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Research on Orthodox Christian Communities
in the United States

Contact person for the studies and current research on the Orthodox Christian Churches in the USA:

Alexei D. Krindatch, the research coordinator with the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.
He can be reached at: Akrindatch@aol.com, 510-647-9427, 773-551-7226

Ten Facts about US Eastern Orthodox Churches from the Faith Communities Today study (Nov 2011) PPT report

New Books:

NEW First ever Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches is now published. Click on the book cover image for a sample of the book's contents.

An electronic version of the Atlas is available for purchase in PDF format at the Orthodox Marketplace

 

 

NEW Five Interesting Facts about Orthodox Church Geography and Demography in the United States Five fact about Orthodox churches

 

This PDF report explores the several of the most interesting findings of the 2010 research on Orthodox churches in the United States. Many of these findings include maps and other graphic displays.

 

 

NEW Basic Facts about Orthodox Christian Churches in the United States

 

 

 

 

 

Research Reports Available:

Orthodox Results of 2010 Census of Orthodox Christian Churches in the USA The 2010 US Orthodox Census provides information on parishes and monastic communities, on church members and regular attendees in various American Orthodox Christian Churches. Data are available for each local Orthodox parish, each national Orthodox Church and for each geographic area of the United States.

 

Orthodox reality in america PPT"Orthodox Reality in America" (2010) 8 mb. PPT
This Power Point presentation discusses many interesting facts about US Orthodox Christian Churches and the American Orthodox community in general. It also presents selected results from the 2010 National Orthodox Census and first findings from the Faith Community Today Study.

"Satisfaction and Morale among Parish Clergy. What American Catholic and Orthodox Priests Can Learn from Each Other." (2006) New pdf article
This article describes and compares life and work experiences of the US Orthodox and Roman Catholic Clergy: their major sources of satisfaction and support, the problems that they face and their attitudes towards various aspects of church life.

Orthodox Church TodayThe Orthodox Church Today: a National Study of Parishioners and the Realities of the Orthodox Parish Life in the USA” (2008)

“The Orthodox Church Today” is the first national survey-based study of the laity, ordinary church members, in the two largest Orthodox Churches in the United States: "The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America” (GOA) and "The Orthodox Church in America" (OCA). To a significant degree, this study reflects the profile of an entire Orthodox community in the United States.

The Orthodox Church Today” explored the patterns of everyday life in the local Orthodox parishes. In particular, the study addressed four questions:

  • What is the “image” of the Orthodox clergy in the eyes of the ordinary “people in the pews?”
  • To what extent do the social and religious attitudes of the ordinary parishioners reflect attitudes and opinions of their parish priests?
  • What do church members think about their local parishes?
  • What do laity think about various issues dealing with “Democracy and Pluralism in the Church,” “Changes and Innovations in the Church,” and “Religious ‘Particularism’ and Ecumenism?”

Numerous comparisons with the US Roman Catholic and various Protestant Churches make “The Orthodox Church Today” study especially interesting to a wide non-Orthodox audience.

These publications are available in PDF format:

Evolving Visions of the PriesthoodEvolving Visions of the Orthodox Priesthood in America” (2006)

This national study of the American Orthodox clergy was conducted in 2006. It was conducted among the parish priests in the Greek Orthodox Metropolises of Chicago and San Francisco and in the Diocese of the West and Midwest of the Orthodox Church in America. The study focused on sources of satisfaction and major challenges in the lives of American Orthodox parish clergy.

The “Evolving Visions of the Orthodox Priesthood in America” also examined clergy attitudes on four subjects that are frequently debated in Church today:

  • The Notion and Status of the Priest
  • Democracy and Openness in the Church
  • Changes and Innovations in the Orthodox Church life
  • Ecumenical Attitudes

These publications are available for download in PDF format:

The Orthodox (Eastern Christian) Churches in the USA at The Beginning of a New Millennium (2002)

Research Project Overview

Major Findings and Conclusions

Statistical and Historical Information on Orthodox Churches in the United States (2000):

Methodology of the Orthodox (Eastern Christian) Churches in the USA at The Beginning of a New Millennium study:

This research was sponsored by "Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies" as a part of the nationwide "Religious Congregations Membership Study: 2000." The data were obtained directly from the headquarters (diocesan offices) of Orthodox Churches in North America by personal visits there and by interviewing of the church's leaders – the bishops or the chancellors. The major goal of author’s empirical study was creation of a database on all major Orthodox jurisdictions that allow for analysis and comparison of different Orthodox Churches in five major areas:

  • Membership: membership "claimed" by Churches versus real number of their adherents, proportions between various demographic sources of their current growth, etc. See the basic results in Table 1a and Table 1b
  • Church as religious institution: territorial diocesan organization, institutional composition (parishes, monasteries, and educational institutions), church-based broad religious infrastructure (Sunday- and all-day schools, periodicals). See the basic results in Table 2
  • Degree of Church’ integration with wider American society: proportion between English and traditional liturgical languages of the Mother Church, proportion of the mixed "Orthodox – Not Orthodox" marriages, policies towards Anglo-American converts. See the basic results in Table 3
  • Ecumenical openness and involvement: membership in interfaith organizations, participation in inter-religious activities. See the basic results in Table 4
  • Nonreligious social functions: social institutions affiliated with and administrated by Orthodox Churches, programs of assistance for newly arriving immigrants.  See the basic results in Table 5

Other Publications on Orthodox Christian Churches in the USA:

The Power of Micro Theology: How "Liberal," "Moderate," "Traditional" and "Conservation" Eastern Orthodox Priests Shape the Lives of Their Parishes. (2007)

Satisfaction and Morale Among Parish Clergy: What American Catholic and Orthodox Priests Can Learn From Each Other (2006)

The Realities of Orthodox Parish Life in the Western United States: Ten "Simple" Answers to Ten "Not Too Easy" Questions (2005)

“American Orthodoxy” or “Orthodoxy in America”? Profiling the Next Generation of Eastern Christian Clergy in the USA (2004)

Eastern Christianity in North American Religious Landscape: Ethnic Traditionalism Versus Civic Involvement and Social Transformations (2003)

What Makes the Orthodox Churches Strangers to American Mainstream Christianity (2003)


Parish Needs Study (2005)

The Parish Needs Study was administered among the Greek Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, Orthodox Church in America and Serbian Orthodox parishes in the western United States. It examined the most urgent ministry issues facing parishes today.

The results can be found in four parts:

Parish Needs Overview
Parish Needs Part 1
Parish Needs Part 2
Parish Needs Part 3

Additional Orthodox Churches Links

Contact Information: 

Alexei D. Krindatch, the research coordinator with the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.
He can be reached at: Akrindatch@aol.com, 1-773-551-7226

 

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