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L’orthodoxie en Europe

Together with Roman Catholicism and the communities that emerged from the Reformation, the Orthodox Church is one of the three major expressions of historical Christianity. It is even the main religious tradition in the east and south of the European continent, though often little known. Shaped from within the Byzantine Empire, it has, over the course of history, gradually structured itself into a variety of institutions, and today consists of a communion of fifteen autocephalous (independent) Churches of various sizes and degrees of importance.

The population of four European Union States (Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria) is predominantly Orthodox. In others (Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Baltic states), historical Orthodox minorities have a significant presence. In Western Europe, various migratory processes in the 19th and 20th centuries also resulted in significant “Orthodox diasporas”. In total, some 40 million of the Union’s 500 million inhabitants belong to this tradition. At the level of the European continent as a whole, the population of other countries (Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia) is also largely Orthodox.
Several states of Orthodox tradition have their own local or national church under the honorary presidency of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Istanbul).

For more information :
- C. CHAILLOT (dir.), L’Église orthodoxe en Europe orientale au XXe siècle, Paris, éd. du Cerf, 2009 ;
- MODEL Serge, L’Église orthodoxe en Belgique, Bruxelles, Courrier hebdomadaire du CRISP, 2018 ; "De l’Ukraine à la Belgique : quel impact de la crise institutionnelle de l’Église orthodoxe ?", BePolitix, ABSP, 11 février 2020 ;
- MAYER Jean-François, "Démographie et croyances : un rapport sur la situation des Églises orthodoxes", Religioscope, 9 novembre 2017 ;
- Statistiques de Pew forum.

D 4 février 2020    ASerge Model

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