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A Timeline of Church History

A  Word About  Church  History !

Scholars estimate there are over 2,600 groups today who lay claims to being the Church, or at least the direct descendants of the Church described in the New Testament Repeat: 2,600 !

But for the first thousand years of her history, the Church was essentially ONE!
Five historic Patriarchal centers: Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria  and Constantinople, formed a cohesive whole and were in full communion with one another. There were occasional heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, to be sure, but the Church was unifed until the 11th century.
Then, in events culminating in A.D. 1054, the Roman Patriarch pulled away from the other four, pursuing his long-developing claim of universal headship of the Christian Church !

Today, nearly a thousand years later, the other four Patriarchates remain intact, in full communion, maintain that Orthodox Apostolic Faith of the inspired New Testament record.

The history of the Orthodox Church is described herein, from Pentecost to present day.


+  33 A.D. Pentecost  -  The Birthday of the Christian Church.
+  49          Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15) establishes precedent
                   for addressing Church disputes in Council.
                   James presides as Bishop !
+  69          Bishop Ignatius consecrated in Antioch in heart of New
                   Testament era – St. Peter had been the first Bishop there.
                   Other early Bishops include James, Polycarp and Clement.
+  95          Book of Revelation written, probably the last of the New
                   Testament books.
+ 150         St. Justin Martyr describes the liturgical worship of the
                   Church, centered in the Eucharist. Liturgical worship is
                   Rooted in both, the Old and New Testaments
+ 313         The Edict of Milan marks an end to the period of Roman
                   persecution of Christianity, by Emperor Constantine the Great.


+ 325       The Council of Nicea settles the  major heretical challenge
                  to the Christian Faith posed when the heretic Arius asserts
                  Christ was created by the Father. Nicea is the first of Seven
                  Ecumenical (Church-wide) Councils.  
+ 451        Council of Chalcedon affirms apostolic doctrine of two natures
                  in Jesus Christ.
+ 589        A Synod in Toledo, Spain, adds the filiouque to the Nicene Creed
                 (asserting that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son).
                 This error is later adopted by Rome.
+ 787       The era of Ecumenical Councils ends at Nicea; the Seventh Council
                 restores the centuries-old use of icons to the Church.
+ 988       Conversion of Russia begins.
+ 1054     The Great Schism occurs. Two major issues include Rome’s claim to
                 a universal papal supremacy and her addition of the filiouque clause
                 to the Nicene Creed.


+ 1066    Norman conquest of Britain. Orthodox hierarchs are replaced with
                those loyal to Rome.

C R U S A D E  S   (1095  -  1291)

+  1095   The Crusades begun by the Roman Church. The Sack of
                 Constantinople  (1204) adds to the estrangement between
                 East and West.
+  1333   St. Gregory Palamas defends the Orthodox practice of hesychast
                spirituality and the use of the Jesus prayer.
+  1453   Turks overrun Constantinople - Byzantine Empire ends.
+  1517   Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church
                in Wittenberg, starting the Protestant Reformation.
+  1529   Church of England begins pulling away from Rome.
+  1794   Missionaries arrive on Kodiak Island in Alaska – Orthodoxy
                introduced to North America.
+  1870   Papal Infallibility becomes Roman dogma.
+  1988   One thousand years of Orthodoxy in Russia, as Orthodox Church
                world-wide maintains fullness of the Apostolic Faith.
+  2013   17th  Centennial Anniversary of the Edict of Milan (313 – 2013)
                in the Serbian City of Niš.

First Christian Emperor Constantine the Great was born in Naissus, Serbian City of Niš today. Emperor Constantine the Great, ruled the Western part of the Roman Empire from the 306 to 337 A.D.

With the beginning of the Christianization of the Roman Empire and the establishment of Constantinople, Constantine laid the foundation of the future empire which will last for 1,000 yaers. As the first Christian emperor and founder of the Christian Church, after his death he was canonized (337) while in Eastern Orthodox churches, including our Serbian Orthodox Church, he is regarded as the saint and the Emperor equal to Christ’s Disciple.

The Edict of Milan brought an end to the three centuries long persecution of Christians, return of their seized property and allowed them to profees their religion in public without suffering any consequences for it.

Through the Edict of Milan, which enabled “each one to have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases”, Christianity got a solid  foundation and point from which it could further grow, and thus only several decades
later (380 A.D.) under Emperor Theodosius the Great, it had become a religion of the state.

In our Serbian Orthodox Church we celebrate: "Holy Equal-to the- Apostles Emperor Constantine and (his mother) Helen", on 3rd  of june !


Other stories
1.3.2015., RAS press

Backslider's Calendar

JANUARY: I hereby resolve to start to Church this year! But I’ll wait until February. Gotta get over the Holidays. They take a lot out of a fellow.
1.3.2015., RAS press

What Attracts People?

What attracts people to a Church? A convenient location? YES! An attractive building? YES! But the key element in attracting visitors, newcomers and prospective members is friendliness in the pews. Where there is a warm, dynamic Congregation with an enthusiasm that is contagious, visitors in large numbers will usually come.
1.3.2015., RAS press

Welcome to the Orthodox Church

In the years after Jesus’ Resurrection, apostles and missionaries travelled throughout the known world spreading the Gospel. Soon five major locations were established as centers for the faith: Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria and Constantinople. In the year 1054 the Roman church broke from this united Church, and five hundred years later Protestant churches began breaking away from Rome. But the original Church has remained united in the Apostolic Faith since the first century. THIS IS ORTHODOXY !
1.3.2015., RAS press

Orthodoxy and Roman Catholisism

Our Church is the Apostolic Church, which means that it was founded by Jesus Christ and organized by the Holy Apostles. The teaching of Jesus Christ and His Holy Apostles has been faithfully preserved in our Church by the Holy Tradition. During the first few centuries, within the Church five Patriarchates were established with the sees in the following cities: Antioch (in Syria), Jerusalem, Alexandria (in Egypt), Rome and Constantinople. These five Patriarchates were united into One Church until the middle of the 11th century.
1.3.2015., RAS press

Last sermon of a German clergymen

Friedrich Griesendorf, who died in 1958, was a very educated man. He was at one time a court clergymen for the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II. After World War II, he was a pastor in the Eversburg church parish where a camp of Serbian prisoners of war was located.
27.2.2015., RAS press

Kempston residents present petition on religious inclusiveness to Number 10

Members of the Kempston Seventh Day Adventist Church visited Number 10 Downing Street last week to hand in a petition to the Prime Minister calling on him to do all he can to protect the most vulnerable and religious minorities in India. The petition, which was signed by over 700 local residents, draws attention to the pressure on Christians and Muslims in India and calls on Prime Minister, David Cameron to emphasise religious tolerance and inclusiveness in his discussions with India’s Prime Minister.
26.9.2013., RAS press

We’re Playing for Igor

Charity Football Tournament Held on 15 October 2011 in Leicester, England
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