Orthodox Christianity has grown in America. It has more members than the Episcopal Church and is more widespread than all branches of Judaism combined.
The church has many different ethnicities, but most of its members are Russian or Eastern European. They are also very active in philanthropic projects.
St. Nicholas Church
Many Orthodox Christians in America proudly trace their ancestry to lands and cultures of Greece, Russia, the Middle East and the Balkans. In the great wave of immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, these immigrants brought with them a precious heritage and a gift: the ancient faith of Orthodoxy.
The Russian Orthodox Church in Queens, NY, traces its roots to the people who arrived here during this period. Founded in the early 1900s, this parish is today home to members of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds: Russian, Galician, Carpatho-Russian, Greek, Ukrainian, Belorussian, American, Romanian, Italian, and others.
The church was formally named on Sunday, November 13, 1955, by Archbishop Michael, who held the Hierarchial Divine Liturgy. The parishioners chose the name “St. Nicholas” by a vote.
St. George Church
Founded in 1702, St. George Church, located in Flushing, Queens, NY has served an intercultural congregation since the 18th century with members from over twenty nations of origin. The church, along with the Old Parish House and Graveyard, is a New York City designated landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
The church was designed in the traditional Russian Orthodox style by Roman Meltzer, a noted architect who had served as a court architect in Russia for several years. In the late 1950s, it was redecorated with murals by Pimen M. Sofronoff, a well-known Russian iconographer.
The church is a member of the Episcopal Church and has had a number of pastors throughout its history, including Fr. Mina Yanni, who has been serving the church from its inception to the present. In 1978, he was elevated to the rank of Archpriest by Pope Shenouda III. Other priests serving the church include Fr. Armia Taofiles, who was ordained in 2000, Fr. Luke Awad, who was ordained in 2005, and Fr. Gabriel Assad who was ordained in 2015.
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine was destroyed by the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. After years of negotiations with the Port Authority, the Greek Orthodox Church was granted permission to rebuild a new church and shrine.
The new church is located in an elevated park overlooking the rebuilt trade center’s memorial plaza. Santiago Calatrava designed the church.
Despite the grand design, completion of the project was delayed because of financial problems and a lack of funds. The archdiocese is now reportedly seeking a loan from Alma Bank to help pay off its debts.
The church, which has been renamed Nicholas the Heroic, is now the second structure built at the WTC campus to be designed by Calatrava. In addition to the octagonal church, he also created the winged transit hub, commonly known as the Oculus.
St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
Located in Whitestone, Queens, NY, St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church is a modern building that feels futuristic because of the exaggerated arches and curvy design. It also features a blue onion dome and silver tiles on the exterior.
This is the spiritual center of the neighborhood, and the relics of saints that are gathered here help people pray in their hardest needs and heal their worst sicknesses. It is a very beautiful cathedral.
The congregation of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church was formed in the 1890s to serve a growing number of Russian immigrants in New York City. In 1901 the first stone was laid on the site at 97th Street and Fifth Avenue.
During the Soviet period the church became a battleground between czarist and Communist Russias. Its rector, Father Kedrovsky, was forced to flee to Hartford in 1923 when he was attacked by the police for being anti-Communist. In April 1926 a court ruled in his favor, and he returned to his robes.