Posts tagged Bulgarian
Recently, I had occasion to research the 1872 Council of Constantinople, which somewhat famously condemned “ethno-phyletism.” The issue arose because, as I understand it, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church — which was under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate — declared itself autocephalous. Anyway, before I began this research, I could probably tell you three or four sentences’ worth of information about the whole affair. Surprisingly, there is very little to be found online, and what little has been written about the Council tends to focus on applying it to a modern, American context — an endeavor that can lead to historical inaccuracies and anachronisms. I also searched various databases of scholarly journals, but came up empty. At least in English, there appear to be almost no modern treatments of this Council.
I then checked my personal archives, and it turns out that I have a series of contemporaneous accounts of the situation, published in the Methodist Quarterly Review beginning in 1870. I’m going to reprint those articles here, because they are the best thing I’ve yet found on the subject, and also because they show the kind of reporting you could find in America on global Orthodox events in the 1870s.
This first installment comes from the July 1870 issue of the Methodist Quarterly Review, beginning at page 451.
THE EASTERN CHURCH — THE BULGARIAN QUESTION. — Among the most important questions which have agitated the Eastern Churches since the beginning of the present century is the re-construction of a national Bulgarian Church, which is to remain united with the Patriarchate of Constantinople and other parts of the Greek Church in point of doctrine, but to maintain an entire independence in point of administration. This question has obtained a political, as well as an ecclesiastical, importance, as Russia, France, and other European powers have tried to make capital out of it. A decree of the Turkish Government, issued in February, 1870, appears to decide the main point which was at issue. As important results may follow this decision, a brief history of the Bulgarian question will aid in a proper understanding of the situation it now occupies, and of the hopes that are entertained by the Bulgarians with regard to their future.
When the Bulgarians, in the ninth century, under King Bogaris, became Christians, the new missionary Church was placed under the supervision of the Greek Patriarch. About fifty years later King Samuel established the political independence of the Bulgarian nation and the ecclesiastical independence of the Bulgarian Church. But after his death, the Church was again placed under the Greek Patriarch, and did not regain the enjoyment of ecclesiastical independence till the latter part of the twelfth century. After the conquest of the country by the Turks, in 1393, many of the Bulgarians for a while became, outwardly, Mohammedans; but, as religious freedom increased, returned to their earlier faith, and the Bulgarian Church was made an appendage to that of Constantinople. Good feeling prevailed then between the Greeks and the Bulgarians, and the Sultan filled the Bulgarian Sees with Greek prelates, who were acceptable to the people. As the Bulgarian nobility was exterminated, and the people oppressed by wars which followed, there was, until the beginning of the present [19th] century, scarcely a single voice raised against the foreign Episcopate. But the national feeling began to assert itself about fifty years ago, and the Greek Patriarch was compelled to authorize several reforms. Abuses continued, however, and the national feeling increased, so that the Patriarch was obliged, in 1848, to approve the erection of a Bulgarian Church, and of a school for the education of priests, in the capital. The demand of the Bulgarians for a restoration of their nationality, in 1856, again aroused the slumbering zeal of the Greeks, and the differences between the two nationalities have continued very active up to the present time. The Porte, in 1862, named a mixed commission, to investigate and settle the inquiries. It proposed two plans of adjustment. According to one of these plans, the Bulgarian Church was to name the Bishops of those districts in which the Bulgarian population was a majority. The other plan accorded to the Bulgarians the right to have a Metropolitan in every province, and a Bishop in every diocese, where there is a strong Bulgarian population. Both plans were rejected, and the Turkish Government, having been to considerable pains for nothing, left the contending parties to settle the controversy in their own way.
