Tag Archives: Statistics

Orthodox Church Statistics

With various irresponsible and inaccurate articles being published at present, suggesting that the Orthodox Church has 250 million (or even 300 million!) members, we are republishing our statistical survey of the Orthodox Church. We would be grateful if anyone can correct the statistics presented, if they are incorrect. Thank you.

 

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 some 843 active bishops.

1. The Russian Orthodox Church 164,000,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Moscow, this accounts for 75% of Orthodox. It cares for Orthodox living in the canonical Russian Orthodox territories, 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 Chinese Orthodox Church.

2. The Romanian Orthodox Church 18,800,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Bucharest. 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 cares for all Orthodox in Greece.

4. The Serbian Orthodox Church 9,000,000

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

5. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church 4,500,000

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

6. The Georgian Orthodox Church 3,500,000

The Patriarchate of Tbilisi covers Georgia and a very small Georgian Diaspora.

7. The Patriarchate of Constantinople 3,500,000

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 elsewhere.

8. 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 also parishes in the Diaspora, including some 10,000 ex-Protestants in the USA and 300 ex-Protestants in the UK.

9. The Patriarchate of Alexandria 1,600,000

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.

10. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus 700,000

Under an Archbishop, this Church cares for all Greek Orthodox in Cyprus.

11. 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.

12. 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.

  1. 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.

14.The Patriarchate of Jerusalem 130,000

Although its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate cares for Arab Orthodox in Palestine and the Jordan.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Russian Orthodox Church Statistics, November 2017

Speaking at the opening of the Council of Bishops in the Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow today, His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill announced the following:

The Russian Orthodox Church has 386 bishops and 303 dioceses,10 more than a year ago and 144 more than eight years ago. These are arranged in 60 regional Metropolias. There are 34,774 active (non-retired) Russian Orthodox priests and 4,640 deacons, who serve in 36,878 church buildings, 1,340 more than last year. There are 462 monasteries, 7 more than last year, and 482 convents, 11 more than last year.

Statistics

What is the religious situation of the 143 million citizens of today’s Russian Federation?

We can say that of 1,000 citizens of the contemporary Russian Federation, approximately:

80 are indifferent to all religion or else belong to minor religions or philosophies like Buddhism, Judaism, Protestantism and Catholicism.

70 are atheists.

60 are Muslims.

However, 790, 113 million, are Orthodox Christians (1). On average approximately each 5,000 of these is served by one church centre.

Of these 790 per 1,000 of the Russian Federation, approximately 700 hardly ever attend church, though some of them they may occasionally call in at a church at Easter or even Christmas and certainly observe some vestigial Chrsitian folk customs. They would certainly be baptised and certainly wish to be buried as Orthodox. However, most of them do not mar-ry in church and confession and communion are unknown to them.

Of these 790, approximately 50 are regular but not constant churchgoers.

Of these 790, approximately 39 are constant churchgoers.

Of these 790, approximately 1 is an exemplary Churchgoer, a pious person who witnesses to holiness.

With these last three groups, approximately 90 people per 1,000, lies the future of the 900 others. It was ever thus….

Note:

1. These 113 million form the majority of the 164 million of over 50 nationalities who make up the Russian Orthodox Church. Over another 30 million Russian Orthodox live in the Ukraine, over 6 million in Belarus, 4 million in Kazakhstan, 3.5 million in Moldova and an-other 7.5 million are scattered across countries in Central Asia, the Baltic Republics, Western Europe, North and South America, Australasia, Japan, Thailand and elsewhere throughout the world.

The New World Disorder Goes On

Statistics from the 2011 UK census, just released, show that 59% of the population of England and Wales still calls itself Christian. This figure is down from 72% in 2001. Clearly, the fall is because the older generation, who are nearly wholly nominal Christians, is dying out. It is surprising that this figure for even nominal Christianity is still so high. We would have thought less than 50%. (The figure for practising Christians is probably about 3%). At the same time, this census has not surprisingly revealed that over a quarter, 25%, of the population has no religion at all.

Clearly, the figure of 59% who call themselves Christians has been boosted by the massive immigration to the UK since 2001. Immigrants have been admitted by governments greedy to exploit the hard work of Christians from Eastern Europe, especially Poland, and Africa. (True, governments have also been greedy to exploit the masses of poor Muslim immigrants allowed into the country in recent years – but with cultural consequences which they will live to regret. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/dec/11/census-2011-religion-race-education).

