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Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America (2010 - Present) - Religious Group

Religious Family: Eastern Liturgical (Orthodox)
Religious Tradition: Orthodox
Description: The Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America is the largest of various the so-called “Old Calendarist” Orthodox (also known as True Orthodox) groups in the U.S. All Old Calendarist groups trace their history to events occurring in early 20th-century Greece. After WWI, various Orthodox churches worldwide began to abandon the “Old” Julian liturgical calendar and adopt the “New” Gregorian calendar, which is 13 days ahead of the Julian and which is also used in the secular world. When this reform was introduced in the Orthodox Church of Greece in 1924, strong opposition arose among some clergy and laity. The calendar question as such was, however, only one of the causes for resistance. The opposition saw the adoption of the new calendar as a symbol of the strengthening ecumenical movement and the growing influence of other, non-Orthodox Christian Churches. In opposition’s view, these changes were compromising the purity of the Orthodox faith. Originally led by Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina, those resisting the new calendar became popularly known as Old Calendarists. They formed the Church of True Orthodox Christians of Greece. In the past, Old Calendarists were actively persecuted in Greece (especially in the 1950s), which resulted in their immigration to the U.S., where they founded various Greek Old Calendar churches. The Old Calendar churches are recognizable by the absence of electric lighting and pews, and certain worship practices including traditional Byzantine chant and frequent all-night vigils. Back in Greece, the Old Calendarist community was plagued by internal divisions and eventually fragmented into several groups. Today, most sizeable of these groups is the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece. One of its overseas dioceses is the North American eparchy known as the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America. It has rights of self-governance and broad autonomy, including its own ruling Synod of bishops and Ecclesiastical Tribunal. In 2011-2012, it was strengthened considerably by absorbing many parishes, clergy, and lay members from the Holy Orthodox Church in North America, another Old Calendarist group in the United States. Since 2014, Metropolitan Demetrius (Kyriakou) has been the head of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America, with his headquarters in the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco in Cobleskill, NY. The liturgical and worship practices of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America are affected equally by the Greek and Slavic (Russian) traditions. Most parishes use English as the language of worship. Their St. Photios theological seminary is situated in St. Gregory Palamas monastery in Etna, CA, and it is accredited by the state of California.
Official Site:

Maps: Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America1

Adherence Rate per 1,000 (2020)

Congregations (2020)

Top 5 Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America States (2020)1 [View all States]

Rank State Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 New York 7 3,165 0.16
2 Massachusetts 3 620 0.09
3 New Hampshire 1 80 0.06
4 Maine 1 50 0.04
5 Illinois 2 350 0.03

Top 5 Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America Counties (2020)1 [View all Counties]

Rank County Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 DeKalb County, TN 1 60 2.99
2 Schoharie County, NY 1 70 2.36
3 Siskiyou County, CA 3 97 2.20
4 Tioga County, NY 1 95 1.96
5 Huntingdon County, PA 1 80 1.81

Top 5 Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America Metro Areas (2020)1 [View all Metro Areas]

Rank Metro Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Huntingdon, PA Micro Area 1 80 1.81
2 Concord, NH Micro Area 1 80 0.52
3 Kingston, NY Metro Area 1 90 0.49
4 Clearlake, CA Micro Area 1 31 0.45
5 Binghamton, NY Metro Area 1 95 0.38


1 The 2020 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include data for 372 religious bodies or groups. Of these, the ASARB was able to gather data on congregations and adherents for 217 and on congregations only for 155. [More information on the data sources]

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