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Eastern Christianity


Orthodox Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia

Doctrines On all major issues the Orthodox Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia is in agreement with other Eastern Orthodox churches. (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)

History The state of Czechoslovakia came into existence in 1918 as a result of the disintegration of the Hapsburg empire. In 1925 the Orthodox Church in Czechoslovakia placed itself under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Patriarch of Belgrade. The Church's membership was greatly enlarged in 1930 when some 25,000 Byzantine rite Catholics returned to Orthodoxy. During the second world war the church was disbanded by the Nazi authorities, and its founder, bishop Gorazd of Prague, was executed for alleged involvement with the Czech resistance movement. After the second world war Czechoslovakia came under the sphere of the Soviet Union, and the church was reorganised under the control of Russia. During these years Uniate Catholics were not given official recognition, and were incorporated into the Orthodox Church under government pressure. This achieved, the Church of Czechoslovakia was recognised as autocephalous in 1951. During the period of liberalisation in 1968 many former Uniates returned to Catholicism. With the partition of Czechoslovakia into two separate republics in 1993 the church was renamed the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.

Symbols Festal icons, Christ as Pantocrator, Mary as Theotokos. (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)

Adherents No official figures.

Headquarters/
Main Centre
 V jAm6, III, 21 Prague 1.