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Eastern Orthodox Slavs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eastern Orthodox Slavs
Eastern Orthodox slavic nations.png
  Eastern Orthodox Slavic countries[1][2]
Total population
215,789,388 (2015)[citation needed]
Regions with significant populations
Eastern and Southeastern Europe
East Slavic
South Slavic
Eastern Orthodox Church
Related ethnic groups
Other Slavs

The Eastern Orthodox Slavs form a religious grouping of the Slavic peoples, including ethnic groups and nations that predominantly (or have historically) adhere to the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith and whose Churches follow the Byzantine Rite liturgy. Eastern Orthodoxy spread to Eastern Europe in the Early Middle Ages through Byzantine influence, and has been retained in several countries until today.[3]

Eastern Orthodox Slavic nations today include the Belarusians, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Russians, Serbs and Ukrainians.[4] They inhabit three separate contiguous areas in Eastern Europe (see map), namely a big one including most of the Russian Federation plus Ukraine and Belarus, a small one in the west, the Kaliningrad oblast which is an exclave of the Russian Federation, and a medium-sized one in the south including Bulgaria and several (but not all) countries of former Yugoslavia. They stretch from the northeast in the Baltic Sea to the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains in the southeast and southwest; from the north in the Russian Federation to the southwest in North Macedonia near the Greek border. There are also major Eastern Orthodox Slavic population hubs and communities in North Asia (predominantly Siberia), the Americas (predominantly North America), and significant diaspora groups throughout the rest of the world.[citation needed]

All Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches with Slavic-language liturgy, with the exception of the Bulgarian Church, use the Julian calendar ("Old Style") exclusively, and all use it to calculate the date Easter is celebrated.[citation needed]


Slavic states with Eastern Orthodox majority or plurality:[5]

State Adherents
 Serbia 84.59% (2011 census)[6]
 Bulgaria 77% (2019 research)[7]
 Russia 71% (2016 research)[8]
 Montenegro 72.07% (2011 census)[9]
 North Macedonia 69.6% (2011 census)[10]
 Ukraine 67.3% (2016 research)[11]
 Belarus 48.3% (2011 census)[12]

Other Slavic-majority states with notable Eastern Orthodox minorities include Bosnia and Herzegovina (30.75%, 2013 census) and Croatia (4.44%, 2011 census[13]). Small numbers are found in West Slavic countries such as Slovakia (0.9%, 2011[14]), Poland (0.7%, 2011), and the Czech Republic. There are notable Eastern Orthodox Slavic communities among non-Slavic majority states.[citation needed]

Autocephalous churches

Church Year autocephaly granted Number of followers
Russian Orthodox Church 1589 110 million[15]
Orthodox Church of Ukraine 2019 20 million[16]
Serbian Orthodox Church 1219 8[17] – 12 million[18]
Bulgarian Orthodox Church 870 8–10 million[citation needed]
Polish Orthodox Church 1924 504,000[19]
Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church 1998 100,000[20]

Historically, Bulgaria became the earliest and most important centre of the Slavic Eastern Orthodoxy, when its early Christianization in 864 allowed it to develop into the cultural and literary center of Slavic Europe, as well as one of the largest states in Europe, during the period considered as the Golden Age of medieval Bulgarian culture. The autocephaly of the Bulgarian national church was recognized in 870, the first among the Slavs. A major event was the development of the Cyrillic script at the Preslav Literary School, declared official in 893, as was the liturgy in Old Church Slavonic, also called Old Bulgarian.[21][22][23]

In 918/919 the Bulgarian Patriarchate became the first Slavic autocephalous Patriarchate, fifth in the Eastern Orthodox Church after the Four Ancient Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. This status was officially recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 927.[24][25]

See also


  1. ^ "Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 10 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Orthodox Christianity in the 21st Century". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 10 November 2017.
  3. ^ Hilsdale, Cecily (2014). Byzantine Art and Diplomacy in an Age of Decline. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 329. ISBN 9781107033306.
  4. ^ "Byzantine Religion and Influence". Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Split between Ukrainian, Russian churches shows political importance of Orthodox Christianity". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
  6. ^ "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Serbia" (PDF). Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia.
  7. ^ Special Eurobarometer 493, European Union: European Commission, September 2019, pages 229–230 Retrieved 17 January 2020. The question asked was "Do you consider yourself to be...?" With a card showing: Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Other Christian, Jewish, Muslim - Shia, Muslim - Sunni, Other Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, Non believer/Agnostic and Other. Also space was given for Refusal (SPONTANEOUS) and Don't Know. Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu did not reach the 1% threshold.
  8. ^ "Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe". Pew Research Center. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  9. ^ "Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Montenegro 2011" (PDF). Monstat. pp. 14, 15. Retrieved July 12, 2011. For the purpose of the chart, the categories 'Islam' and 'Muslims' were merged; 'Buddhist' (.02) and Other Religions were merged; 'Atheist' (1.24) and 'Agnostic' (.07) were merged; and 'Adventist' (.14), 'Christians' (.24), 'Jehovah Witness' (.02), and 'Protestants' (.02) were merged under 'Other Christian'.
  10. ^ "Strategies of symbolic nation-building in West Balkan states: intents and results (completed) - Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages". Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  11. ^ Особливості Релігійного І Церковно-Релігійного Самовизначення Українських Громадян: Тенденції 2010-2018 [Features of Religious and Church - Religious Self-Determination of Ukrainian Citizens: Trends 2010-2018] (PDF) (in Ukrainian), Kyiv: Razumkov Center in collaboration with the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches, 22 April 2018, pp. 12, 13, 16, 31, archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-04-26
  12. ^ "Religion and denominations in the Republic of Belarus" (PDF). November 2011. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  13. ^ "Population by Religion, by Towns/Municipalities, 2011 Census". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
  14. ^ "Table 14 Population by religion" (PDF). Statistical Office of the SR. 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  15. ^ "Religions in Russia: a New Framework". Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  17. ^ World Council of Churches: Serbian Orthodox Church
  18. ^ Johnston & Sampson 1995, p. 330.
  19. ^ Główny Urząd Statystyczny, Mały Rocznik Statystyczny Polski 2016, Warszawa 2017, tab. 18(80), s. 115.
  20. ^ CNEWA – Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
  21. ^ Dvornik, Francis (1956). The Slavs: Their Early History and Civilization. Boston: American Academy of Arts and Sciences. p. 179. The Psalter and the Book of Prophets were adapted or "modernized" with special regard to their use in Bulgarian churches, and it was in this school that glagolitic writing was replaced by the so-called Cyrillic writing, which was more akin to the Greek uncial, simplified matters considerably and is still used by the Orthodox Slavs.
  22. ^ Florin Curta (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250. Cambridge Medieval Textbooks. Cambridge University Press. pp. 221–222. ISBN 978-0-521-81539-0. Cyrillic preslav.
  23. ^ J. M. Hussey, Andrew Louth (2010). "The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire". Oxford History of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-19-161488-0.
  24. ^ Kiminas, Demetrius (1 March 2009). The Ecumenical Patriarchate. Wildside Press LLC. ISBN 9781434458766. Retrieved 18 October 2017 – via Google Books.
  25. ^ Carvalho, Joaquim (18 October 2017). Religion and Power in Europe: Conflict and Convergence. Edizioni Plus. ISBN 9788884924643. Retrieved 18 October 2017 – via Google Books.
This page was last edited on 7 July 2021, at 05:29
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