Eastern Orthodoxy by country

Distribution of Eastern Orthodox Christians in the world by country:
  Main religion (more than 75%)
  Main religion (50–75%)
  Important minority religion (20–50%)
  Important minority religion (5–20%)
  Minority religion (1–5%)
  Tiny minority religion (below 1%), but has local autocephaly

Based on the numbers of adherents, the Eastern Orthodox Church (also known as Eastern Orthodoxy) is the second largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church.[1] The most common estimates of the number of Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide is approximately 200–260 million.[2][3][4][5] The numerous Protestant groups in the world, if taken all together, outnumber the Eastern Orthodox,[6] but they differ theologically and do not form a single communion.[7]

Eastern Orthodoxy is the largest single religious faith in the world's largest country by area: Russia (41%[8][9]-77%),[10][11][12] where roughly half of the Eastern Orthodox Christians live. It is the majority religion in Ukraine (65.4%[13]-77%),[14] Romania (82%),[15] Belarus (48%[16]-73%[17]) Greece (95%-98%),[15] Serbia (85%),[15] Bulgaria (88%),[15] Moldova (93%),[15] Georgia (84%),[15] Macedonia (65%),[15] Cyprus (89%),[15] Montenegro (72%),[15] Estonia (14%), and it is also predominant in the disputed territories of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria.

Significant minorities, making up between 1 and 31 per cent of the population, are present in several European countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina (31%),[15] Latvia (18%), Albania (7%),[18] Lithuania (4%), Croatia (4%), Slovenia (2%), and Finland (1.5%). In Asia, around the former USSR, Eastern Orthodoxy constitutes the dominant religion in northern Kazakhstan, representing 23.9%,[19] of the population of the region, and is also a significant minority in Kyrgyzstan (17%), Turkmenistan (5%), Uzbekistan (5%), Azerbaijan (2%),[15] and Tajikistan (1%). In Lebanon, 8% are Eastern Orthodox.[20] In Syria, 5-8% were Eastern Orthodox prior to the war, and Eastern Orthodox Christians represent between 0.5% and 2.5% in Palestine,[21] and over 1% in Jordan. Recent immigration and missionary activity raised the numbers of the Eastern Orthodox community in Catholic and Protestant countries such as Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada and Switzerland to roughly 2% of the population in each.

The percentage of Christians in Turkey fell from 19 percent in 1914 to 2.5 percent in 1927,[22] due to events which had a significant impact on the country's demographic structure, such as the Armenian Genocide, the population exchange between Greece and Turkey,[23] and the emigration of Christians to foreign countries (mostly in Europe and the Americas).[24] Today there are more than 160,000 people of different Christian denominations.[25]

Eastern Orthodox population by country

The number of members of the Eastern Orthodox Church in each country has been subject to a lot of debate. Each study performed that seeks to discover the number of adherents in a country may use different criteria, and be submitted to different populations. As such, some numbers may be inflated, and therefore inaccurate. Examples of this are Greece and Russia, where estimates of adherence to Eastern Orthodoxy may reach 80-98%, but where surveys found lower percentages professing Eastern Orthodoxy or belief in God. The likely reason for this disparity is that many people in these majority Eastern Orthodox countries will culturally identify with the Eastern Orthodox Church, especially if they were baptized as children, even if they are not currently practicing. This includes those who may be irreligious, yet culturally identify with the Eastern Orthodox Church, or for whom Eastern Orthodox Christianity is listed on official state records. Other cases of incongruent data also might be due to counting ethnic groups from Eastern Orthodox countries rather than actual adherents. A case of this is the United States, which has large numbers of immigrants from Eastern Orthodox countries. The Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions often reported large numbers of members, which together would total 2-3 million across the country. However, a 2010 study by Alexei Krindatch sought data from each parish, with the specific criteria of annual participation. This study produced the "Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches", and discovered that there were only about 817,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians actively practicing their faith (that is to say, attending church services on a regular basis) in the United States. The study explained that such a difference was due to a variety of circumstances, for example the higher numbers having counted all people who self-identify as Eastern Orthodox on a census regardless of active participation, or all people belonging to ethnic groups originating in Eastern Orthodox countries. This study, while initially controversial, proved groundbreaking, and has since been officially approved for use by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.

