An Independent and Sovereign Russia Must Be Destroyed!

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Abraham Lincoln

For over a week I have resisted requests to write on the Skripal subject, but readers have asked me too often. The provocations and slanders against Orthodox in this country are now beginning. We have to say the words of truth against the barrage of lies coming from British Establishment mouthpieces like the BBC and the tabloid press.

An Independent and Sovereign Russia Must Be Destroyed! The order went out in London and New York in 1916 and the legitimate Russian government, deemed too powerful for the West, was duly overthrown in 1917 with the active and visible collusion of the British government of the time. The USA entered the First World War within weeks, as had been agreed. Lloyd-George, the then British Prime Minister, openly rejoiced in Parliament, one of his ‘aims’, achieved. Evil Russian-speaking terrorists, harboured by the West for decades, were sent to destroy Russia from Britain, Canada, the USA, Germany and Switzerland, and so the Western-financed atheist Bolsheviks came to power. But the plan backfired.

So then came the encouragement of London of the Western-financed Hitler to invade the Russian Lands in 1941, leaving 27 million dead. After 1991 the UK took part in the destruction of the sad remains of the Russian Empire and Russian-speaking oligarch-thieves were welcomed to London. Meanwhile, the UK helped dismember Yugoslavia, invaded Afghanistan and Iraq (again), wasting tens of thousands of lives and tens of billions of pounds. But the plan backfired.

So then the spy Litvinenko was assassinated by polonium in London. Clearly, the Russian government had no interest in doing so; spies are assassinated in ways that do not incriminate those who order their assassinations. The SIS, that does the dirty work for MI5 and MI6, assassinates about 100 people a year, according to my South African informants. Clearly, Litivinenko’s cruel death was ordered by others, who wanted to try and incriminate Russia. Meanwhile, NATO divided Montenegro and Kosovo from Serbia and threatened Moldova and surrounded Russia’s borders with its missiles. But the plan backfired.

So then the UK encouraged US-trained Georgians to invade Russia, accusing Russia of invading Georgia! Then the UK encouraged the violent toppling of the democratic government in the Ukraine and replacing it with a genocidal junta in Kiev. Russia was accused of invading the Ukraine! The people of the Crimea voted massively and freely in favour of returning to Russia; Russia was accused of ‘annexing’ the Ukraine! The madmen in control in Kiev then shot down a civilian airliner; the UK blamed Russia and armed the junta! Then it paraded its troops and armour along the Russian border with Estonia. When Russia prevented World War III from erupting in Syria (the words of Lord Owen), the UK regime (elected by fewer than 40% of the voters) armed the terrorists (‘rebels’ in BBC speak).

Having failed abysmally to disrupt the imminent Russian elections, all the UK regime (at best eccentric, at worst malign) could do was send the clown Johnson there and openly support the anti-Russian traitor Navalny. Then, it helped to ban a few drug-taking Russian Olympic athletes, although its own athletes also take drugs, as they do in all major countries, in support of the political and commercial interests of all modern international sport.

The dreadful attack on the retired British spy (not ‘Red’ spy, as the tabloids had it), Skripal, is simply Litvinenko II. The Russian secret service had no motive to kill him; even if it had, it would have done it in a discreet and professional way, as do all secret services. Most likely, the rare poison to kill the spy (and bungle his death) in the highly-militarized city of Salisbury came from nearby Porton Down, the top secret chemical warfare establishment where they have invented and store thousands of deadly poisons and viruses. And it all comes just before the elections in democratic Russia and before the World Cup. So they expelled 23 Russian ‘spies’. But if they were spies, why were they allowed into the UK in the first place, or not expelled before?

It need not have been this way. It could all have been so different. It will all end up so badly – for the UK. Ever a threat to world peace and popular governments all around the world, the British Establishment, which has already invaded nine out of ten countries in the world (including of course Russia,, has now started another Cold War with Russia. Ignoring its chronic poor infrastructure (roads and hospitals, for example) and its staggering and unpayable National Debt of £1.8 trillion, it prefers to start wars abroad. Such is the legacy of the British Establishment, which will ‘never, never, never be slaves’ – even if the British people and the rest of the world will be. An Independent and Sovereign Russia Must Be Destroyed!


