• We are The Holy Eastern Orthodox Church of the United States (THEOCUS), an independent jurisdiction within the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church. The THEOCUS is a self-governing jurisdiction that is unyielding and uncompromisingly Orthodox in faith and practice. We seek to serve the people of the Americas by caring for them in a variety of ways. One of the many ways we serve the faithful is by conducting Church Services in their native languages (for example, English for the English-speaking, French for French Canadians, etc.).

  • Our Diocese is "non-ethnic", but we’re not "anti-ethnic"; there’s a big difference! We’re not caught up in maintaining or preserving any ethnic, racial, or national "old country" ties as is the case in many "ethnic" nationality parishes and jurisdictions.

  • We believe that Heaven is our permanent home and the earth is only our temporary dwelling place; therefore, we have the Church as our guide for reaching our permanent home. As a consequence, we do not get involved in political controversies that have so marked the history of ethnocentric dioceses in this hemisphere for more than two hundred years! We know from the Holy Scriptures that there will be no ethnicity in the Kingdom of Heaven. We believe that the Holy Orthodox Church is an earthly glimpse of the Heavenly Kingdom to come; therefore, the Orthodox Church should represent all of mankind regardless of race or ethnic heritage.


  • The clergy of the THEOCUS are men who are intensely loyal to their unique calling to serve God's people in His Church. Most of our clergymen are "worker-Priests". They have many years of experience as "hands-on shepherds". Our Priests are not hirelings who are remote and distant from their flock. Currently, none of our Priests serve as salaried clergy; all have secular positions to support themselves, their families, and more often than not, their churches as well! Although spiritually rewarding, the life of a Priest in the THEOCUS is not an easy one!


  • The roots of the THEOCUS are as diverse as America itself. Our ecclesiastical, Apostolic Succession is found in multiple Orthodox sources including the Albanian, Greek, Oriental, and Athonite Churches. Also in the Orthodox Patriarchates of Russia, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople.  In the past those who have served as our hierarchs have been Lithuanian, French, Czech, Irish and English, or were children of immigrants from those countries. The clergy and people of the THEOCUS are from nearly every ethnic heritage.

  • The ecclesiastical structure of the THEOCUS began in the 1890’s with the massive immigration movements from Europe and the Mediterranean basin. They came for various reasons, mostly economic. Some immigrated because they were tired of the wars that continued relentlessly for many years. The Carpatho-Russians in particular immigrated because their land had been overworked and no longer produced enough food for their families.

  • Like the melting pot that Orthodoxy in North America is, to a great extent, the THEOCUS can trace itself back through several Bishops. One of our earlier Bishops was given a mandate from the Syrian (Antiochian) Church to establish a jurisdiction for American people. This Bishop was also given permission to establish an Orthodox Church that would serve as a haven for those of the Western rite. The original document is from the 19th century, dated some 70 years before Metropolitan Antony Bashir established his Western Rite Vicariate in 1957!

  • We are fortunate to have had the leadership of Bishops, Priests, and fine men and women who, in the past, saw the need for a jurisdiction not bogged down with the tired old blood of the old countries. The latter simply could not, or would not, speak plainly to the up-and-coming generations of Americans. In an attempt to establish a second diocese (similar to the one founded in the 19th century), the Russian and Arabic Jurisdictions set up an administration (complete with one or two Bishops) to accommodate English-speaking American converts. It failed because the ethnic dioceses "pulled the plug" after a few years. The new diocese was "stealing" second and third generation Russians, Greeks, etc. Such was the mind set in those days. The ethnic dioceses felt that Orthodoxy was their exclusive property, and the property of their children. Ironically, their own children (second and third generation Orthodox) were drifting away from Orthodoxy; they were leaving in droves! When asked for the reason they were leaving, (and this reason can be heard to this very day) -- their reply was: "I want an American Church, not a foreign church. I love the Orthodox Faith, but I want to be an American, not a displaced foreigner. After all, I was born in America."

  • For decades, the THEOCUS has had Bishops who were born on this side of the Atlantic, though their ancestors were from Asia Minor or Europe. They are fully American, and feel that their allegiance is to the North American people, not to some "mighty" Bishop whose predecessor in the 12th century ruled over millions of Orthodox Christians, but whose flock sadly numbers only a mere 3,000 today.

  • We need to make clear; however, that our Apostolic Succession derives from the predecessors of today's "old country" hierarch’s and due to this fact, our clergy and Bishops are fully Orthodox and unquestionably valid!


  • Since our faithful need to know our position; we state, without reservation, that we stand for the Truth! We bear witness to the Faith once delivered to the Saints (St. Jude 3). Our Church strictly upholds the ancient Christian faith and we are a valid branch of the pure and unadulterated Early Orthodox Christian Church. We follow and teach everything that Christ and His Church taught in the Scriptures, in oral Tradition, in the Nicene Creed, in the Seven Ecumenical Councils and in the writings of the Church Fathers.

  • Since it is our duty, we hold to the commission given by Our Lord to teach all nations. Understanding that with so many cultures in the Americas, we are obliged to offer the peoples of these lands more than one liturgical rite, so long as it is approved by competent Orthodox authority. Furthermore, realizing that Americans are essentially a western people, we feel that offering only an Eastern rite expression of Orthodoxy is not adequate. Therefore, we advocate Western rites in places where it is most effective. To have more than one rite was the practice of the Early Church and it is clearly vital for this increasingly westernized world.

  • True Orthodoxy finds itself in the minority, even among the older Orthodox jurisdictions. We are not exclusivists, we are not Gnostic in any sense of the word, and it is necessary for us to state that we have no "inside track" to the Truth. We have only the Truth revealed to us, through our Apostolic Succession and through Holy Traditions (including the Scriptures) in the Orthodox Church of the ages.

  • It is for the sake of truth that we must proclaim that The THEOCUS rejects the outright betrayal of sacred Orthodoxy carried out by the Judas’s of the present day "ethnic" jurisdictions particularly at Balamand, Assisi, and elsewhere in the name of Ecumenism.

  • The THEOCUS does not support some of the "ethnic" jurisdiction’s policy of turning a blind eye to rampant Freemasonry membership among the ranks of their clergy (most unfortunately), as well as their parishioners. For Orthodox Christians, Freemasonry membership is not allowed in "The Rudder" (The Orthodox Christian book of Canon Law).

We are a legally registered Religious Organization in America, we have a 501(c) 3 Non-Profit Organization status.  As with any Religious Organization in the United States of America, we have the right to practice our faith and beliefs without interference according to the First Amendment - as cited below:  

First Amendment of the United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


  • Earnest seekers of the truth are invited to investigate the truth of Orthodoxy in the THEOCUS. If you are already Orthodox and seeking a home where you can worship in an atmosphere unfettered by ethnic, ecumenical, and geo-political tomfoolery, then we urge you to seek out a local THEOCUS parish or mission. If you are new to the Orthodox Faith, we welcome you to join us and learn Orthodox Christianity in its purest form! If there is no THEOCUS presence in your area, it might just be God Who is calling you to organize one! Above all, pray that the Good Lord will grant His light to those who are seeking the full truth.