Timeline of Church History (continued)
Communist era (1917-1991)
1917 Bolshevik Revolution throws Church of Russia into chaos, effectively stranding the fledgling Russian Orthodox mission in America; restoration of Moscow Patriarchate with Tikhon as patriarch; Church of Georgia's autocephaly restored de facto by political chaos in Russia.
1917-40 Persecution of the Orthodox Church in Russia begins, with 130,000 priests arrested, 95,000 of whom were executed by firing squad.
1918 Tsar Nicholas II of Russia murdered together with his wife Alexandra and children.
1919-1922 Greco-Turkish War; a million refugees flee to Greece joining half a million Greeks who had fled earlier; Pontic Greek Genocide eliminates the Christian population of Trebizond.
1920 Death of Nektarios of Aegina; publication of Encyclical Letters by Constantinople on Christian unity and on the Ecumenical Movement.
1921 Constantinople renounces all claims to jurisdiction in any part of Africa, with Alexandrian primate thenceforth known as Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa; Greek Archdiocese of America formed ; Abp. Tikhon (Belavin) elected Patriarch of Moscow; Gorazd (Pavlik) consecrated as bishop for Western Rite Diocese of Moravia and Silesia; an all-Ukrainian Synod is called in Kyiv and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) (as yet unrecognized) is declared independent from the Moscow Patriarchate (MP).
1922 Church of Albania declares autocephaly from Constantinople; formation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia; Solovetsky Monastery converted by Lenin's decree to the "Solovki Special Purpose Camp", one of the earliest forced-labor camps of the Gulag where 75 bishops died, along with tens of thousands of laity; the predominatly Christian city of Smyrna is destroyed, ending 1900 years of Christian civilization.
1923 Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia granted autonomy by Church of Constantinople; Treaty of Lausanne affirmed the international status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, with Turkey guaranteeing respect and the Patriarchates full protection.
1924 Church of Constantinople recognizes autocephaly of Church of Poland.
1925 Church of Romania becomes a patriarchate; first Africans in sub-Saharan Africa baptized in Tanganyika by Fr. Nikodemos Sarikas; death of Tikhon of Moscow.
1926 Polish Catholic National Church received as a Western Rite diocese in Poland of Church of Russia under Bp. Alexis of Grodno; John Maximovitch tonsured by ROCOR Metr. Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev.
1927 Bishops of Russian church in America authorize formation of American Orthodox Catholic Church, including a Western Rite missionary outreach.
1929 Kingdom of Italy and Papacy ratify Lateran Treaty, recognizing sovereignty of Papacy within the new state of the Vatican City.
1931 Reception of Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe into the Ecumenical Patriarchate, led by Metr. Eulogius (Georgievsky) of Paris.
1932 Daniel William Alexander travels to Uganda to meet Reuben Spartas, establishing African Orthodox Church there.
1933 Church of Greece bans Freemasonry.
1934 Daniel William Alexander travels to Kenya, establishing African Orthodox Church led by Arthur Gathuna; episcopal consecration of John Maximovitch.
1935 Critical edition of Septuagint published in Gottingen Germany by Alfred Rahlfs at the Septuaginta-Unternehmens (Institute); Old Calendar schism when three bishops declared their separation from the official Church of Greece stating that the calendar change was a schismatic act.
1935-40 Italian forces occupy Ethiopia and begin intermittent persecutions of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
1936 Ukase of Moscow Patriarchate establishes Western Orthodox Church in France using Western Rite.
1936-37 Many Russian Orthodox Clerics die in Joseph Stalin's Great Purge.
1937 Church of Constantinople recognizes autocephaly of Church of Albania.
1938 Death of Silouan the Athonite; American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese founded, when a group of 37 Carpatho-Russian Eastern Catholic parishes, under the leadership of Fr. Orestes Chornock, were received into the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
1941 Martyrdom of Gorazd (Pavlik) of Prague by Nazis.
1941-45 Croatian Ustasa terrorists kill 500,000 Orthodox Serbs, expel 250,000 and force 250,000 to convert to Catholicism.
1943 Church of Russia recognizes autocephaly of Church of Georgia; first constitution of the African Orthodox Church in East Africa signed by Reuben Spartas and Arthur Gathuna; Joseph Stalin meets with hierarchs of Russian Orthodox Church to establish a "patriotic union," granting concessions to the church, including the gathering of the holy synod and the election of Sergius I as patriarch of Moscow.
1943-44 Hundreds of Orthodox priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church eliminated, tortured and drowned by Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists - Ukrainian Rebel Army, aided by Uniate Metr. Josyf Slipyj who was a spiritual leader of Nazi military units that were later condemned by the Nuremberg tribunal, and who was imprisoned by Soviet authorities for aiding the UPA.
