If you’d like to view a map of the Orthodox churches in the United States, there are several places you can go. The Association of the Religion Data Archives and the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA both maintain excellent websites that provide maps of Orthodox membership in each state. You can also visit these sites to see a breakdown of Orthodox churches by county. The information provided by these websites can help you determine which counties are the largest Orthodox communities.
Autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox churches
There are several types of Orthodox churches, both of which have their own government. The most senior are the patriarchates of the four ancient Orthodox countries, followed by the five younger patriarchates. Patriarchates in the world are divided into autonomous and autocephalous types, with the Church of Russia recognizing the expanded order. In addition to the patriarchates, there are also churches with historical ties to the Russian Orthodox church. The diptychs of the Moscow Patriarchate include Georgia and Serbia, as well as Cyprus and the OCA.
The American Orthodox Church began the process of identifying autonomous and autocephalous Churches in the United States. The first step towards this was the creation of the Orthodox federation. These organizations aimed to bind parishes into dioceses or archdioceses. During the cold war, the rise of McCarthyism and other political developments in Russia prompted many Russian Americans to question their loyalty to their mother church. The anti-Communist rhetoric of newly arrived displaced people further compounded the accusations.
In the United States, the Old Believers live in isolated communities. Their ways of life and language are endangered by the younger generation, who are less interested in their customs and traditions. Old Believers in the United States often immigrate from other countries, and Molokans are helping them adjust to life in the United States. The first harbintsy and sin’tsziantsy arrived in Oregon in the 1960s. While most Old Believers live in North America, there are still many living in the South.
In Russia, the Old Believers were once banned because of their beliefs. However, they returned to the church after the collapse of the Soviet Union. During the 1990s, tourism helped the villages rebuild their economies and the Old Believers are now included on the orthodox church map. UNESCO funded the cultural activities in the villages and named Semeiskie as one of the 19 Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In 2004, the Russian Ministry of Culture made the Old Believer choir tour the world.
Russian Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church has multiple locations. In Siberia, there are three Orthodox dioceses. Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Dagestan each have their own official maps. The city of Novosibirsk is located in the Russian Far East. In 2007, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk was elected Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ with 508 votes out of 700 cast. Enthronement took place on 1 February 2009. These constituent parts of the ROC are legally independent states.
Patriarchate. In 1589, Constantinople created the patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1721, Peter the Great abolished the patriarchate and installed a holy synod to rule the church. In 1917, the Russian Revolution broke out, and persecutions against the Church began. Patriarch Tikhon was outspoken against the Communists in his early years as patriarch, but after spending a year in prison, he moderated his position.
Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church
The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church is a diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, and is governed by the Patriarchate of Moscow. It has thirty-five parishes and eighty percent of the faithful. Historically, this church had been subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church. Before World War II, there were approximately two hundred and fifty-eight parishes, sixty priests, and thirty deacons.
During the Soviet era, the Russian Patriarchate had a hard time recognizing the new Estonian Orthodox church. Consequently, it accepted the Estonian Orthodox community under its jurisdiction. In September of that year, the Orthodox community in Estonia had been split into two separate entities: the Estonian Apostolic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. The Ecumenical Patriarchate announced their intention to reactivate the Tome of 1923, and reestablish the Autonomous Estonia Apostolic Church.
The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church’s delegates will register in the chancellery of the Church council beginning on 17 March. In addition, they will receive their ticket for the assembly, printed materials explaining the schedule and information about the church. On the following day, the first general assembly will begin, starting at twelve. The Church council has applied for permission to use certain buildings and to hold assemblies. Once approved, the Church will begin working within its boundaries and with the State.