church

The form of Christianity that is strongest in eastern Europe and western Asia is known as the Orthodox church. It developed between the 9th and 11th centuries as a result of a split between eastern and western Christians, and claims to be closest to the faith as originally practised by Jesus' disciples. Like the Catholics, Orthodox Christians recognize several sacraments and venerate the Virgin Mary, but they do not recognize the authority of the pope. They place a heavy stress on holy tradition as revealed through the Bible and the collective decisions and teachings of the early church leaders.

Orthodox priests often have long beards and long hair

Greek icon showing three saints

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