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Church of Greece

From Academic Kids

The Church of Greece is also known as the "Greek Orthodox Church", but that term can also denote any Eastern Orthodox church that uses a Greek liturgy. For details, see Greek Orthodox Church.

The Church of Greece is one of the sixteen autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches which make up the Eastern Orthodox Communion. Today it is one of the most important autocephalous, or ecclesiastically independent, churches of the Eastern Orthodox communion. The church has been the state religion of Greece since 1864. It was formerly a part of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, but has been autocephalous since 1833. The Church of Greece has ministries both in Greece and abroad.

Supreme authority is vested in the synod of all the bishops (the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece) under the presidency of the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece. This synod deals with general church questions. A second synod (the Sitting Synod), under the same presidency, consisting of the Archbishop and 12 bishops, each serving for one year only, deals with details of administration. Hence, the church is organized following the pattern of the Russian Orthodox church under Peter the Great. The church is divided into 81 small dioceses; 20 of these, in northern Greece and in the islands, are nominally under the jurisdiction of Constantinople. They are called "The New Lands" (Neai Chorai) and are represented by 6 out of the 12 bishops of the Sitting Synod. The dioceses of Crete and the Dodecanese are under the direct jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and are not considered a part of the Autocephalous Church of Greece.

Deacons graduate from church-run seminaries, and are ordained as priests after a period of service in parishes. They are allowed to marry before their ordination as deacon, but not afterwards. Archimandrites (monks who aspire to become bishops) are required to possess a University degree in Theology.

See also: List of Archbishops of Athens

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