Accordingly the Greek Patriarch, in 1869, proposed a General Council, and solicited the different Churches of the Greek Confession for their opinions and advice on the subject. Greece, Roumania, and Servia declared themselves in favor of the Council. On the other hand, the Holy Synod of Petersburgh, for the Russian Church, declared the claims of the Bulgarians to be excessive, and that, although it considered a Council the only lawful means of settling the points at issue, it feared a schism if the demands of the Bulgarians were complied with, and was further afraid that the fulfillments [sic] of the demands of the canons would be refused, and advised the continuance of the status quo. The Greek Patriarch, being unwilling to solve the question, the Turkish Government took the matter into its own hands, and in February, 1870, issued a decree which establishes a Bulgarian Exarch, to whom are subordinate thirteen Bulgarian Bishops, whose number may be increased whenever it may be found necessary. The Turkish Government has tried to spare the sensibility of the Greeks as much as possible, and has, therefore, not only withheld from the head of the Bulgarian Church the title of Patriarch, but has expressly provided that the Exarch should remain subordinate to the Patriarch of Constantinople. Nevertheless the Patriarch has entered his solemn and earnest protest against the scheme. His note to the Grand Vizier, which is signed by all the members of the Holy Synod of Constantinople, is an important document in the history of the Greek Church, and reads as follows:
To His Highness the Grand Vizier: – Your Highness was pleased to communicate to the Patriarchate, through Messrs Christaki, Efendi, Sagraphras, and Kara-Theodor, the Imperial firman, written upon parchment, which solves the Bulgarian question after it had been open during ten years. The Patriarchate, always faithfully fulfilling its duties toward the Emperor, whom the Lord God has given to the nations, has at all times remained foreign to any thought that the decrees of the Sublime Sovereign in political questions should not be obeyed. The Oriental Church obeyed with cheerfulness and respect the legitimate Sovereigns. The latter, on their part, have always respected the province which belongs to the ecclesiastical administration. The Sultans, of glorious memory, as well as their present fame-crowned successor, (whose strength may be invincible,) have always drawn a marked boundary-line between civil and ecclesiastical authority; they recognized the rights, privileges, and immunities of the latter, and guaranteed it by Hatti-Humayums. They never permitted any one to commit an encroachment upon the original rights of the Church, which, during five centuries, was under the immediate protection of the Imperial throne.
Your Highness: If the said firman had been nothing but the sanction of a Concordat between the Patriarchate and the Bulgarians, we should respect and accept it. Unfortunately, things are different. Since the firman decides ecclesiastical questions, and since the decision is contrary to the canons, and vitally wounds the rights and privileges of the Holy See, the Patriarchate cannot accept the ultimatum of the Imperial Government. Your Highness: Since the Bulgarians obstinately shut their ears to the voice of that reconciliation which we aim at, and since the Imperial Government is not compelled to solve an ecclesiastical question in an irrevocable manner; since, finally, the abnormal position of affairs violates and disturbs ancient rights, the Ecumenical Patriarchate renews the prayer, that the Imperial Government may allow the convocation of an Ecumenical Council, which alone is authorized to solve this question in a manner legally valid and binding for both parties. Moreover, we beseech the Imperial Government that it may take the necessary steps which are calculated to put an end to the disorder which disturbs the quiet within our flock, and which can chiefly be traced to the circulars of the Heads of the Bulgarians (dated the 15th of the present month). The Ecumenical Patriarchate enters its protest with the Imperial Government against the creation of these disturbances.
Written and done in our Patriarchal residence, Mar. 24 (old style), 1870.
(Signed) GREGORY CONSTANTINE, Patriarch.
(Signed) All the members of the Holy Synod.
The note of the Patriarch and his Synod indicates that they are aware that, sooner or later, the national demands of the Bulgarians must be granted; and their chief concern now is to obtain as large concessions for the supremacy of the Patriarchal See as possible.
A peaceable and a speedy solution of the difference is the more urgent, as during the last ten years the heads of the Roman Catholic Church in Turkey, aided by the diplomatic agents of the French Government, have made the most strenuous efforts to gain a foothold among the Bulgarians, and to establish a United Bulgarian Church. Nor have these efforts been altogether unsuccessful. Several years ago the Pope appointed the Bulgarian priest, Sokolski, the first Bishop of those Bulgarians who had entered the union with Rome, and who constituted a nucleus of the United Bulgarian Church, which, like the other united Oriental Churches, accepts the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, but is allowed to retain the ancient customs of the ancient national Church, (marriage of the priests, use of the Sclavic [sic] language at divine service, etc.). Bishop Sokolski was quite on a sudden carried off from Constantinople, (as was commonly thought by Russian agents,) and has never been heard of since. In 1855, Raphael Popof was consecrated successor of Sokolski; he still lives, as the only United Bulgarian Bishop, is present at the Vatican Council. He resides at Adrianople, and under his administration the membership of the United Bulgarian Church has increased (up to 1869) to over 9,000 souls, of whom 3,000 lives in Constantinople, 2,000 in Salonichi and Monastir, 1,000 in Adrianople, and 3,000 in the vicinity of Adrianople. The clergy of the Church, in 1869, consisted of ten secular priests.
