The Orthodox Slavs form a religious grouping of the Slavic peoples, including ethnic groups and nations that predominantly adhere to the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith and whose Churches follow the Byzantine Rite liturgy. Orthodoxy spread from the Balkans to Eastern Europe in the Early Middle Ages through Byzantine influence, and has been retained in several countries until today.

Orthodox Slavonic nations today include the Belarusians, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Russians, Serbs and Ukrainians.[1] They inhabit a contiguous area in Eastern Europe stretching from the northeast in the Baltic Sea to the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains in the southeast and southwest; from the north in the Russian Federation to the southwest in Macedonia near the Greek border. There are also major Orthodox Slavic population hubs and communities in North Asia (predominantly Siberia), the Americas (predominantly North America), and significant diaspora groups throughout the rest of the world.

All Orthodox Christian Churches with Slavic-language liturgy, with the exception of the Bulgarian Church, use the Julian calendar ("Old Style") exclusively, and all use it to calculate the date Easter is celebrated.


Slavic states with Orthodox majority or plurality:

State Adherents
 Serbia 84.59% (2011 census)
 Ukraine 72% (2008 est.)
 Montenegro 70.07% (2011 census)
 Macedonia 64.78% (2002 census)
 Bulgaria 59.4% (2011 census)
 Belarus 48.3% (2011 census)
 Russia 41% (2012 census)

Other Slavic-majority states with notable Orthodox minorities include Bosnia and Herzegovina (30.75%, 2013 census) and Croatia (4.44%, 2011 census[2]). Small numbers are found in West Slavic countries such as Slovakia (0.9%, 2011[3]), Poland (0.7%, 2011), and the Czech Republic. Among non-Slavic majority states with notable Orthodox Slavic communities are

Autocephalous churches

Church Year autocephaly granted Number of followers
Bulgarian Orthodox Church 870 8–10 million
Serbian Orthodox Church 1219 8–12 million
Russian Orthodox Church 1589 150 million
Polish Orthodox Church 1924 600,000
Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church 1998 100,000

See also


  1. ^ "Byzantine Religion and Influence". Historydoctor.net. Retrieved 20 December 2017. 
  2. ^ "Population by Religion, by Towns/Municipalities, 2011 Census". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Table 14 Population by religion" (PDF). Statistical Office of the SR. 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2012.