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Holy Orthodox Church in North America (1988 - Present) - Religious Group

Religious Family: Eastern Liturgical (Orthodox)
Religious Tradition: Orthodox
Description: The Holy Orthodox Church in North America (HOCNA) is an Old-Calendar (following the “old” Julian Church calendar), traditionalist, and conservative Orthodox Church. It was formed in 1986-88 by merging American congregations of the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece and congregations which left the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). The Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece had been originally formed as a result of the 1935 schism in the Orthodox Church of Greece which occurred over the issue of the adoption of the new (Gregorian) as opposed to the old (Julian) church calendar. The group of bishops who refused to accept changes formed what would eventually become the Church of the True Orthodox Christians. In the late 1960s, the immigration influx from Greece resulted in the establishment of many Greek Old-Calendarist congregations in America. The Holy Transfiguration Monastery and the Holy Nativity Convent in Brookline, MA (near Boston) became spiritual and administrative centers of HOCNA. Holy Transfiguration was the first monastery in North America to follow the so-called Athonite typicon - the rule of life and worship followed by Orthodox monasteries on Mount Athos, Greece. The members of HOCNA consider “ecumenism” as a heresy that undermines the purity and uniqueness of the Orthodox faith. Accordingly, HOCNA perceives the mainstream Orthodox Churches to be enmeshed in this heresy because of their involvement with the World Council of Churches. HOCNA also did not recognize the outcomes of the 1964 meeting of Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenegoras of Constantinople which resulted in a mutual lifting of the anathemas of 1054 between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. HOCNA recognizes as fellow Orthodox Christians only those who hold the same ecclesiology and theological stance as the HOCNA does, and it maintains relations with Old-Calendarist groups in Greece, Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and other countries. Many of the founding fathers of HOCNA are of Greek ancestry. Therefore, most of the local parishes and monastic communities use Byzantine Chant (which is typical for Greek Orthodox) with occasional Russian-style church choir singing. The worship services are held primarily in English. The churches and chapels have very traditional layout: without pews and with very limited use of electrical lighting. HOCNA is known for its publishing work. English translations of various church books are prepared at the Holy Transfiguration Monastery and are used throughout the English-speaking world.
Official Site:

Connections: Holy Orthodox Church in North America

 Group (Active) 
 Group (Defunct) 

Maps: Holy Orthodox Church in North America1

Adherence Rate per 1,000 (2020)

Congregations (2020)

Top 5 Holy Orthodox Church in North America States (2020)1 [View all States]

Rank State Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Massachusetts 4 305 0.04
2 Washington 1 120 0.02
3 Pennsylvania 1 70 0.01
4 Maryland 1 30 0.00
5 New Hampshire 1 5 0.00

Top 5 Holy Orthodox Church in North America Counties (2020)1 [View all Counties]

Rank County Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Cumberland County, PA 1 70 0.27
2 Suffolk County, MA 1 200 0.25
3 Fauquier County, VA 1 18 0.25
4 Dillon County, SC 1 5 0.18
5 Norfolk County, MA 2 90 0.12

Top 5 Holy Orthodox Church in North America Metro Areas (2020)1 [View all Metro Areas]


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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