MI5 Kills Another Spy

(Non-French speakers use Translate option)

Who will be saved?

Q: Who will be saved?

A: This question is dangerous as it may contain the pride of the pharisee. Really we should not even be asking it. It may imply that somehow we want to take on God’s role as Judge of the Universe. The only valid question we may ask is: Will I be saved? Salvation is personal. And our own salvation is the only thing that we can do anything about.

The fact is that no external label can save us: Orthodox, Catholic, Evangelical or whatever. God is the only Knower of hearts, for only He knows what truly is in our heart and He judges by that.

Some people will tell you, for example, that cradle Orthodox (an absurd term invented by converts with an inferiority complex) will be saved. This is also absurd. Stalin was a ‘cradle Orthodox’ (and also an expelled seminarian). Arius and Nestorius were ‘cradle Orthodox’ (and also had clerical rank). The fact we are baptised as babies makes no difference. What is important is that we were brought up as Orthodox and then, above all, remain Orthodox. (Quite a few priest’s children were brought up as Orthodox but do not remain in the Church, including many priest’s children who became infamous Bolsheviks and persecuted the Church in Soviet Russia).

Moreover, the Mother of God and the apostles were not ‘cradle’ Orthodox!  They were ‘converts! But they are saints. And here we come to the key point. When you are depressed by various clerical scandals, always remember what is vital: Follow the saints! We know that the saints have been are saved. This has been revealed to us. The rest is speculation. Forget it.

Our Credo

We Orthodox Christians are chosen by God to fulfil our appointed destinies. In this age it is our destiny to defy all who deny the Holy Trinity, whether in word or thought or deed. Our God is not the god of others, including those who have for all practical purposes lapsed from the Church and Faith, despite their outward label. Our God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We confess the Father and reject manmade nationalism and idolatrous ritualism, which place themselves above the Father from everlasting. Their victims put their tribal and racist local cultures above God, rejecting His Church.

They say, for example: ‘I cannot join the Orthodox Church because of my Western culture’. How many times we have heard the above myth. Such an attitude comes from the placing of our ethnic conditioning above Christ. They do not understand that Europe itself is an illusion: East and West were joined together in Christ’s Church. At the furthest tip off Eurasia, Europe was invented by cutting itself off from Eurasia 1,000 years ago, in order to justify its aggressive domination and annihilation of all else.

We confess the Incarnation and reject academic theories and disincarnate fantasies, which have no spiritual or moral effect in life. Their victims put their impure imaginations above God, rejecting the universal sacrifice of the God-man.

They say, for example: ‘I cannot live a Church life because of my personal views’. How many times we have heard the above selfishness. Such an attitude comes from the placing of our egoistic conditioning above Christ. They do not understand that the self is an illusion: we are all part of God’s Creation, joined together in Christ’s Church. The Western world invented such individualism, cutting itself off from solidarity with the rest of God’s Creation, man and nature, to justify its aggressive domination and annihilation of all else.

We confess the Holy Spirit and reject pharisaic bureaucracy and unprincipled careerism, which deaden and destroy Church life. Their victims put their worldly interests above the Holy Spirit, rejecting God’s Free Spirit, Who blows where He wills.

They say, for example: ‘Our rules and interests are higher than all else’. How many times we have heard the above artifice. Such an attitude comes from the placing of worldly conditioning above Christ. They do not understand that the world is an illusion: the world was overcome by Christ. Petty bureaucracy and careers will all fade away with time and death, for they were invented only in order to promote passing, manmade customs, with their attempts at the aggressive domination and annihilation of all else.

We Orthodox Christians are chosen by God to fulfil our appointed destinies. In this age it is our destiny to defy all who deny the Holy Trinity, whether in word or thought or deed. Today this destiny calls us to gather together before the end, for ours is the apostolic mission to preach to all and gather the faithful remnant out of all the nations before the Second Coming.



