Symbol:

Is used most often by Eastern Catholics and Russian Orthodox, this Cross is the Byzantine Cross with the footrest at a diagonal. This slant is said to represent one of a few things– the footrest wrenched loose from the Christ's writhing in intense physical suffering; lower side representing "down," the fate of sinners, while the elevated side represents Heaven;– the lower side represents the bad thief (known to us as Gestas through the apocryphal "Acts of Pilate" ("Gospel of Nicodemus") while the elevated side to Christ's right represents the thief who would be with Him in Paradise ,the "X" shape of the slanted "footrest" against the post symbolizes the cross on which St. Andrew was crucified.

 

Origin:

The Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Eastern Church understands itself to preserve the faith of the original apostolic Christian church. Hence the name Orthodox (“correct teaching or worship”). The older Orthodox churches, usually known as patriarchates and afforded special status, trace their foundation to one of the 12 apostles, the four ancient patriarchates being Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.

 

History:

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. It was influenced more by Greek culture and language than Roman, and over the centuries relations between the two power bases – Constantinople and Rome – grew more tense over political and theological differences. In 1054, the Great Schism – resulting from disagreements over the Roman Pope’s claim to supremacy and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit – led to the split between the Eastern Church (centered in Constantinople, now Istanbul) and the Western Church (centred in Rome).

 

The eastern church spread northwards into Russia and Slavic countries. With the conversion of Prince Vladimir in 988 CE, the Russian Orthodox Church was created and it is now the largest and most influential of the Orthodox churches. Orthodoxy remained the official faith in Russia for over 900 years until the Russian Revolution in 1917. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 CE ushered in a new era for the Eastern Orthodox churches of Asia Minor, Greece and the Balkans. In this context of domination by a non-Christian power, the church and church membership became a focal point for national as well as spiritual identity for many people.

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

 

Beliefs:

1.GOD THE FATHER is the fountainhead of the Holy Trinity.

2. JESUS CHRIST is the Second Person of the Trinity, eternally born of the Father.

3. THE HOLY SPIRIT is one of the Persons of the Trinity and is one in essence with the Father.

4. INCARNATION refers to Jesus Christ coming "in the flesh."

5. SIN literally means "to miss the mark."

6. SALVATION is the divine gift through which men and women are delivered from sin and death, united to Christ, and brought into His eternal Kingdom

7. MARY is called Theotokos, meaning "God-bearer" or "the Mother of God,"

8.HELL, unpopular as it is among modern people, is real because she bore the Son of God in her womb and from her He took His humanity

9. CREATION. Orthodox Christians confess God as Creator of heaven and earth

10. PREMARITAL SEX. The Orthodox Christian Faith firmly holds to the biblical teaching that sexual intercourse is reserved for marriage.

 

Misconceptions:

1. Their church discourages bible reading.

2. They worship Mary and therefore commit Idolatory.

3. The Pope is infallible in all things

4. Opposed to science and rejects evolution.

5. Priests can’t get married