The Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches

Editor’s note: We’ve received the following announcement from Alexei Krindatch, the Orthodox researcher and sociologist. Very soon, the first-ever Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches, edited by Krindatch, will be published by Holy Cross Orthodox Press. I have made several contributions to the Atlas, including the historical census data, a timeline of American Orthodox history, an chapter on ten little-known firsts in American Orthodox history, and an article on the Antiochian Archdiocese. SOCHA advisory board member Fr. John Erickson also contributed a brief history of Orthodoxy in America. For more, see Krindatch’s announcement below:

The Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches is to be published by the end of May by the Holy Cross Orthodox Press.

Order your copy at www.holycrossbookstore.com, toll-free 800-245-0599.

What is this Book about?

The Atlas provides an accurate “snapshot” of the various Orthodox Christian Churches in the United States. It is addressed for the wide – Orthodox and non-Orthodox, academic and non-academic – audience of readers. Simultaneously, this book is intended to be an atlas, a reference book and a thematic monograph. It is an atlas because it contains numerous maps to show the historical development and present territorial patterns of Orthodox Church life in America. It is a reference book because it furnishes comprehensive information on the American Orthodox Churches including up-to-date statistical data on their membership and geographic distribution. It is a thematic monograph because the essays in this book tell the story of the Orthodox Christian past and present in the United States.

Thematically, the Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches unfolds in four parts (for details, see also table of contents below). Chapter one looks at a timeline of Orthodox Christianity in America. It provides a general overview of the historical development of the American Orthodox Churches and presents many interesting facts about particular churches, local communities, and personalities associated with Orthodoxy in America. Chapter two offers an overview of twenty-one national Orthodox Church bodies (including Oriental Orthodox Churches). There are short articles with basic historic and other information about each Church. For each Church, we also provide two maps: a state-by-state map of parishes and a county-by-county map of membership. The third chapter is devoted to Orthodox monasteries in the United States. Today, there are more than eighty Orthodox monastic communities in America that are very different in terms of their size, geographic settings, patterns of everyday life, openness for outside visitors, etc. The chapter gives a general introduction into Orthodox monasticism in America and offers a systematic database for the eighty-one Orthodox monasteries in this country. The accompanying map shows their distribution across the country. Chapter four furnishes data from the 2010 US National Orthodox Census. Tables and maps in this chapter contain statistics of parishes, membership, and church attendance for twenty-one different national Orthodox Church bodies. This information is available church-by-church and state-by-state and county-by-county

An internally diverse and complex family of Churches is covered in this book. Their individual histories on American soil, their current “niche” in the context of the wider American society and their mutual relations are subjects which are at times very sensitive. Compiling this Atlas, I have done my best to be objective and accurate in presenting data and information about each Church. Our hope is that this work will help readers to better recognize the distinct Orthodox “colors” and “flavors” within the diverse and colorful American religious landscape.  Any constructive comments that readers may wish to make, as well as updates, on any subject included in this book are welcomed.

Alexei D. Krindatch
Principal Researcher, Data Compiler and Editor (akrindatch@aol.com)

What Are People Saying about this Book?

“Assembling a mass of recently generated data, The Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches provides an authoritative overview of a most important but often neglected segment of the American Christian community. Protestant and Catholic Christians especially will value editor Alexei Krindatch’s survey of both Eastern Orthodoxy as a whole and its multiple denominational expressions.”

J. Gordon Melton
Distinguished Professor of American Religious History
Baylor University, Waco, Texas

“Why are pictures worth a thousand words? Because they engage multiple senses and ways of knowing that stretch and deepen our understanding. Good pictures also tell compelling stories. Good maps are good pictures, and this makes the Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches, with its alternation and synthesis of picture and story, a persuasive way of presenting a rich historical journey of Orthodox Christianity on American soil. The telling is persuasive for both scholars and adherents. It is also provocative and suggestive for the American public as we continue to struggle with two issues, in particular, that have been at the center of the Orthodox experience in the United States: how to create and maintain unity cross vast terrains of cultural and ethnic difference; and how to negotiate American culture as a religious other without losing one’s soul.

David Roozen, Director
Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Hartford Seminary

Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches: Table of Contents

Preface: Goal and Scope of this Atlas

Acknowledgements and Contributing Authors

Data Presentation: Inclusiveness of the Atlas, Methodology, Terminology and Problems

Chapter 1. Orthodox Christianity in the United States: Past and Present

Timeline of Orthodox Christianity in America

Orthodox Christianity in America:  One Faith but Many Stories

Ten Interesting Facts about the History of Orthodox Christianity in the USA

Maps:

  • Membership of Orthodox Christian Churches by State: 1906, 1936, 2010
  • Parishes of Orthodox Christian Churches by State: 1911, 1936, 2010
  • Membership of Orthodox Christian Churches by County: 2010
  • Members of Orthodox Churches as a Percentage of Total Population by County: 2010

Chapter 2. Orthodox Christian Churches in the United States: General Information, Essays and Maps.

The Eastern (Byzantine) Orthodox Churches:

  • Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America
  • American Carpatho Russian Orthodox Diocese
  • Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
  • Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia
  • Georgian Orthodox Parishes in the USA     
  • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Holy Orthodox Church in North America
  • Macedonian Orthodox Church: American-Canadian Diocese
  • Orthodox Church in America
  • Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church
  • Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in Americas
  • Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
  • Serbian Orthodox Church in North America
  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
  • Vicariate for the Palestinian / Jordanian Orthodox Christian Communities

The Oriental Orthodox Christian Churches:

  • Armenian Apostolic Church of America: Catholicosate of Cilicia
  • Armenian Church of America: Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin
  • Coptic Orthodox Church in the United States
  • Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Syrian Church
  • Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America
  • Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch

Chapter 3. Orthodox Monastic Communities in the United States

Orthodox Monastic Communities in the United States: Introduction

Map: Orthodox Monastic Communities in the United States

Orthodox Monastic Communities by State

Directory of Orthodox Monastic Communities by State

Chapter 4. The 2010 US National Orthodox Census

Abbreviations

Orthodox Christian Churches in the United States: 2010

Orthodox Christian Churches by State: 2010

Orthodox Christian Churches by County: 2010

Appendix. Further Sources of Information on Orthodox Christianity in the United States

3 thoughts on “The Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches

  1. Is there anything on changes in these demographics? For instance, does the map of monasteries note the locations of closed monastic communities? Are there maps detailing the location of parishes in 1900, 1930, 1950, 1970 and 2000, as well as today? Any note on the change in membership (I”m guessing not since past membership numbers seem to have been rather ‘broad’ guesstimations)?

    Do the maps differentiate between parishes of 1000 and missions of 10 in the same way different size villages, towns and cities are differentiated? Is something similar done to differentiate between small and large monasteries, e.g., the difference in size between St. Thekla’s in Ligonier, PA and St. Anthony’s in Florence, AZ?

  2. I haven’t actually seen the full Atlas yet — only the historical data that I provided. But once the book is out, you should be able to answer all those questions.

  3. I can’t wait to see this. I will definitely have it reviewed in LOGOS: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies and on the journal’s blog (easternchristianbooks.blogspot.com); and will also consider using it in my courses.

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