by Frederica Mathewes-Green
The word "orthodox" means "right belief" or "right praise."
The "Orthodox Church" is also known as the "Eastern Orthodox Church."
In the years after Jesus' Resurrection, apostles and missionaries traveled throughout the known world spreading the Gospel. Soon five major locations were established as centers for the faith: Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople. In the year 1054 the Roman church broke from this united Church, and five hundred years later Protestant churches began breaking away from Rome. But the original Church has remained united in the Apostolic Faith since the first century. This is Orthodoxy.
- On the one hand, it is the oldest Church in Christendom. On the other hand, it's new to most people in North America.
- It is the second largest body in Christendom with 225 million people worldwide. But in the U.S. and Canada there are less than six million.