The part about Rome and the emerging Bulgarian “unia” — complete with a Uniate bishop allegedly abducted by Tsarist agents! — is a topic worthy of study on its own. It’s also interesting to note that all of this was happening simultaneous with the First Vatican Council, which proclaimed the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility.
Next week, we’ll be back with another article on the “Bulgarian Question” and the build-up to the 1872 Council of Constantinople — which, as you might have noticed from the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s letter, was referred to as an “Ecumenical Council.” (Yes, there were Ecumenical Councils after #7.)
June 10, 1870: The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church created the Diocese of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska. Previously, Alaska — or, before its 1867 sale to the United States, “Russian America” — was part of the Diocese of Kamchatka.
Making Alaska its own diocese was part of the transition in the wake of the 1867 sale. Four weeks later, Bishop John Mitropolsky was consecrated to head the new Alaskan diocese, but he actually set up his headquarters in San Francisco — outside of the official diocesan territory.
June 8, 1891: After three years of unceasing scandal, the Russian Holy Synod removed Bishop Vladimir Sokolovsky and reassigned him to a see in Russia. He was replaced by Bishop Nicholas Ziorov, who stabilized the diocese and oversaw its expansion throughout the United States.
June 4, 1896: Mikhail Borisovitch Maximovitch was born in the province of Kharkov, in what is now Ukraine. He went on to become the great Archbishop John, serving as a ROCOR bishop in Shanghai, Western Europe, and finally San Francisco. He was canonized in 1994.
June 5, 1901: Fr. Misael Karydis, pastor of Holy Trinity Church in New Orleans, committed suicide in a New York hotel. In December 2009, I wrote a pair of articles on this tragic (and mysterious) incident; click HERE and HERE to read them.
Fr. Misael was born in Bulgaria in October 1847. He came to New Orleans in 1880 or ’81, and was the priest there for 20 years. Those 20 years witnessed tremendous changes in American Orthodoxy. When Fr. Misael arrived, his New Orleans parish was one of just three Orthodox communities in the contiguous United States (San Francisco and New York being the other two). His parish was under the Church of Greece, although the extent of that relationship, and Fr. Misael’s own ecclesiastical affiliation, are unclear.
It’s hard to get a good handle on the sort of person Fr. Misael was. We know that, in 1888, he got into a fistfight with a Greek newspaper reporter. In the days following his death, reports surfaced that he was a reclusive inventor, obsessed with building a flying machine (this was two years before the Wright brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk). More darkly, there are suggestions that he may have abused children.
Why he committed suicide in New York, rather than New Orleans, is not really clear. Apparently, he left New Orleans after receiving word that his father had died in Bulgaria. Arriving in New York, he met with Greek consul Demetrius Botassi, checked into a hotel under a false name, ate dinner, and then shot himself. He lingered for a bit before dying, but wouldn’t talk to anyone.
The whole thing is really mysterious, and if you want to learn more, check out the two articles I linked to above.
June 8, 1907: Bishop Platon Rozhdestvensky was elevated to Archbishop and assigned to replace St. Tikhon as primate of the Russian Archdiocese in America. Platon served in America until 1914, when he was reassigned to a prominent see in the Russian Empire. He returned to America in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Russian Civil War.
June 6, 1926: Fr. Arseny Chahovtsov was consecrated in Belgrade, Serbia to be the Bishop of Winnipeg, Canada. This was at a time when the Russian Metropolia was a part of ROCOR, and the consecration itself was presided over by ROCOR’s First Hierarch, Metropolitan Antonii Khrapovitskii. It also had the blessings of the Serbian Patriarch and Metropolitan Platon Rozhdestevsky of the Metropolia.
June 10, 1926: Fr. Moses Abihider died. He had immigrated to America in 1908 and served as a priest under St. Raphael Hawaweeny in the Syro-Arab Mission. For the great majority of his career, he was assigned to Springfield, MA.