Other Western European countries report figures very similar to Britain for apostasy and mass atheism. It is clear that practising Christians today are a very small minority in all Western European countries. Moreover, it is a minority that is already undergoing indirect persecution. Unless there is an as yet unforeseeable movement of repentance, this persecution will become direct. By 2021, the figure for nominal Christians could easily be as low as 40%, perhaps less. Even in the USA, the number of ‘Christians’ is falling fast. (And most of these seem to be sectarians, compromised by poor education, US nationalism and happy-clappy fundamentalism, which trends have supported the extremes of the Republican Party).

All this comes against a background of direct worldwide persecution of Christianity in Africa and Asia. Nigeria, Mali, the Sudan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia are only some of the countries concerned. Millions of Christians there have been massacred in recent decades. Today, the Copts of Egypt are being severely persecuted, thanks to the seizure of power by the Western-backed Muslim Brotherhood. However, the most serious situation of all is in Syria. Here the Orthodox Patriarch has just died. His flock, once concentrated in western Syrian centres like Damascus, Aleppo and Homs, is being scattered and murdered. We cannot help thinking that Patriarch Ignatius, who always supported Pan-Arab nationalism, must have died of a broken heart at seeing his country and people being torn to pieces, victims of geopolitics and greed.

The latest anti-Syrian fantasy accusation is that the Syrian government is set to use chemical weapons against its own people. This is nonsense. Its stocks of chemical weapons only exist out of fear that Western-armed and financed, nuclear Israel, whose stockpiles of chemical weapons are 180 time superior to that of Syria, may use its chemical weapons against Syria. This fantastic accusation is an excuse, as were the invented, non-existent ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq an excuse; international rumour has it that Western nations together with Islamists are planning an attack on Syria at the end of December and the assassination of the Syrian President.

The curious thing about the whole anti-Christian Arab winter is that the aggressive, secularist and anti-religious West has allied itself with Muslim fanatics against Christianity. Of course, we should not find this curious. The West already did this in Afghanistan in the 1980s, arming to the hilt those it now calls ‘Taliban insurgents’, but then ‘heroic freedom-fighters’. And the British did the same in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, freely allowing the Ottomans to persecute and massacre the Christians of the Balkans. And when Turkey, taking advantage of the Western-organised revolution in Russia in 1917 to massacre one million Armenians, the West was also silent. Today the US and the UK continue to allow Turkey to occupy 40% of Cyprus and massacre the Kurds and persecute Greeks and Armenians. But then of course the UK itself gassed the Iraqi Kurds in the 1930s and the Western Powers supplied Iraq with poison gas to massacre its Kurds in the 1980s.

The meeting of diametrically opposed extremes is nothing new. Did not the Romans and the Jews connive to crucify Christ? Did not Roman Catholic Crusaders and Muslim Turks connive to destroy the Capital of Christendom and the millennium-old Roman Christian Empire? Did not the Mongols and the Teutonic Knights attempt to destroy Russia under St Alexander Nevsky? Did not German generals and American capitalists connive to finance the Russian Revolution? Did not NATO and Albanian Muslim terrorists connive to steal the most ancient part of Serbia?

Today, Syria is the target of the extremists. Islamist mercenaries, especially from Libya, Qatar, the Caucasus and Central Asia, are being shipped in and armed by the US. Qatar wants to put a gas pipeline through Syria to supply Western Europe with natural gas. Turkey wants the same pipeline to go through its territory too. The stakes are all the higher, for it is now known that Syria too has huge reserves of natural gas, which have not yet been exploited by Western companies – as they are now doing with impunity in Libya. And if Syria falls back into the Middle Ages because of Islamic fundamentalism, the West will rejoice; such backwardness will allow it to exploit the country at will.

The massacre and exile of a million or two Syrian Christians is not going to stop this. However, although the West was left free to take over Libya, it is not being left free to seize power in Syria. Syria has friends, first of all, in China. And the West fears China’s economic power. Secondly, there is Russia, which hopes to extend the already-existent Eurasian Union to the whole Orthodox Christian and Central Asian world. And thirdly, there is Islamist Iran, which is hostile to atheism. If the new atheist West really wants to spark a Third World War, it really is doing its best. We live in dangerous times. The 17 US Navy ships, the 5 British ships, the French aircraft carrier and those of other nations at present gathered off Syrian coasts, and the forces at the US bases in Turkey, Kuwait and in the Gulf, spell danger.

St James the Great-Martyr of Persia / Iran
27 November/10 December 2012