A new report, titled “Orthodox Christian Churches in 21st Century America: A Parish Life Study,” was released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America during the last week of January 2018.
The report provides a comprehensive picture of American Orthodox parishes today, including such aspects as membership, worship, programs, religious education, youth, usage of electronic technologies, and much more. Of particular interest are subjects that have never been examined previously, such as the vision of parish clergy for Orthodox Church unity in America, similarities and differences between American Orthodox parishes and Protestant congregations, and the use of electronic technologies in US Orthodox parishes.
A total of 580 Orthodox Christian parishes—about 30% of all US Orthodox parishes—participated in this unique study. Five Orthodox jurisdictions had a significant number of participating parishes: the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Orthodox Church in America, and the Serbian Orthodox Church. The study report discusses the similarities and differences among the parishes of these five jurisdictions.
“Orthodox Christian Churches in 21st Century America” was part of a much larger national study of American religious congregations, titled “Faith Communities Today.” One chapter of the report provides a glimpse into what are the most remarkable differences between Orthodox Christian parishes and the Mainline and Evangelical Protestant congregations.
The report was prepared by Alexei Krindatch, the Assembly’s Research Coordinator. Links to earlier studies and reports produced by the Assembly of Bishops are available online.