Saint John Russian Orthodox Church Washington DC

st john russian orthodox church washington dc

Saint John Russian Orthodox Church Washington DC is one of the most dedicated and faithful parishes of the Russian Church Abroad. Its services are top-notch, boasting beautiful choirs that sing with incredible power.

In the 1980s, parishioners faced a difficult choice: they could lose their Orthodox Liturgical traditions due to the Synod of Bishops of Orthodox Church in America adopting the Revised Julian Calendar (new-calendar). Despite these pressures, parishioners overwhelmingly voted in favor of keeping their Old Style Calendar.


On the west side of Washington, DC, Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is an impressive church that should not be missed when visiting this breathtaking United States city.

The parish was established by Russian refugees who had been dislocated during World War II and resettled in Washington, DC. On June 5, 1910 Father Vasily Oranovsky celebrated the first Divine Liturgy at Short Street school hall on behalf of Archbishop Platon of New York by petitioning him for establishment of a parish there.

Fr. John Havriliak dedicated himself to expanding the repertoire of sacred music at St. Michael’s Parish Choir, transcribing new pieces by hand and initiating chanting of the Great Canon at Matins, which has since become an established parish tradition.


St John Russian Orthodox Church Washington DC offers services of the Russian Orthodox faith. The parish provides a range of offerings, such as liturgical services, spiritual counseling, youth programs and community outreach initiatives.

Established in 1914, St John the Baptist Church is one of hundreds of Orthodox churches founded by faithful immigrants to America who brought with them a deep desire to establish an authentic House of Worship. Through love, ambition and faith they were able to persevere despite many difficulties encountered while settling in their new homeland.

Fr John had an extraordinary ability to nurture the faith of these Carpatho-Russian immigrants. He served as an inspiring example and motivator to his flock, encouraging them to deepen their relationship with God, become more committed members of the Orthodox Church, and be courageous in their spiritual life.


St John Russian Orthodox Church Washington Dc’s story is one of faith and determination, recounting the thousands of Orthodox Christians who left their homeland in search of a new land where they could worship Almighty God in an authentic yet familiar manner, true to their heritage and traditions.

Their desire to build a House of Worship in their new country provided the motivation that kept these believers committed to spiritual life. Even as they grappled with unfamiliar customs, language, and traditions, their love and devotion to Christ and His Church provided them with strength to persevere despite all hardships that came their way.

During these trying years, the parish had no resident priest and relied on a succession of temporary assistants for religious education. Rev. Nikolai Bellavin taught Russian School during the Great Depression, while Fr. Nicklai Telep oversaw religious education for children and adults, published booklets about Orthodoxy, and inaugurated English Matins services for young people.


The church has a proud heritage of serving its parish and surrounding area. Contact the church for details on services and events taking place throughout the year.

The Cathedral Academy is a program that helps children, young people and adults grow in their religious faith through classes offered in both English and Russian. It’s open to everyone interested in learning about Orthodox faith practices.

St John’s Orthodox Cathedral has been teaching Orthodox faith since 1949. It follows the Old Style Julian Calendar with services available in both English and Church Slavonic languages.

The Cathedral is part of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Church in America and overseen by its Synod of Bishops. Its history can be traced back to its rebellion against Roman Catholicism.

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