The Abihiders had a stunning 17 children, of whom at least nine survived to adulthood. According to one anecdote related by a relative of the Abihider family, a suitor came to seek the hand of one of the Abihider girls. Fr. Moses interrogated the man, and, satisfied of his worthiness, told the daughter, “Come meet your husband. Get ready; you will be married next Saturday.”
Fr. Moses must have been close friends with Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh, because one of his sons was named Aftimios and had the archbishop as his godfather. In 1999, Aftimios Abihider was the publisher of the biography of Aftimios Ofiesh, written by Ofiesh’s widow Miriam.
Fr. Moses is perhaps best known for being featured on the tombstone of St. Raphael. He is one of six clergymen listed along with the great bishop, and all were at one time buried together at Brooklyn’s Mount Olivet Cemetery. However, in 1988, the remains of St. Raphael and two of the others (Bishops Emmanuel Abo-Hatab and Sophronios Beshara) were transferred, along with the tombstone, to the Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania. It seems most likely that Fr. Moses’ remains are still at Mount Olivet.
June 10, 1927: Fr. Panagiotis Phiambolis, one of the first Greek Orthodox priests in America, died in St. Louis at the age of 87. A married priest, he came to America in 1892 to become the first pastor of the first Orthodox church in Chicago. Later, he served in Boston and then St. Louis, where he remained for the rest of his life. While in St. Louis, his parish split in 1910 and then reunited in 1917. Fr. Panagiotis retired the following year, at age 78. His daughter Helen Jannopoulo went on to become an accomplished author, and her book And Across Big Seas recounts events from her own life, including a lot of details on the family’s move from Greece to Chicago.
June 10, 1931: The future Antiochian Metropolitan Philip Saliba was born.
June 9, 1980: President Jimmy Carter awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Archbishop Iakovos Coucouzis, primate of the Greek Archdiocese. The medal is now on display as part of the Archbishop Iakovos Collection at Hellenic College in Brookline, MA. President Carter made these remarks when giving Iakovos the award:
One of the most exciting days of my Presidency was a year or so ago when we had this entire lawn almost filled with delighted Greek Americans who share with me and others the admiration that we all feel for the next honoree. I’d like to ask Archbishop Iakovos to come forward.
Greek Orthodox Archbishop Iakovos has long put into practice what he has preached. As a progressive religious leader concerned with human rights and the ecumenical movement, he has marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and has met with the Pope. As the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America concerned with his congregation, he has given guidance to millions.
Today I’ll be discussing Aglikin v. Kovacheff, a 1987 Illinois appellate court case involving a dispute over control of St. Sophia Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Chicago. The key question, in this case, concerns the extent of the diocesan bishop’s authority over the local parish. The bishop had dismissed certain members of the parish board of trustees — did he have the authority to do this? The Illinois court (both the majority and the dissent) applied neutral principles analysis to the case. (To read the full opinions, click here.)
St. Sophia was a part of the Bulgarian patriarchal jurisdiction. It was incorporated in 1946, and its articles of incorporation indicate that it is “administratively and canonically” an “inseparable organic part of the Bulgarian Eparchy in America and under its jurisdiction.”
The bylaws of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church grant diocesan control over local parish boards — according to the bylaws, if parish board members fail in their duties, the diocese can dismiss the board and appoint a commission to run the church. These Bulgarian Church bylaws also stipulate that the “organization and administration” of the American diocese will be determined by a special synodical order sanctioned by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs — but, the court says, “[n]o such order appears in the record before us.” The lack of such an order was a major part of the dismissed trustees’ argument against the bishop’s authority.
The Bulgarian diocese in America was founded in 1969, and its bylaws provide for “absolute control” of church property by the local church, administered by the parish board. The diocesan bishop must bless the election of board members, but the bylaws are silent about any diocesan control over the board once it is in office. Unlike in the patriarchal bylaws, there’s no indication in the diocesan bylaws that the bishop can dismiss board members.
