African Greek Orthodox Church

      a religious movement in East Africa that represents a prolonged search for a Christianity more African and, its adherents say, more authentic than the denominational mission forms transplanted from overseas. It began when an Anglican in Uganda, Reuben Spartas, heard of the independent, all-black African Orthodox Church in the United States and founded his own African Orthodox Church in 1929. In 1932 he secured ordination by the U.S. church's archbishop from South Africa, whose episcopal orders traced to the ancient Syrian Jacobite (Monophysite) Church of India. After discovering that the U.S. body was heterodox, the African Church added the term Greek and from 1933 developed an affiliation with the Alexandrian patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox church that culminated in its coming under the control of the first Greek missionary archbishop for East Africa in 1959. Also included were similar but larger churches that had arisen in central and western Kenya.

      In 1966 tensions arising from missionary paternalism, inadequate material assistance, and young Greek-trained priests who were not particularly African-oriented led Spartas and his followers into secession. The new group, the African Orthodox Autonomous Church South of the Sahara (with some 7,000 members in Uganda), made unsuccessful approaches to other Greek patriarchates. These East African churches have asserted their African autonomy, shared in nationalist political activities, and accommodated to African customs (such as polygamy, ritual purificatory circumcision of females, and divination). At the same time, their vernacular versions of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, use of vestments and icons, and identification with Eastern Orthodoxy represent a search for connection with the primitive church.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria — Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and of All Africa Seal Founder The Apostle and Evangelist Mark Independence Apostolic Era …   Wikipedia

  • Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria — ▪ religion       autocephalous, or ecclesiastically independent, Eastern Orthodox patriarchate, second in honorific rank after the Church of Constantinople; its patriarch is considered the successor of St. Mark the Evangelist and heads the… …   Universalium

  • Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria — Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and of All Africa Ϯⲉⲕ̀ⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ ̀ⲛⲣⲉⲙ̀ⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ ̀ⲛⲟⲣⲑⲟⲇⲟⲝⲟⲥ Coptic Orthod …   Wikipedia

  • Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church — Part of the series on Copts Culture …   Wikipedia

  • Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria — Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa redirects here. For Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, see Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. Bishop of Alexandria Bishopric …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Eastern Orthodox Church in North America — This article forms part of the series Orthodoxy in the Americas History Orthodoxy in the Americas timeline Orthodoxy in the Americas bibliography Byzantines on OCA autocephaly …   Wikipedia

  • Greek Church — • Details the history and various divisions of the church Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Greek Church     Greek Church     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Orthodox Christianity in Uganda — Uganda is the first country to the south of the Sahara where an Orthodox Christian community began to form. Contents 1 Present day 2 History 2.1 Canonical Orthodoxy 3 See also …   Wikipedia

  • church — /cherrch/, n. 1. a building for public Christian worship. 2. public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly. 3. (sometimes cap.) the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom. 4. (sometimes cap.)… …   Universalium

  • Church of Alexandria — The Church of Alexandria in Egypt is the particular church headed by the Patriarch of Alexandria. It is one of the original four Apostolic Sees of Christianity, with Rome, Antioch and Jerusalem (Constantinople was added later as the fifth). The… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.