The name Greek Orthodox Church (Monotonic Greek: Ελληνορθόδοξη Εκκλησία, Polytonic: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἑκκλησία, IPA: [elinorˈθoðoksi ekliˈsia]) is a term referring to the body of several Churches within the larger communion of Eastern OrthodoxChristianity, whose liturgy is or was traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament. Today, several of these Churches conduct their services in Arabic, the common language of most of their faithful, while at the same time maintaining elements of Greek cultural tradition. The current territory of the Greek Orthodox Churches more or less covers the areas in the EasternMediterranean that used to be a part of the Byzantine Empire. The origins of the Orthodox Church can be traced back to the churches which the Apostles founded in the Balkans and the Middle East during the first century A.D., and it maintains many traditions practiced in the ancient Church. Among these traditions are the use of incense, Liturgical Worship, Priesthood, making the sign of the cross, etc. Greek Orthodox Churches, unlike the Catholic Church, have no Bishopric head, such as a Pope, and hold the belief that Christ is the head of the Church. However, they are each governed by a committee of Bishops, called the Holy Synod, with one central Bishop holding the honorary title of "first among equals."
Greek Orthodox Churches are united with each other and with the other Orthodox Churches (i.e. the Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox and Georgian Orthodox churches) by a common doctrine and a common form of worship, and they see themselves not as separate Churches but as administrative units of one Church (the Orthodox Church). They are notable for their extensive tradition of iconography, for their veneration of the Virgin Mary and the Saints, and for their use of the Divine Liturgy on Sundays, which is a standardized worship service dating back to the fourth century A.D. in its current form. The Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church was written by Saint John Chrysostom (347–407 A.D.).
^Robert L. Plummer (6 March 2012). Journeys of Faith: Evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Anglicanism. Zondervan. p. 128. ISBN978-0-310-41671-5. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "Catholicism holds that if a Church claims to be Christian, then it must be able to show that its leaders-its bishops and its presbyters (or priests)- are successors of the apostles. That is why the Catholic Church accepts Eastern Orthodox ordinations and sacraments as valid, even though Eastern Orthodoxy is not in full communion with Rome."
^The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America should not be confused with the Orthodox Church in America, whose autocephaly – granted by the Russian Orthodox Church – is not recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and many other churches of the Eastern Orthodox Communion.
^Roudometof, Victor (2002). Collective memory, national identity, and ethnic conflict. Greenwood Press. p. 179. "the only remaining issues between the two sides concern the extent to which minority members should have equal rights with the rest of the Albanian citizens as well as issues of property and ecclesiastical autonomy for the Greek Orthodox Church of Albania."