The Russian Orthodox Church is a trinitarian Christian faith that adheres to the Bible and accepts Jesus Christ as the Son of God. They also believe salvation comes through personal relationship with God through Jesus and the sacraments.
The Russian Orthodox Church is structured hierarchically, with smaller eparchies (Russian: prikhod) being led by a priest acting as Father superior (Russian: nastoiatel’), and larger ones overseen by bishops. These dioceses may form exarchates (Russian: eksarch) or metropolitan districts (Russian: mitropolichii okrug).
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The Holy Trinity
Orthodox Christianity holds that the Holy Trinity is one of its core doctrines. Consisting of three divine persons–the Father, Son and Holy Spirit–this being known as one God yet each possessing unique attributes.
Eastern Christians view the Trinity as the Creator, Redeemer and Light of the world. It also forms the basis for their theological view of sin – which they define as an implacable sickness that hinders one from fulfilling God’s design for their life.
Orthodox Christians strive to achieve theosis, or deification. This means becoming like God and reflecting His image in their thoughts and deeds. To achieve this goal, Orthodox believers believe that individuals must strive for perfection in every area of their life.
The Resurrection of Christ
The Resurrection of Christ is a cornerstone doctrine in Christianity and the foundation of Christian hope. It holds that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, providing believers with eternal life through His resurrection.
The Russian Orthodox Church has a long-standing political presence in Russia. It endured Soviet rule as a state-controlled religious facade, but was restored to membership and political power during the early 1990s.
The Holy Spirit
Orthodox Christianity emphasizes the Holy Spirit as an essential aspect of faith. Indeed, according to Orthodox teachings, He has been present with God the Father and Son from eternity.
Orthodox churches symbolize and recall our meeting with eternal Divinity. Icons (pictures) serve as “windows into the kingdom of God”.
Orthodox Christianity emphasizes the value of Holy Tradition, which is composed by saints and pious Christians throughout history. This treasure trove contains Scripture readings, prayers, hymns, and canons composed by these revered teachers.
The Holy Eucharist is the central ritual in Orthodox Christian worship. It commemorates Christ’s life, death and resurrection with thanksgiving.
In the Eucharist, bread and wine are transformed by the Holy Spirit into the Body and Blood of Christ – this process is known as transubstantiation.
At the liturgy, bread and wine are offered to God with prayer, then transformed by the priest into the Body and Blood of Christ.
The Russian Orthodox Church holds that the Eucharist is the foundation of Christian salvation and deification.
The sacraments are the means by which God works in our lives. These include baptism, chrismation (confirmation in Western Rites), Eucharist, confession, ordination and marriage.
Baptism is the most essential sacrament in Christianity and gives one access to all other sacraments. According to Orthodox teachings, baptism signifies one’s new birth as a child of God and marks the start of one’s journey as an adopted child of God.
In the Russian Orthodox Church, confession is of paramount importance as it emphasizes that one must first make amends for their sins before seeking forgiveness from a priest. Typically, young people receive their first confession around age seven, followed by instruction about moral responsibility.