A Reality Check for Reader-Victims of ‘The Economist’

A spectre haunts the West: He is called Christ.

When I taught at Business School in Paris, I had to read ‘The Economist’ every week. Of course, the magazine was transparent. We could see through it as a magazine that saw human-beings as no more than economic units to exploit and be exploited. It was anti-Christian and therefore with a very twisted view of reality. Rothschild-owned, it reflects above all the views not just of the British Establishment with its State mouthpieces in the BBC, tabloid print media, Oxbridge, MI5 and the rest of the State apparatus, but of the whole Trostkyite (‘globalist’) Western Establishment, with its UN, EU, NATO, G7, bankers, Davos and the groups that stand behind them. Sadly, its many victims (‘readers’ – including even a few who actually claim to be ‘Orthodox’!) are so naïve that they swallow the myths peddled by it without understanding reality.

A recent amusing article (amusing because it was so badly written and misinformed), claiming that the Russian Church is ‘too close to the Kremlin’ (!) was typical. Last July the Russian Foreign Minister,  Sergei Lavrov, speaking at a conference in Germany, explained this absurd Russophobia: ‘The West hates Russia because it is returning to its traditional values’ ( = Christianity). Thus, the anti-Russian conspiracy theories peddled by such magazines are ultimately based on the inherent anti-Christianity that infects and informs the whole Western Establishment. Thus, following the well-known Party line, this article regretted the 1990s, when Harvard adolescents, neocon oligarchs and their gangster hirelings were in charge of an alcoholic Russian President in Moscow and the people were starving and dying from despair by the million.

That was the period of the banksters at the top, when at the grassroots the Russian Church, at last freeing Herself from the Western (‘Soviet’) State, began to baptize 100,000,000 people. Today, as the Church continues to strengthen and fight against Western-inspired secularist nominalism, She is at last beginning to influence the all too strong remains of the State. Although most of the Russian media is still in the control of the Western media, although much of the education and health systems are still in the grip of anti-Christian bureaucrats, the Church is at last beginning to influence the State: in truth, the Russian State is ‘drawing too close to the Church’ for the likes of the Western Establishment and ‘The Economist’. For them faith must be a private affair and have zero influence on politics, economics and society in general.

After the West had organized the 1917 coup in Saint Petersburg and replaced the legitimate Christian government, then on the verge of victory in the German War, a victory which terrified the West, it ignored the greatest persecution in history. Like all the others, ‘The Economist’ did not report on the 600 martyred bishops, the 120,000 martyred Russian priests, monks and nuns and the tens of millions of victims of Marxists. After all, most of them were Non-Russians, like Lenin and Trotsky, and had lived and been trained in the West for years before being sent back to Russia in 1917 to create havoc. Neither did it report on the holocaust of the 27 million victims of the Western invasion of 1941, longed for both in Berlin and London. ‘The Economist’ had no space to report on martyrs for Christ; its interest was in Mammon.

Today, 100 years on from those awful events, the Western elite is worried. What if the Christian Church should revive and challenge their secularist ideology? What if the State became Christian? The thought terrifies them because they would lose power; hence the anti-Russian propaganda.  All of this is published in a country which runs a ‘State Church’, whose every bishop is appointed by Prime Ministers, most of whom are atheists who support every perversion! Let the scribblers rant as the Russian State starts to become Christian again thanks to the Church of God. Let the scribblers hate Christ and His Holy Church and all us Orthodox Christians. For we shall go on ignoring them, in the knowledge that Christ is coming and will sweep away all these fantasies. The Truth will set you, enslaved by Western propaganda, free!

On the Aerial Toll-Houses

Q:  I recently received a link from someone about the controversy in the USA within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (now close to bankruptcy), relating to the 21 monasteries close to Elder Ephraim. A discussion about the toll-houses then ensued. Personally I don’t have any clear idea about what the correct teaching is on toll-houses. To me the idea often presented sounds a bit legalistic and more like a Roman Catholic or Calvinist approach to salvation. I mean, if almost everyone goes to hell then what’s the point of even trying? Could you please comment on the whole toll-house “issue”?

