The Orthodox Catholic Faith

The Taifals were probably never Arians. Their conversion to the Orthodox Catholic faith probably occurred through Roman evangelism in the mid fifth century.

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and also referred to as the Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian church in the world, with an estimated 225–300 million adherents, primarily in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the Middle East. It is the religious affiliation of the majority of the populations of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine; significant minority populations exist in Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

It teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission to the disciples almost 2,000 years ago.

It is composed of several self-governing ecclesial bodies, each geographically (and often nationally) distinct but unified in theology and worship. Each self-governing body, often but not always encompassing a nation, is shepherded by a Holy Synod whose duty, among other things, is to preserve and teach the apostolic and patristic traditions and related church practices. Like the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Assyrian Church of the East, Oriental Orthodoxy and some other churches, Orthodox bishops trace their lineage back to the apostles through the process of apostolic succession.

The Orthodox Church traces its development back through the Byzantine and Roman empires, to the earliest church established by St. Paul and the Apostles. It practices what it understands to be the original faith passed down from the Apostles (Holy Tradition), believing in growth and development without alteration of the faith. In non-doctrinal, non-liturgical matters the church has always shared in local cultures, adopting or adapting traditions from among practices it found to be compatible with the Christian life, and in turn shaping the cultural development of the nations around it, including Greek, Slavic, Middle Eastern, North African,  British, Saxon, and Celtic peoples.

Through baptism, Orthodox Christians enter a new life of redemption through repentance, whose purpose is to share in the life of God through the work of the Holy Spirit. Christian life is a spiritual pilgrimage in which each person, through the imitation of Christ and hesychasm, cultivates the practice of unceasing prayer (most famously, through use of the Jesus Prayer). For each person, this life occurs only within the life of the church as one member of the Body of Christ. It is through the fire of God's love in the action of the Holy Spirit that the Christian becomes more holy, more wholly unified with Christ, starting in this life and continuing in the next."Having been endowed 'in His image,' man is called upon to be completed 'in His likeness.' This is Theosis. The Creator, God by nature, calls man to become a god by Grace."

The Biblical text used by the Orthodox includes the Greek Septuagint and the New Testament. It includes the seven Deuterocanonical Books which are generally rejected by Protestants and a small number of other books that are in neither Western canon. Orthodox Christians use the term "Anagignoskomena" (a Greek word that means "readable", "worthy of reading") for the ten books that they accept but that are not in the Protestant 39-book Old Testament canon. They regard them as venerable, but on a lesser level than the 39 books of the Hebrew canon. They do, however,  use some of them liturgically. Orthodox Christians believe Scripture was revealed by the Holy Spirit to its inspired human authors. The Scriptures are not, however,  the source of the traditions associated with the Church but rather the opposite; the biblical text came out of that tradition.