The Greek Orthodox Church follows beliefs and practices laid out in the first seven ecumenical councils, which date back to the first ten centuries A.D. The word orthodox translates to “right believing,” and followers of the Greek Orthodox faith have preserved and strictly followed the traditions and doctrines of the early churches established during that time. Two fundamental beliefs ascribed by practitioners are that the Spirit and Son originate from the Holy Father and that the Holy Scriptures and Holy Tradition hold equal value and importance.
In the Greek Orthodox Church, worship is considered the basic and most fundamental part of church life. It is liturgical in nature and follows seven sacraments. This style of worship is led by a priest; summoning of and reference to icons and religious figures are common, as is meditative prayer and periods of somber reflection. Baptism is another important part of this religion, and practitioners are not considered to be true members of the church, and affiliated with Christ, without first undergoing this full initiation ritual. The Greek Orthodox faith stipulates that Jesus Christ is the son of God, but both fully human and entirely divine; using the powers of his divinity, he will one day return to judge all men on earth. Finally, this faith believes in the concept of predestination, which asserts that God has foreknowledge of, and control over, the lives of all men.