A: The Church teaching on the twenty Aerial Toll-Houses concerns life after death, what happens to the soul after it leaves the body. After death the demons attempt to take the soul towards hell, while the angels attempt to take it towards heaven. After an examination of the soul, lasting the equivalent of forty earthly days, comes the Particular Judgement, when the soul is appointed a place of rest. This place of rest can ‘improve’, ‘floating’ upwards, depending on the prayers of the living for the soul, i. e. depending on how much that soul is loved on earth. In this place of rest it awaits the Last Judgement.

This teaching is found in virtually every Church Father and dates back as such to the fourth century, though there are references to it in the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 6, 1-13). The most detailed account of the twenty toll-houses occurs in the Life of St Gregory of Thrace, dating from the 10th century, which describes how at each toll-house the soul is tested for each type of sin. This is the teaching and that is that. It is all so simple really. However, in our sad human reality, this teaching has been distorted, pulled in different directions by impure souls. The first problems arose in the USA among converts to ROCOR 1970s. Today, they have come back, for exactly the same reasons, again in the USA, but now in the highly Americanized Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

I think you put your finger on the problem with your words: ‘To me the idea often presented sounds a bit legalistic and more like a Roman Catholic or Calvinist approach to salvation’. And that is exactly it: converts from strict Catholicism (Augustinianism) and strict Protestantism (Calvinism) do present the teaching as legalistic, frighteningly so. There is no surprise at all that the same problem has come up twice within forty years, each time in the USA. The USA was founded on intolerant, witch-hunting Calvinists who refused to live in Protestant England because it was not strict enough for them! Ever since the USA has been the land of extreme and  aggressive intolerance, of Creationism, fundamentalism, phariseeism and racism and also of virulent liberalism and intolerant atheism (political correctness), where you can be sacked for saying that you believe that the practice of homosexuality is a sin.

Of course, the teaching on the toll-houses can be presented by the contemporary scribes and pharisees (literalists and ritualists in modern English – and woe unto them) as a cause for despair. Why bother when we are all doomed anyway? (As the Calvinists say). This is because they see everything literally, without God’s Mercy. Such fundamentalists, always aggressive, create depression and despair because they have no love.

On the other hand, there are also today’s liberals and ecumenists, the modern saducees (like the very Protestant and very aggressive anti-monastic lay activists in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in the USA), who will tell you that this teaching does not exist! These are the sort of people who have painted a fresco (as there exists in one Greek ‘Orthodox’ monastery in England), where they show the Last Judgement without showing hell, only heaven. When I asked one of the monks why this was, I was told that it was because we shall probably all be saved! Here again, why bother? Origen triumphs in the Paris School.

The teaching on the toll-houses is clear and balanced. After death our souls will be tested and we shall find out whether we are closer to angels or closer to demons. But even this is not our last chance. If people on earth loved us and so still remember us and pray for us, we can been drawn far away from hell and brought to the gates of heaven by their prayers.







Even as a Hen Gathers Her Chickens Under Her Wings: The Future of the Prophetic Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside the Russian Lands

The truth will set you free.

Blessed are you, when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my Name’s sake.

  1. Introduction

As a result of the tragedy that struck the Russian Empire in 1917, today there exist four Russian Orthodox-connected Church jurisdictions or groups outside the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church (that is, outside the former Soviet Union except for Georgia, plus China and Japan). These are, in order of size: The international ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) group; the international Moscow Patriarchal group; the local OCA (Orthodox Church in America) group, geographically limited to North America; the local Paris group, geographically limited to a scattering in Western Europe. Their future is important because it will shape the now vital prophetic mission of the Russian Orthodox Church to today’s apostate and spiritually vacant Western world.