The trial court had applied strict deference in this case, and found that since the local parish is subordinate to the diocesan bishop, it is bound by his decisions. On this basis, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the diocesan commission. (Summary judgment means that the case didn’t go to trial — the trial judge decided that there was no “genuine issue of material fact,” and that one side was entitled to “judgment as a matter of law.”) The appellate court disagreed, holding that neutral principles, rather than strict deference, should be employed. Why? “Our preference for a neutral principles approach, rather than the strict deference approach, is based on our conclusion that court entanglement in ecclesiastical doctrine is less likely to occur in the application of neutral principles.”
Deference, said the court, presumes that a local church has totally submitted to a hierarchical authority — but it’s not always that simple. In fact, strict deference may discourage local parishes from affiliating with a diocese, since they would be subject to the whims of the diocesan authority. Citing Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Serbian Diocese v. Milivojevich, the court observed that strict deference also runs the risk of establishing religion.
Neutral principles analysis isn’t always possible. According to the appellate court, it works in disputes over ownership or control. In this case, both sides agreed that the dispute wasn’t about doctrine or polity — it was about control of property.
Applying neutral principles, the appellate court found that there was a genuine issue of material fact in this case: namely, the extent of diocesan authority. St. Sophia’s articles of incorporation place it under the Bulgarian Church, but they don’t specify the extent of that subordination. Nothing in the articles says that the bishop controls parish property or can dismiss a parish board. Likewise, the diocesan bylaws don’t help. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church bylaws do give the bishop that kind of authority… but that brings us back to that special synod order I mentioned above. There was no such order, at least not that anyone could produce, which led the court to question whether the Bulgarian patriarchal bylaws applied to its American diocese.
This isn’t to say that the patriarchal bylaws don’t apply to America, but it’s enough for the court to find a “genuine issue of material fact” sufficient to send the case to trial. Because of this, and because the trial court erroneously (so says the appellate court) employed strict deference rather than neutral principles, the case was sent back to the lower court. The appellate court reasoned,
We note that the trial court impermissibly extended its jurisdiction by declaring that St. Sophia will be “governed by the dictates” of the bishop. While civil courts have subject-matter jurisdiction over church property disputes, they may decide only issues relating to the parties’ civil and property rights. [...] By according the bishop plenary authority over St. Sophia’s affairs, the trial court failed to restrict itself to deciding who controls St. Sophia’s property and assets. Civil courts lack the power to confer ecclesiastical authority.
In dissent, Justice Jiganti actually agreed that neutral principles analysis was appropriate in this case, but he reached a very different conclusion. Neutral principles is the right approach, he says, but here there simply is no geninue issue of material fact. “The only issue in this case is whether St. Sophia submitted to the jurisdiction of the regional diocese and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Although the majority finds a question of fact with regard to this issue, I believe that it is foreclosed by the statement in St. Sophia’s Articles of Incorporation that St. Sophia was ‘administratively and canonically’ under the jurisdiction of the ‘Bulgarian Eparchy in America.’”
These articles of incorporation, says Justice Jiganti, should be analyzed just like a contract — the plain meaning of the words is paramount. And those words plainly subject the local parish to the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Church. Yes, the parish has some level of choice in certain respects, but it’s still subordinate to the American diocese and the Church of Bulgaria. The fact that the diocesan bishop can replace the parish board doesn’t take control over church property away from the parish — it just changes the identity of the parish leaders. “St. Sophia will still operate as St. Sophia, but under a new leadership.”
Both sides in this case make some good points, but my initial reaction is that the majority’s decision hinges on a technicality. No, there wasn’t that special synod order, but how important is that? Does the absence of a special order mean that the American diocese isn’t subject to the bylaws of the Mother Church? It would be nice to get some more information about just what the special order is, but we aren’t given any details. We’re just told by the majority that there wasn’t such an order. I didn’t discuss it above, but the majority also found some significance in an affidavit by the former president of the parish board, claiming that St. Sophia retained “administrative independence” when it joined the American diocese. The dissent points out that, since we have reasonably clear official documents like the articles of incorporation, that affidavit doesn’t carry a lot of weight.
In defense of the majority, on the other hand, I would point out that they didn’t say that the former parish board wins the case — they just said that there’s enough of a factual dispute that the case should go to trial. They may be right. At the very least, I would think that a trial would reveal the content and significance of those “special orders.”
The most interesting thing about this case is the fact that justices applying neutral principles can still reach very different outcomes in the same case.
This article was written by Matthew Namee.
