Which Orthodox Church is the Oldest?
In this article we will discuss the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Dura-Europos Church. Let’s also look at the Georgian Orthodox Church. If you are interested in Orthodox Christianity but are unsure which church to choose, read on.
Table of Contents
The Dura-Europos Church was founded in 240 AD, at a time when Christians were being persecuted by the Roman Empire. It was later destroyed by the Sasanian army and remained abandoned for centuries. In the 1930s, archeologists excavated the ruins and discovered a multilingual society. They also discovered one of the world’s oldest synagogues and other religious structures. These included a Greek and Roman temple, an ancient synagogue, a Christian church, and scenes from the Bible. Archeologists also found a fragmentary Greek harmony of the gospel accounts.
The Dura-Europos Church was built before 256 CE as part of a wealthy home. It was originally used as a synagogue, but was converted to a Christian church in the third century. In addition to its church, it has preserved a Mithraeum, which was used by Christians in the town.
It is thought that the Dura-Europos Church is the oldest Christian church. The city was once a fortified city. The Seleucids built the city on a steep cliff over the Euphrates River, which was a significant trade route at the time. The name Dura was derived from the Assyrian word dura, which means fortified.
Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch
The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch dates back to the time of St. Peter. It was the first Christian community, and it was also the place where Christianity was first applied to people. It is said that Nicholas, one of the seven original deacons, was the first Christian convert in Antioch. Antioch was also the place where Christians were persecuted following the death of St. Stephen. Some of the early members of the Jerusalem community took refuge there during this time. Eventually, Peter himself became the first bishop of the city.
While Antioch was originally a part of Syria, it was a part of the greater Middle East. It was a part of the Patriarchate of Antioch and was influenced by the influence of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. Today, the Orthodox Church of Antioch has dioceses throughout the world, including Australia and New Zealand.
In the early 1600s, Western missionaries began to visit the Middle East. Antioch’s Christians grew increasingly sympathetic towards the West, but their sympathy was more political than religious. As a result, the church split into two patriarchs in 1724. This split the Greek-Melkite community into two separate denominations: the Catholic Antiochian Church and the Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Georgian Orthodox Church
The Georgian Orthodox Church is the oldest surviving orthodox church in the world. The formation of the Georgian Orthodox Church began with the conversion of Iberia in the eleventh century. In time, the Church developed its main characteristics and became a dogmatic, national church.
Its history is a tragic one, but despite this the Georgian Orthodox Church has conducted many educational and revival activities and is the state religion of Georgia. There are many churches in the country, including hundreds dedicated to St George, the patron saint of Georgia. There are tens of thousands of Georgian Orthodox believers throughout the country.
The Georgian Orthodox Church claims apostolic foundation. It is headed by the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II, who was elected in 1977.
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church is the oldest orthodox denomination, with a history that stretches back several thousand years. The Russian Church became an autocephalous church in 1448 when the Bishops of Moscow elected their own metropolitan without the need of Constantinople’s approval. In 1589, Metropolitan Job was elevated to the position of patriarch after receiving approval from Constantinople. His appointment made him the fifth most powerful person in the Russian Orthodox Church, after the Patriarchate, Alexandria, and Antioch.
The Russian Orthodox Church has a centralized hierarchical structure. It has 261 cathedrals around the world, including one in Belarus, which is the church’s exarchate. In 2003, the Russian Orthodox Church was divided into metropolitan districts. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia presides over all of them.
The Russian Orthodox Church has a rich history in the United States. The Russian Orthodox Church first established a mission in Alaska in 1794. The missionaries were from the Karelia province of the Russian empire. In 1799, the Russian Orthodox Church appointed its first American bishop. In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States. In 1868, the Russian Orthodox Church established its first parish outside of Alaska in San Francisco. The diocesan seat was moved to New York City, but a cathedral was built in Sitka in 1870.