  1. The Past and the Present                                                                                                           a.The ROCOR group

The exiles in this group, born just before or after 1917 as well as their descendants, often had an unjustified admiration for the pre-Revolutionary Russian State. This émigré childhood nostalgia for the largely unknown past was to a considerable extent illusory. After all, the Church administration before the Revolution was dominated not by the spiritual, but by careerists, nationalists and bureaucrats, opposed by renovationists. Between them they managed to cause all the divisions inside and outside Russia after the Revolution. In March 1917 most of them at once betrayed the pious Tsar, whose desire to canonize the saints, like St Seraphim of Sarov, they had resisted – a clear resistance to the Holy Spirit! If everything had been so wonderful before 1917, there would indeed never have been a Revolution and if, impossibly, we recreated the past as it was, there would simply be another Revolution. Moreover, that Revolution was caused by the treason of the elite of aristocrats and intellectuals, so many of whom ended up as nostalgic emigres, leaving the Russian Empire and Church to its tragic fate that they had created.

Historically comprising the vast majority of Russian émigrés, ROCOR has always had two wings: a political wing and what may be called a ‘Johannite wing’. The political wing was always much concerned with political, administrative, nationalist, financial and property matters (even accepting money from the CIA during the Cold War, placing anti-Communism before Christ). The Johannite wing is that of the three saints, St John (from whom it takes its name) of Shanghai, Western Europe and San Francisco, St Jonah of Hankow and St Seraphim of Sofia. Of course, it also includes many others: Archbishop Antony of Geneva, Archbishop Averky, Bishop Sava, Bishop Nektary and a great number of clergy and faithful. It has always seen itself as an integral and organic part of the Russian Orthodox Church and Tradition, only temporarily separated from the then enslaved Church in Moscow. (I write as a spiritual son of the ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva, + 1993, who was in his turn a spiritual son of St John, + 1966).

Today, numbering several hundred thousand, ROCOR faces domination by American cultural conservatism. Centred in New York and with the vast majority of its parishes in North America and its Australian satellite, outside of which it has lost much of its former influence and numbers, it must look to reality and the future. It cannot be a prisoner of the past, for the authentic Tradition is always spiritual, radical and dynamic. It must conserve and live, not preserve and die, in other words, it must keep alive, not preserve as in a museum. It must resist the temptation of the New World which, without its own culture, tends to preserve and freeze all imported culture in the state in which it was first imported, regardless of its spiritual value, as a sort of ethnic curiosity from the Old World. Today, ROCOR has been much revitalized and renewed by immigration from the ex-Soviet Union and so links with reality. Its survival is dependent on these links with the living source of its Faith.

b. The Moscow Patriarchal group.

This group used to be tiny and paradoxically often expressed Soviet State nationalism. It was at times capable of being pro-Stalinist and often showed strong signs of the spiritual impurity of renovationist modernism. These spiritually repulsive abuses are rapidly disappearing into the darkness of the past. With huge immigration from the ex-Soviet Union, the group has now greatly expanded, especially, but not only, in Western Europe. Today in numbers it has begun to rival ROCOR, which it will soon overtake. With the gradual transfiguration of the Church inside the Russian Lands over the last generation, especially since the turning-point of the Council in 2000, the living Church inside the Russian Lands is the key on which this and all the other groups depend.

c. The OCA Group

The OCA group, numbering 90,000 faithful, grew out of Slav Uniat immigrants to North America from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. At last free of Roman Catholic and State oppression, they joined their ancestral Russian Orthodox Church in the USA in the years around 1900. Today, the OCA is only indirectly under the patronage of the Russian Orthodox Church. This group has for 100 years been politically and culturally subject to domination by American cultural liberalism. This is not at all a question of the use of the English language, which of course is perfectly natural as language is only a missionary tool, but a question of the assimilation of an alien, anti-Orthodox American culture and so spiritual degradation.

The OCA will either remain anchored to the Orthodox Tradition of its Mother-Church or else it will die out as spiritually irrelevant, like parts of the Greek Archdiocese in North America, assimilated into the surrounding Non-Orthodox culture. Optimistically, over one quarter of it does remain faithful to the Tradition and parts of the rest have been revitalized and renewed by immigration from the ex-Soviet Union and so by links with reality. However, its future remains fragile and uncertain after a century of instability and there are voices in it which wish to betray the Mother-Church.

d. The Paris Group

The Paris group, by far the smallest of the four, was formed by pro-Western masonic aristocrats and emigre intellectuals who had plotted and created the anti-Tsar Revolution, setting up the brief, incompetent Kerensky dictatorship in 1917. This group was so politicized, anti-Russian and modernist that it rejected the Russian Orthodox Church and Tradition. Today, it has in part been renewed by Moldovan immigrants and so links with reality. However, it is not yet clear if the Paris group, controlled by ageing ideologues who have deliberately cut themselves off from the living Russian Church, will meet the spiritual needs of its flock, or if it will be assimilated into spiritual irrelevance.

