Greek Orthodox

Greek Orthodox

The Greek Orthodox Church belongs to the group of churches that accepted the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451). This groups together all the Churches of the Byzantine Rite, and geographically can be situated in Eastern Europe.

It has kept itself distinct from other churches (Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Eastern Church, Catholic, Anglican and Protestant) and considers itself to represent the authentic and original faith. The prevalence of Greek and Greek-speaking elements in the Holy Land has permitted the Orthodox Church over the centuries to become identified as Greek Orthodox, another factor being that for centuries the leadership roles were held by Greek patriarchs and bishops.

In Bethlehem the Greek Orthodox administer the Church of the Nativity and the Grotto, in conjunction with the Latin and Armenian Orthodox churches. Their monastery is located to the south of the church complex, and can be identified by its large bell tower. The areas of responsibility of the Greeks within the church are the following: the south transept, the area of the presbytery, and within the Grotto of the Nativity the Altar of the Nativity in cooperation with the Armenian Orthodox community.

The most important holiday of the Greek Orthodox community in Bethlehem is Christmas, celebrated on 7 January with the entry of the Patriarch.

The Religious Communities

The Latins

Armenian Orthodox

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