As such, any data used to figure the population of Eastern Orthodox per nation, should be understood as estimated rather than exact. Additionally, total numbers of Eastern Orthodox Christians throughout the world may be anywhere from 150 million to 300 million, depending on the studies and definitions which are used.

Eastern Orthodox Church religious adherence by country
Country Total Population % Eastern Orthodox Eastern Orthodox total
 Albania (details) 2,921,977 6.75% (as per census, number likely upwards of 20%) 188,992 [26] (census unreliable, deemed corrupt, number is expected to be much higher)
 Armenia (details) 3,262,200 0.04% 1,200
 Australia (details) 23,824,600 2.6% 563,100[27]
 Austria (details) 8,773,000 6% 500,000
 Azerbaijan (details) 9,624,900 2.5% 240,000
 Belarus (details) 9,481,000 73% 4,590,000[16]
 Bosnia & Herzegovina (details) 3,871,643 31%[15] 1,200,000
 Bulgaria (details) 7,348,328[28] 59.4%[29] 4,374,135
 Canada (details) 33,476,688 1.7% 550,690[30]
 Croatia (details) 4,284,889 4.44%[31] 195,969
 Cyprus (details) 838,897 89.1%[15] 781,900
 Czech Republic (details) 10,538,275 0.2% 20,533
 Egypt (details) 84,550,000 0.39% 350,000[32]
 Estonia (details) 1,294,486 13.66% 176,773[33][34]
 Finland (details) 5,477,359 1.10%[35] 59,000
 Georgia (details) 3,729,635 82.1% 3,550,000
 Germany (details) 80,716,000 1.87% 1,500,000
 Greece (details) 10,815,197 95% 10,270,000
 Israel (details) 7,821,850[15] 0.67%[15] 50,000
 Italy (details) 60,795,612 1.5% 900,000[36]
 Japan (details) 126,880,000 0.03% 30,000[37]
 Jordan (details) 6,508,887 1.50% 100,000
 Kazakhstan (details) 17,948,816 23.9% 4,300,000 [19]
 Korea, South (details) 51,413,925 0.005% 4,000
 Kosovo (details) 1,733,842 1.48% (as per census) 25,837 (census boycotted by Northern Kosovo, and by a part of Serbs in the south)
 Kyrgyzstan (details) 5,895,100 17%[38] 1,000,000
 Latvia (details) 2,027,000 17.9% 370,000[39]
 Lebanon (details) 4,525,247 9% 330,000
 Lithuania (details) 2,966,954 125,189[40]
 Macedonia (details) 2,022,547 64.8% 1,310,184[41]
 Mexico (details) 121,736,809 0.00012% 15,000
 Moldova (details) 3,383,332 93.3% 3,158,015
 Montenegro (details) 625,266 72.0% 446,858[42]
 New Zealand (details) 4,599,327 0.3% 13,883[19]
 Palestine (details) 4,550,368 1.50%[21] 300
 Poland (details) 0.4% 156,000[43][44]
 Romania (details) 20,121,641 81.1% 16,321,389 [45]
 Russia (details) [46] 145,500,000 46.6%[47]-77.0%[10][11] 58,800,000[48][49]-101,450,000[48]
 Serbia (details) 7,186,862 84.59% 6,079,396[50]
 Slovakia (details) 5,397,036 0.9% 49,133[51]
 Slovenia (details) 2,055,496 2.2% 45,000
 Spain (details) 46,464,053 3.10% 1,500,000
 Sweden (details) 9,775,572 1.0% 97,000
  Switzerland (details) 8,211,700 1.7% 140,000[52]
 Syria (details) 22,457,336 5% 1,200,000
 Tajikistan (details) 8,208,000 2% 160,000
 Transnistria (details) 505,153 91%[53] 460,000
 Turkey (details) 77,695,904 0.8% 60,000
 Turkmenistan (details) 5,171,643 5%[54] 410,000
 Ukraine (details) 40,000,000 65.4%-76.6%[14] 27,802,000[13]-34,850,000[14]
 United States (details) 321,163,157 0.25% 817,528 [55]
 Uzbekistan (details) 29,559,100 5%[56] 1,000,000
TOTAL NA NA ~260 million[14]