  1. The Future: Making the Church Local

In the last few years before the Revolution there were between 142 and 163 bishops for some 117 million faithful in the Russian Orthodox Church. This was pitifully few bishops, on average about one for every 800,000 faithful. Today, for example, the Church of Greece has 100 bishops for 8,500 priests and 10 million people, one bishop for every 100,000 people. On this basis, the Russian Orthodox Church should today have 1,640 bishops and 139,000 priests for its 164 million faithful. Instead, there are only 368 bishops and a pitifully few 36,000 priests, one bishop for every 450,000 faithful and one priest for every 4,500 faithful! Bishops are still very distant figures. (In the Church of Jerusalem which has a flock of 130,000, there are 20 bishops, one for every 6,500 faithful).

It is clear that at least another 100,000 priests and churches are needed in the Russian Church, if ever this pastoral crisis of nominalism is to be overcome. Clearly, just as has long been done outside Russia, devout married men, financed by secular occupations, will have to receive basic practical training and then be ordained as ‘worker priests’. Under the direction of experienced full-time priests, they could serve in simple, cheap-to-build, wooden churches, without the golden luxury and marble pomp of cathedrals. Such ‘kit-churches’ would create real local parishes and pastoral centres, at last bringing the Church back home to the people at the local level. However, this ‘pastoralization’ and ‘localization’ of the Church is still for the future. But at least the first step in making the Church local has taken place in the process of ‘Metropolitanization’.

Here the principle of one bishop for about every 100 priests is now respected in the Russian Church. These 368 bishops have at last been arranged in groups, generally of four or five bishops, called Metropolias. The word ‘Metropolia’ means ‘the Church of the Mother-City’ and ‘Metropolitanization’ is an attempt to return to the practice of the first centuries and make the Church local. Metropolias are thus like miniature local churches within the Local Church. This ‘Metropolitanization’ of the Russian Church worldwide is a sign of health and is inevitable and irreversible. Non-Metropolitanization is a sign of distance and irrelevance of the Church to local life, its reduction from an incarnate way of life to a theatre of ideology.

However, outside the canonical territory of the Church, Metropolitanization is a gradual and complex process. This is firstly because there are two parts of the Russian Church outside the canonical territory, that directly under the Patriarchate and that under the self-governing Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). Both must first agree to co-operate and so it takes time to form new Russian Orthodox Metropolias worldwide (regardless of whether the two local fragments, the OCA and Paris, would one day want to take part – probably not). Secondly, and even more ambitiously, new Russian Orthodox Metropolias outside the canonical territories are ultimately called on to become the foundations for new Local Churches. This will be when other Orthodox, from far smaller Local Churches and living in those territories, wish to participate in them. This would be a purely voluntary process that could take another 100 years or more.

  1. Conclusion

This setting up of Metropolitan structures, foundations for new Local Churches, is a question of responsibility. There is no room here for destructive nationalism and centralization, either of the aristocratic emigre Russian sort or of the ‘Soviet tank’ sort. Instead sensitivity is required towards different peoples and their legitimate customs. In all these matters we would do well to recall the words of Christ in St Matthew’s Gospel concerning the phariseeism of the Old Jerusalem, which rejected the New Jerusalem: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent to thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not’.




The Orthodox Church: 218 million faithful and 907 bishops

The Orthodox Church is a family of Local Churches, just like the Churches of the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Romans, the Thessalonians, the Colossians etc, as described in the letters written to them by the holy Apostle Paul. Each of the fourteen Local Orthodox Churches has a main administrative figure, a chief bishop known as a Patriarch, or in the case of smaller Churches, a Metropolitan or Archbishop. However, the Church as a whole has no earthly head, because the head of the Orthodox Church is our Lord Jesus Christ. His authority is expressed in the Orthodox Church through the Holy Spirit as revealed, particularly through Church Councils and the saints.

