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Eastern Orthodox Church

Second-largest Christian church

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Eastern Orthodox Church: Second-largest Christian church
The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the bishop of Rome (Pope), but the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops among the world's Eastern Orthodox prelates and is regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Christians. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.

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