1944 Fr. Evgraph (Kovalevsky) completes restoration of Liturgy of St. Germaine de Paris.
1945 Church of Bulgaria's autocephaly generally recognized; library of early Christian texts discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt; Soviet Union annexes Czechoslovakia; Church of Russia claims jurisdiction over the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
1945-90 Persecution of the Orthodox Church in Albania.
1946 Reuben Spartas of the African Orthodox Church visits Alexandria; Holy Synod of the Church of Alexandria officially recognizes and accepts the African Greek Orthodox Church in Kenya and Uganda; state-sponsored synod is held at Lviv, Ukraine in March, which officially dissolves the Union of Brest-Litovsk and integrates the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church into the Russian Orthodox Church, Soviet authorities arresting resisters or deporting them to Siberia.
1947 Death of Alexei Kabalyiuk, who played a major role in reviving Orthodoxy in Transcarpathia in the early 20th century.
1948 Church of Russia re-grants autocephaly to the Church of Poland (after having revoked it in the aftermath of World War II); World Council of Churches is founded; Council of Moscow is held on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the independence of the Russian Church from Constantinople, with representatives of the local Orthodox Churches rejecting all participation in the World Council of Churches.
1949 Soviet authorities revoke the Union of Uzhhorod of 1646, creating the Orthodox Eparchy of Mukachiv-Uzhhorod, under the Patriarch of Moscow.
1950 Pope Pius XII proclaims the Bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary as a dogma.
1951 Church of Russia grants autocephaly to the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia; 1500th anniversary celebration of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
1952-60 With the Mau-Mau Movement in Kenya (British East Africa Protectorate), the Orthodox Church is banished by the Colonial Government.
1953 Metr. Antony (Bashir) accepts three Western Rite parishes into Syrian Metropolitanate in America.
1957 Church of Russia grants autonomy to Church of China.
1958 Patriarch of Antioch adopts provisions of Russian synods of 1879 and 1907 for use by Western Rite in America; Western Orthodox Church of France comes under Abp. John Maximovitch, who authorizes the use of the restored Gallican rite.
1959 Abp. Anastasios (Yannoulatos) of Albania establishes inter-Orthodox mission agency Porefthentes to revive the church's mission activities; autocephaly granted to the Church of Ethiopia by Coptic Pope Cyril VI (Atta) of Alexandria.
1961 Creation of Western Rite Vicariate in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; death of Luke (Voino-Yasenetsky) of Simferopol and Crimea; consecration of first Orthodox Church in Uganda; first Pan-Orthodox Conference in Rhodes.
1962-1965 Second Vatican Council held in Rome, initiating major liturgical and theological reforms for the Roman Catholic Church, including restriction of ancient Tridentine Mass and introduction of the Novus Ordo.
1963 Second Pan-Orthodox Conference in Rhodes; 1000th anniversary celebration of founding of Mount Athos.
1964 Meeting of Pope Paul VI of Rome and Patr. Athenagoras I (Spyrou) of Constantinople in Jerusalem; third Pan-Orthodox Conference in Rhodes; Synaxis of the Saints of Rostov established by resolution of His Holiness Patriarch Alexis I and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.
1965 Pope Paul VI of Rome and Patriarch Athenagoras I (Spyrou) of Constantinople mutually nullify the excommunications of 1054.
1966 The Cultural Revolution almost totally destroyed the young Chinese Orthodox Church.
1967 Church of Macedonia unilaterally declares its autocephaly, making it independent of the Church of Serbia (as yet unrecognized); Albania is declared an atheist state, closing all religious institutions and forbiding any religious practices.
1968 Visit to Patriarchate of Alexandria by Vatican representatives; fourth Pan-Orthodox Conference in Chambesy, Switzerland.
1970 Russian-American Metropolia reconciles with Church of Russia and is granted autocephaly, renamed as the Orthodox Church in America, returning control of Church of Japan to Moscow, which grants it autonomy; Abp. Makarios III (Mouskos) of Cyprus baptizes 10,000 into the Orthodox Church in Kenya.
1971 Halki Seminary closed by Turkish authorities.
1975 Division in the Antiochian church in North America overcome by the uniting of the two Antiochian archdioceses into one by Metr. Philip (Saliba) of New York and Abp. Michael (Shaheen) of Toledo; Joint Commission of Orthodox and Old Catholic theologians is established.
1976 First Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference at Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambesy, Switzerland.
1979 Pope John Paul II visits Ecumenical Patriarchate.
1979 Joint Commission of Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches for Theological Dialogue established by Pope John Paul II and Patr. Demetrius I (Papadopoulos) of Constantinople.
1981 Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission meets for the first time in Espoo, Finland.
1982 Orthodox-Roman Catholic Joint Commission publishes in Munich first official common document, "The Mystery of the Church and of the Eucharist in Light of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity"; second Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference in Chambesy, Switzerland.
1985 Founding of Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) as Greek Archdiocesan Mission Center; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "Divine Revelation."
