Holy Synod of Bishops issues “Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs Regarding Marriage” document


On June 16, 2016, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America approved a statement entitled “Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs Regarding Marriage.” The purpose of that statement was to articulate the basic and fundamental beliefs of the Orthodox Church in America regarding marriage and to do so in terms which could be understood and applied by federal, state, and local governmental officials without the necessity of any probing inquiry or interpretation which might require them to transgress limitations imposed on them by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by related federal or state legislation such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. The document is descriptive of marriage in the Orthodox understanding and also establishes guidelines regarding the usage of church property in related respects.

The text of the document has been posted here and is available in PDF format.