Of the world’s population of 7.8 billion, Christianity is the most widely practised religion in the world, with more than 2 billion followers. Next in popularity are 1.5 billion followers of Islam and 900 million Hindu. There are many beliefs that Christians have in common. There are however, not unsurprisingly, also many differences in the more than 21,000 Christian denominations.
Eastern Orthodox - points of differenceShow moreShow less
Eastern Orthodoxy are one of the oldest religions in the world. There are around 270 million people that follow the Orthodox tradition. It’s followers live mainly in the Balkans, the Middle East, and former Soviet countries.
The Bishops in the Orthodox Church are considered to be the direct successors of the original Apostles. They don’t shave their beards to symbolise closeness to God.
While not being against marriage, it is generally accepted that celibacy in the Church allows for a closer understanding of the Christian life away from worldly things.
Deaconesses (women who were a lower status of clergy) were allowed in the early church but lessened as female oppression increased in society. ‘Holy tradition’ is given as an excuse to avoid any changes in their practices, and generally Eastern Orthodoxy views the ordination of women as an unwelcome innovation.