Origin Greek Orthodox religion - When did it begin?
The ancient faith and rich tradition of the Greek Orthodox Church attracts many people who are drawn to learn about the treasures of her history reaching back to the time of the Apostles.
In the Western Hemisphere, the Orthodox Church has been developing for more than two hundred years.
The first Greek Orthodox arrived in the New World in 1768, establishing a colony near the present city of St. Augustine, Florida. One of the original buildings in which these immigrants gathered for religious services is still standing. It has recently been transformed into St. Photius' Shrine by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. The Shrine, named in memory of a great missionary of the Orthodox Church, honors those first Orthodox immigrants. The chapel serves as a national religious landmark, bearing witness to the presence of Orthodoxy in America from the earliest days of its history.
The next group of Orthodox Christians to emerge on the American Continent was the Russian fur traders in the Aleutian Islands. They, too, made a great contribution.
The Orthodox Church in this country owes its origin to the devotion of so many immigrants from lands such as Greece, Russia, the Middle East, and the Balkans.
In the great wave of immigrations in the 19th and 20th centuries, Orthodox Christians from many lands and cultures came to America in search of freedom and opportunity.
Like the first Apostles, they carried with them a precious heritage and gift. To the New World they brought the ancient faith of the Orthodox Church.
Many Orthodox Christians in America proudly trace their ancestry to the lands and cultures of Europe and Asia, but the Orthodox Church in the United States can no longer be seen as an immigrant Church.
While the Orthodox Church contains individuals from numerous ethnic and cultural backgrounds, the majority of her membership is composed of persons who have been born in America.
In recognition of this, Orthodoxy has been formally acknowledged as one of the Four Major Faiths in the United States.
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