Orthodox Church in America

Orthodox Church in America ( Orthodox Church in America, OCA ), is the proper name of an autocephalous church in its understanding that covers the territory of Canada, the United States, Mexico and Australia. Beside her are made in North America dioceses other Orthodox churches, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, among others


The Orthodox Church in America (OCA ) goes back to the work of Russian Orthodox missionaries to Hermann of Alaska in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands in the late 18th century; in the late 19th century Russian exile communities were added in California and on the East Coast. 1917 brought the October Revolution and the subsequent onset of persecution of the Church, the communication between the churches in North America and Russia to a standstill. In the early 1920s showed the Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow, who had previously been head of the American church itself, all Russian Orthodox churches outside Russia to to govern themselves, to regular communication and travel relations would again possible.

Around the same time, organized larger parishes that had belonged to a single North American diocese as an independent diocese and joined some of the other mother churches. This led to the present state where the organizational areas of various Orthodox churches in North America - in contradiction to the orthodox church law - overlap.

In the early 1960s, after the end of Stalinism, the Orthodox Church in America resumed full relations with the Patriarch of Moscow and in 1970 the Communion Community has been confirmed. In April of the same year the Patriarch of Moscow signed a Tomos, which the OCA autocephaly admitted.

An extremely difficult relationship, riven by rivalry and cooperation, has the OCA with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, because both have their origins in Russia and the state of both churches until the most recent time was controversial and is.


In the last twenty years, the OCA has established good 220 new parishes. Overall, it currently has 12 dioceses, 623 parishes, missions and other institutions. Among them are 456 parishes.

The OCA has three spiritual seminaries to train their priests: the Orthodox Theological Seminary St. Tikhon in South Canaan (Pennsylvania), the Seminary of St. Herman on the island of Kodiak ( Alaska) and the St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York.

Under the jurisdiction of the OCA also has 27 monasteries, six of which are directly under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Herman.

The OCA was a member of the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in America ( SCOBA ), together with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Antiochene Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and other member churches. 2010 SCOBA was dissolved and replaced by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.


The head of the OCA has the title " Archbishop of Washington and New York and Metropolitan of all America and Canada ". Since 2012, the church is led by the Metropolitan Tikhon.


The autocephaly of the OCA is disputed between the other Orthodox Churches. It is recognized by Moscow, but not by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Since, according to Orthodox teaching, in each area only one autocephalous church can exist, which then need to connect all the living there Orthodox Christians, the autocephaly was recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate not, because otherwise the Greek communities would dissolve in the U.S. and its members are need to connect the Russian communities. The state of the American church is still an unsolved problem in Orthodoxy.