Fr. Misael Karydis is one of many odd, mysterious figures from early American Orthodox history. We’ve discussed him at length in past articles. He was the longtime pastor of Holy Trinity Church in New Orleans, from 1881 until his suicide in 1901, and besides his pastoral work, he was apparently something of an inventor. Among the unexpected facts of Karydis’ life is that he was reportedly neither Greek (the dominant ethnicity in the New Orleans parish) nor Russian, nor Syrian, nor Serbian. According to all the sources I’ve seen, he was, of all things, Bulgarian — a nationality that, even today, represents a minuscule proportion of American Orthodoxy. Needless to say, if Karydis was, in fact, from Bulgaria, he represents the first Bulgarian priest ever to set foot in America.
Recently, I stumbled onto the 1900 US Census record containing Karydis’ information. (And just to be thorough, he was in the 6th Ward of New Orleans, Supervisor’s District 1, Enumeration District 60, Sheet 7, Line 74.) Fr. Misael’s last name (another ambiguity, as it’s listed in various sources as “Karydis” and “Kalitski”) is reported in the census as something like “Rache” or maybe “Kachi.” Or something else — the census entries are handwritten, and the census employee who recorded Fr. Misael’s name didn’t have the best penmanship. (See the above image.)
According to the census, Fr. Misael was indeed born in Bulgaria, of Bulgarian parents, in October of 1847 — making him 53 at the time of his death. He came to America in 1880, but never obtained US citizenship. His occupation is listed simply as “priest.”
[This article was written by Matthew Namee.]
Every ten years, from 1906 to 1936, the US Census Bureau compiled a Census of Religious Bodies. These censuses are gold mines of information on early American Orthodoxy. Also, unlike so many of the inflated numbers that you’re likely to see floating around, the census data is reliable. With its considerable resources, the Census Bureau was able not only to work with the jurisdictions themselves, but to contact individual parishes for precise information. The result is a thorough, well-researched, and generally unbiased collection of statistics and other information.
What can we learn from the censuses? Loads of things. For instance, we can track the growth of the various Orthodox groups and jurisdictions in the United States:
The Russian spike in 1916 was most likely caused by Uniate conversions. Overall, the Orthodox population grew from about 130,000 in 1906 to almost 350,000 thirty years later:
- 1906: 129,606
- 1916: 249,840
- 1926: 259,394
- 1936: 348,025
As you can see, the 1916-1926 period was rather stagnant; in fact, aside from the Albanians and Romanians, every jurisdiciton declined in that period. World War I probably had something to do with it, as well as the new immigration quotas imposed by the US government in 1924. It’s also likely that the various jurisdictional schisms of the 1920s – Russy-Antacky, Royalist-Venizelist, Metropolia-Living Church — affected the ability of the Census Bureau to collect data. (That is, there were probably more Orthodox than were reported in 1926.)
One of the things I’ve found most interesting about the census data are the gender ratios. In 1906, men represented 85% of all American Orthodox Christians. That is, for every woman, there were almost six men. Here are the percentages of women in each year:
- 1906: 15%
- 1916: 28%
- 1926: 40%
- 1936: 46%
By 1936, every group was between 42 and 51 percent female. For most of this period, the Greeks were the most overwhelmingly male jurisdiction (with female percentages from 1906-36 of 6, 17, 34, and 43 percent). Until ’36, the Syrians were the most balanced group, with 40% women in 1906, and 45, 49, and 47 percent in the years that followed.
The Serbian male population actually declined considerably from 1906-26, due most likely to the Balkan Wars and then World War I, but the female population (not just the percentage) increased dramatically:
- 1906: 2,228 women (14%)
- 1916: 3,301 women (23%)
- 1926: 6,421 women (47%)
The census also kept data on Sunday schools. In 1906, there were just 7 Sunday schools in all of American Orthodoxy. By 1916, there were 162 (of which 126 were Russian). The Russians actually closed a lot of their Sunday schools in the next decade (dropping to 90), but the Greeks and Romanians added a lot more, pushing the total number up to 198 by 1926. By 1936, there were 294 Orthodox Sunday schools in the United States, of which 129 were Greek and 101 were Russian.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s available in the censuses. In the future, we’ll continue to unpack the data.