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  • The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church, and also referred to as the Orthodox Church and Orthodoxy, is the second largest Christian church in the world, with an estimated 225–300 million adherents, primarily in Eastern Europe, throughout the Middle East and across Russia. It is the religious affiliation of the majority of the populations of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine; significant minority populations exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon and Syria. It teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission to the disciples almost 2,000 years ago. The Church's structure is composed of several self-governing ecclesial bodies, each geographically distinct but unified in theology and worship. Each self-governing body, often but not always encompassing a nation, is shepherded by a Holy Synod whose duty, among other things, is to preserve and teach the apostolic and patristic traditions and related church practices. Like the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Assyrian Church of the East, Oriental Orthodoxy and some other churches, Orthodox bishops trace their lineage back to the apostles through the process of apostolic succession. Wikipedia

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