1986 Third Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference in Chambesy, Switzerland.
1987 Orthodox-Roman Catholic Joint Commission issues common document "Faith, Sacraments and the Unity of the Church"; visit by Patr. Demetrius I (Papadopoulos) of Constantinople to Vatican.
1987 Group of twenty parishes of the Evangelical Orthodox Church, originally formed by former Campus Crusade for Christ leaders Peter Gillquist and Jon Braun, are received into Antiochian Archdiocese in US, becoming the Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues the statement "Scripture and Tradition."
1988 1000th anniversary of Orthodoxy in Russia; Orthodox-Roman Catholic Joint Commission publishes common document "The Sacrament of Order in the Sacramental Structure of the Church"; Indonesian Muslim convert to Orthodoxy Fr. Daniel Byantoro begins his mission in Indonesia, sparking the rebirth of Orthodoxy there.
1989 Church of Constantinople recognizes autocephaly of the Church of Georgia; Elder Ephraim begins founding Athonite-style monasteries in North America; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "The Canon and the Inspiration of the Holy Scripture"; glorification in Russia of Tikhon of Moscow; Uniate Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church legalized, with Greek Catholics beginning seizure of property from Russian Orthodox Church, which they claimed as theirs prior to the synod of 1946.
1990 Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP) self-proclaims its independance from the UAOC (both groups unrecognized).
Post-Communist era (1991-Present)
1991 Representatives of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches meet in Chambesy, Switzerland, discussing relations with World Council of Churches.
1992 Synaxis of primates of Orthodox churches in Constantinople.
1993 Orthodox-Roman Catholic Joint Theological Commission meets in Balamand, Lebanon, issuing common document "Uniatism: Method of Union of the Past, and Present. Search for Full Communion" (the "Balamand document"); Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "The Ecumenical Councils."
1993 Church of Cyprus condemns Freemasonry; Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms published; Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church becomes autocephalous.
1994 Ligonier Meeting in Western Pennsylvania at Antiochian Village held by the majority of Orthodox hierarchs in North America votes to do away with the notion of Orthodox Christians in America being a "diaspora".
1995 Patr. Bartholomew I visits Vatican; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "Understanding of Salvation in the Light of the Ecumenical Councils"; Pope John Paul II issues encyclical Orientale Lumen, encouraging reunion between East and West.
1996 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America reorganized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, dividing the administration of the two continents into four parts.
1998 Church of Constantinople, not recognizing Russia's right to issue a tomos of autocephaly in 1951, issues its own tomos for the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia; Thessaloniki Summit held to discuss Orthodox participation in WCC; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "Salvation: Grace, Justification and Synergy."
1999 Numerous Serbian Orthodox sites in Kosovo and Metohia destroyed and desecrated during NATO peacekeeping presence.
2000 Orthodox-Roman Catholic Joint Theological Commission meets in Baltimore, discusses text on "The Ecclesiological and Canonical Implications of Uniatism," but is suspended; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "Word and Sacraments (Mysteria) in the Life of the Church".
2001 Pope John Paul II of Rome apologizes to Orthodox Church for Fourth Crusade; Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian Patriarchates of Alexandria agree to mutually recognize baptisms and marriages performed in each other's churches.
2002 Patr. Bartholomew I (Archontonis) of Constantinople and Pope John Paul II co-sign Venice Declaration of Environmental Ethics; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "Mysteria/Sacraments as Means of Salvation."
2003 Orthodox Churches in Europe commemorated the 550th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople in May; Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America granted "self-rule" (similar but not identical to autonomy) by Church of Antioch; Coptic priest Fr. Zakaria Botros begins his television and internet mission to Muslims in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and western countries, resulting in thousands of conversions.
2004 Pope John Paul II returns relics of John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian to Church of Constantinople; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission statement "Baptism and Chrismation as Sacraments of Initiation into the Church."
2006 Pope Benedict XVI visits Ecumenical Patriarchate, drawing criticism from Mount Athos; Abp. Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens visits Vatican; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "The Holy Eucharist in the Life of the Church."
2007 Restoration of full communion between Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR; synod of over 50 bishops of the Church of Ukraine announce that the UOC-MP is "an autonomous, historical part of the Russian Orthodox Church"; Orthodox-Roman Catholic Joint Commission meets in Ravenna, Italy, 10th plenary, led by co-presidents Cardinal Walter Kasper and Metr. John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, agreeing upon a joint document consisting of 46 articles providing an ecclesiastical road map in discussing union; Russian delegation walks out of Ravenna talks in protest of presence of Estonian delegation (EP).
2008 Orthodox Study Bible (with Septuagint) published; Pan-Orthodox meeting in Constantinople in October of the Primates of the fourteen Orthodox Churches, signing a document calling for inter-orthodox unity and collaboration and "the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council".
2009 The 4th Pan-Orthodox pre-conciliar consultation was held in Chambιsy on June 6-13; Death of popular Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, July 1.