A List of 15 Most Biggest Local Orthodox Churches

The Orthodox Church is a family of Local Churches, just like the Churches of the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Romans, the Thessalonians, the Colossians etc, as described in the letters written to them by the holy Apostle Paul. Each of the Local Orthodox Churches has a main administrative figure, a chief bishop known as a Patriarch, or in the case of smaller Churches, a Metropolitan or Archbishop. However, the Church as a whole has no earthly head, because the head of the Orthodox Church is our Lord Jesus Christ. His authority is expressed in the Orthodox Church through the Holy Spirit as revealed particularly through Church Councils and the saints. Below you will find details of the Orthodox Churches and their approximate sizes, totalling: Bishops: 1,023. Priests: 79,592. Parishes: 71,993. Monasteries: 2,988. Faithful: 220,000,000.

1. Russia

Bishops: 419. Priests: 40,000. Parishes: 36,878. Monasteries: 1.000. Faithful: 164,011,000. This is the only real multinational Orthodox Church and accounts for 75% of all Orthodox. It cares for Orthodox living on canonical Russian Orthodox territory, spread over one fifth of the planet (the former Soviet Union except for Georgia, plus China and Japan) and peopled by over 62 nationalities. These territories include the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Transcarpathia (the main part of Carpatho-Russia), Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Baltic Republics. The Russian Church also includes the self-governing New-York-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (mainly in the three continents of the Americas and Oceania), the Japanese Orthodox Church and the Chinese Orthodox Church, as well as Exarchates for Paris and Western Europe and Singapore and South-East Asia.

2. Romania

Bishops: 57. Priests: 15, 513. Parishes: 13,527. Monasteries: 637. Faithful: 18,800,000. Also known as the Patriarchate of Bucharest, apart from in Romania there are also many Romanian parishes in the Diaspora, especially in Western Europe.

3. Serbia

Bishops: 53. Priests: 3.000. Parishes: 2,974. Monasteries: 204. Faithful: 8,000,000. The canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Belgrade covers Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia. There are also many parishes in the Serbian Diaspora.

4. Greece

Bishops: 108. Priests: 9,117. Parishes: 8,000. Monasteries: 598. Faithful: 8,000,000. Under the Archbishop of Athens, this Church cares for all Orthodox in Greece.

5. Constantinople

Bishops: 131. Priests: 5, 935. Parishes: 3,196. Monasteries: 148. Faithful: 5,250,000. This includes Greek Orthodox in Istanbul (about 1,000), those on Greek islands such as Crete and Rhodes (700,000), and above all the Greek Diaspora in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia. There are also twenty-four parishes in Finland and small groups of other Non-Greek Orthodox, mainly Ukrainian, elsewhere. It has 58 titular bishops.

6. Bulgaria

Bishops: 29. Priests: 1,500. Parishes: 2,600. Monasteries: 120. Faithful: 4,500,000. The Patriarchate of Sofia covers Bulgaria and a number of churches in the Diaspora.

7. Georgia

Bishops: 47. Priests: 1,100. Parishes: 550. Monasteries: 172. Faithful: 3,500,000. The Patriarchate of Tbilisi covers Georgia and a small Georgian Diaspora.

8. Antioch

Bishops: 44. Priests: 408. Parishes: 496. Monasteries: 32. Faithful: 3,000,000. The canonical territory of the Arab Patriarch, who lives in Damascus, includes Syria, the Lebanon and Iraq.

9. Alexandria

Bishops: 45. Priests: 500. Parishes: 1,000. Monasteries: 3. Faithful: 3,000,000. Although for historical reasons its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate is in Egypt. It also cares for St Catherine’s Monastery on Mt Sinai, but most of its faithful are Africans in over 54 African countries.

10. Cyprus

Bishops: 18. Priests: 600. Parishes: 628. Monasteries: 28. Faithful: 650,000. Under an Archbishop, this Church cares for all Greek Orthodox in Cyprus.

11. Poland

Bishops: 12. Priests: 420. Parishes: 237. Monasteries: 13. Faithful: 600,000. Under the Metropolitan of Warsaw, this Church cares for Orthodox of all origins who live mainly in eastern Poland.

12. Albania

Bishops: 8. Priests: 154. Parishes: 909. Monasteries: 1. Faithful: 200,000. Under the Archbishop of Tirana, this Church cares for Orthodox in southern Albania, most of whom are of Greek origin.

13. The Czech Lands and Slovakia

Bishops: 7. Priests: 197. Parishes: 240. Monasteries: 4. Faithful: 170,000. Led by a Metropolitan, this Church cares for Carpatho-Russian, Slovak and Czech Orthodox, as well as large numbers of Ukrainian Orthodox immigrants.

14. Jerusalem

Bishops: 25. Priests: 50. Parishes: 50. Monasteries: 25. Faithful: 130,000. Although its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, the flock consists of Palestinian Orthodox in Palestine and the Jordan.

15. OCA

Bishops: 20. Priests: 1,098. Parishes: 699. Monasteries: 3. Faithful: 90,000. Not recognized by all Orthodox, this group is composed mainly of the descendants of Slav immigrants from the old Austro-Hungarian Empire to North America, especially to Pennsylvania.

Editor

About the author

The Editor of the Catalog of Good Deeds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Know everything about Orthodoxy? We can tell you a bit more!

Subscribe for our weekly newsletter not to miss the most interesting articles on our blog.

shares