Hey everybody this is Steve! And the Orthodox Church has been in the news a lot lately because of the upcoming Holy and Great Council. Since we’ve been getting a bunch of questions about Orthodoxy, we decided to narrow them down and offer 10 fun facts about the Church. Here it goes! Are you guys really Christian? Yup! We believe in the Holy Trinity, we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He was born, that He was crucified and rose on the 3rd day, that He ascended into heaven, and that He’ll come again. In fact, all of our beliefs and practices are grounded in Christ Himself. Both in the sense that we can trace them back to Christ and His Apostles and disciples, and also in the sense that we are a part of Christ in baptism, that every Divine Liturgy is a taste of God’s everlasting Kingdom. Are you guys kind of like Catholics without the Pope? Yes and no, I guess? Because the question itself may be a bit misleading. I get that comparisons are a helpful way to learn about things. But it’s even more helpful to learn about the Church directly. Here’s a playlist of videos that can get you started. And don’t forget to visit your local Orthodox parish and see for yourself. Do you guys believe in the Bible? Of course! The Scripture is the foundational text for our theology and for the writings of the Church Fathers. And it’s a huge part of our services, which are full of prayers that directly quote Scripture! We also have extended Scripture readings from the Old and New Testaments and Scripture references all over the place. Here’s a short video listing three things you need to know about the Bible. Basically, we need to remember that the Word of God isn’t simply a book. It’s a person, Jesus Christ. We encounter Him in the Scripture, in prayer, in acts of service, and especially in the Divine Liturgy What’s with all the incense? We pray with incense because our relationship with God isn’t simply a spiritual thing. It’s a physical thing, engaging all of our senses, directing all of our person, both body and soul, towards God. For more, check out the video. Why do you guys fast so much? Fasting is an important part of our life in Christ, so important that we have a whole playlist of videos dedicated to it It helps us develop discipline, it shows how our bodies and souls are connected, and it reveals how dependent we are on the comfort of a full stomach. There’s a lot to say, so check out these videos for more. Who are all those people painted on your church walls? Our churches are typically decorated with images or icons of Christ, the angels and of the saints, those Christians whose lives we strive to imitate. The icons serve many purposes, but a big one is to remind us that we are not alone in our Christian journey, that the Church is not simply an earthly institution, but a place where heaven and earth are joined. Icons don’t simply present a portrait of the past: the represent a living reality of Christ and His saints; alive, today and eternally, in the Kingdom. For more, check out this video. So, do you pray to the saints instead of Jesus? All of our worship is directly solely at God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we say we pray to the saints, what we really mean is that we ask for their help , just like I might ask you to pray for me. And we can do that because the Resurrection is real and the saints are truly alive in Christ. We know that the saints share in Christ’s glory and power as ones who have been truly joined to Him and transformed by His love. Like the apostles who worked miracles in Jesus’ name (not by their own power, but by the power granted them by Christ), all the saints share in this same power, and out of love for us who are still struggling in this life, they offer us guidance, strength, and sometimes even miracles along the way What is more important: faith or works? Honestly, we Orthodox really prefer “and” instead of “or” so we don’t see that there is a choice of faith or works. If we have genuine faith, then of course that will change the way we want to act, and shape our works. And though works themselves don’t somehow earn us salvation, the things we do shape the people we are. It’s important to believe, and to act on that belief, which in turn strengthens our faith. Who’s in charge of the Church? Christ Himself is the head of the Church. Though our bishops stand as representatives of Christ in the Liturgy, and they serve as leaders of the Church in making day-to-day decisions. Leaders who reach decision, not individually, but as members of synods, councils of Church leaders who work together to solve the Church’s problems and open themselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And the Church itself is composed of a group of sister Churches, each under their own bishop and synod, working together to proclaim the Good News of Christ to the world. Click here for a video on why the Church meets in councils, and check back soon a new episode of Be the Bee on this summer’s Great and Holy Council. How can I learn more about the Orthodox Church? Click here for a playlist of videos introducing people to the Orthodox Church, or browse the videos on our YouTube channel. And we’ve put links to all the videos we’ve mentioned down in the doobly doo. There are a ton of ways to learn about Orthodoxy online, and if you’re really interested you should visit your local Orthodox parish. There’s also a link to a parish directory down in the doobly do. See the beauty of the services yourself, get a chance to pray with people and get to know them. Figure out how God is active in your life, and what He has in store for you. Thanks for watching! Click here for links to the latest episode of Be the Bee, our series about finding God in everything, everyday; and the latest episode of The Trench, our series about how our everyday relationships shape our life in Christ. If you’d like to support our work you can click the link to visit our Patreon page And be sure to click below to subscribe to our channel. Thanks for watching, please pray for us. And remember to Be the Bee and Live Orthodoxy.