Below you will find details of the Orthodox Churches and their approximate sizes, totalling in all over 218 million members with 843 active bishops. However, this does not including the 52 titular bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, where the term bishop or metropolitan is particularly often used as an honorific award and the 14 bishops of the 90,000-strong North American (‘OCA’) group under the Russian Orthodox Church, which is not universally recognized. This brings the real total to 907.

1. The Russian Orthodox Church 164,000,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Moscow, this accounts for 75% of all Orthodox and has 368 bishops. (Another 14 bishops are to be found in the dependent North American group known as the OCA). It cares for Orthodox living in the canonical Russian Orthodox territory, spread over one fifth of the planet (the former Soviet Union except for Georgia, plus China and Japan) and peopled by 62 nationalities. These territories include the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Transcarpathia (the main part of Carpatho-Russia), Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Baltic Republics, such as Latvia (250,000). The Russian Church also includes the self-governing multinational Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (400,000 worldwide, mainly in the Americas and Australia as well as parts of Western Europe), the Japanese Orthodox Church and the tiny Chinese Orthodox Church.

2. The Romanian Orthodox Church 18,800,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Bucharest, it has 53 bishops. Apart from in Romania, there are also many Romanian parishes in the Diaspora, especially in Western Europe.

3. The Greek Orthodox Church 10,000,000

Under the Archbishop of Athens, this Church with 101 bishops cares for all Orthodox in Greece.

  1. The Serbian Orthodox Church 9,000,000

The canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Belgrade covers Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia and the Church has 44 bishops. There are also many Serbian parishes in the worldwide Serbian Diaspora.

  1. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church 4,500,000

The Patriarchate of Sofia covers Bulgaria, has 15 bishops and a few churches in the Diaspora.

  1. The Georgian Orthodox Church 3,500,000

The Patriarchate of Tbilisi covers Georgia and a very small Georgian Diaspora.  It has 37 bishops.

  1. The Patriarchate of Constantinople 3,400,000

This includes Greek Orthodox in Istanbul (about 1,000), those on Greek islands such as Crete and Rhodes (700,000), and above all the Greek Diaspora in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia. There are also twenty-four autonomous parishes in Finland and small groups of other Non-Greek Orthodox, mainly Ukrainian, elsewhere. It has 73 active bishops and 52 titular bishops, 125 in all.

  1. The Patriarchate of Antioch 1,800,000

The canonical territory of the Arab Patriarch, who lives in Damascus, includes Syria, the Lebanon and Iraq. There are 44 bishops and also many parishes in the Diaspora, including some 10,000 ex-Protestants in the USA.

  1. The Patriarchate of Alexandria 1,400,000

Although for historical reasons its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate is in Egypt. It also cares for St Catherine’s Monastery on Mt Sinai, but the vast bulk of its faithful are Africans, spread over 54 African countries. It has 31 bishops.

  1. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus 700,000

Under an Archbishop, this Church cares for all Greek Orthodox in Cyprus and has 17 bishops.

  1. The Polish Orthodox Church 600,000

Under the Metropolitan of Warsaw, this Church cares for Orthodox of all origins who live mainly in eastern Poland. It has 12 bishops.

  1. The Albanian Orthodox Church 200,000

Under the Archbishop of Tirana, this Church cares for Orthodox in southern Albania, most of whom are of Greek origin. It has 6 bishops.

13. The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia 170,000

Led by a Metropolitan, this Church cares for Carpatho-Russian, Slovak and Czech Orthodox, as well as large numbers of recent Ukrainian Orthodox immigrants to Slovakia and the Czech Lands. It has 6 bishops.

  1. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem 130,000

Although its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment and that of other bishops is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate’ flock consists mainly of Palestinian Orthodox in Palestine and the Jordan. It has 20 bishops.