33 AD through 2009
Below are brief descriptions that highlight historical dates and events regarding the Byzantine Church
Pentecost event – Birth of the Church – Apostles as first presbyters (Acts 2)
The era of Christian persecutions
The Apostle Thomas brings Christianity to India and China
Constantine and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan making Christianity the state religion and ending the period of Roman persecution of Christians
Constantine the Great begins construction on St Peter’s Basilica in Rome
Constantine moves imperial residence to Byzantium (renamed Constantinople)
The first of the seven (7) great Ecumenical Councils to formalize the dogma of the Christian faith
The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom is finalized. This Liturgy is based on the previous liturgies of St James and St Basil
Emperor Justinian begins construction on Agia Sophia in Constantinople. Construction lasts 6 years
The Pentarchy was first tangibly expressed in the laws of Emperor Justinian particularly in Novella 131.
The Quinisext Council gives formal recognition to the Pentarchy and ranks the 5 great Patriarchates
The era of Ecumenical Councils ends at Nicea; the Seventh Council restores the centuries-old use of icons to the Church
Conversion of the Rus (Russia) by Greek missionaries from Constantinople, Saints Cyril and Saint Methodius. They developed the Cyrillic alphabet and translated parts of the Bible into Church Slavonic language
The Great Schism occurs in which the Eastern and Western Churches excommunicate one another. Two major issues include Rome’s claim to a universal papal supremacy and her addition of the filioque clause to the Nicene Creed.
The Crusades begun by the Roman Church. The Sack of Constantinople (1204) adds to the estrangement between East and West.
Ottomans overrun Constantinople. Byzantine Empire ends
The Orthodox Church operates under the captivity of the Ottoman Empire
The first Orthodox mission in China was established in Beijing by the priestmonk Hilarion
The Boxer Rebellion in China targets Christian missionaries and Chinese converts slaughtering 222 Orthodox Chinese, including Chinese born Father Mitrophan. The Church celebrates this on June 24 as the Holy Martyrs of China
Russian missionaries, including St. Herman of Alaska, arrive at Kodiak Island, bringing Orthodoxy to Russian Alaska..
Holy Trinity Church established as the first Orthodox parish in America in New Orleans, Louisiana, by Greeks. Still active.
Fr Raphael Hawaweeny is sent by Bishop Nicholas of Russia to establish the first Antiochian parish in America in Manhattan, NY to serve the Syrian Orthodox population
Fr Raphael is consecrated “Bishop of Brooklyn” at St. Nicholas Church in NY becoming the first Orthodox bishop of any nationality to be consecrated in North America.
Patriarch of Constantinople gives temporary care of American Greek parishes to the Archdiocese of Greece
Bolshevik Revolution throws the Church of Russia into chaos, which leaves the fledgling Russian mission in America stranded which then organizes into the Metropolia
Church of Greece transfers control of Greek parishes in America back to the Church of Constantinople, which then creates the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
The Holy Synod and the Church of Romania proclaim the establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America located in Ohio.
Bishop Athenagoras becomes Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School founded in Pomfret, Connecticut;
Founding of St. Vladimir’s Russian Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York) and St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SCanaan,
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School moves to Brookline, MA
Orthodoxy officially recognized as major faith by U.S. government;.
Bishop Iakovos becomes Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Longest standing Archbishop from 1959-1996.
Church of Russia grants autocephaly to the Metropolia and the Metropolia approves the new name of Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Constantinople ceases all official contact with the OCA and declares it uncanonical.
The 14 Autocephalous Orthodox Churches establish the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America to allow the so-called Orthodox Diaspora the authority to propose future administrative structures for the Church in their respective regions. This Assembly replaces the former SCOBA.
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