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They have been attracted by her mystical vision of God and His Kingdom, by the beauty of her worship, by the purity of her Christian faith, and by her continuity with the past.These are only some of the treasures of the Church, which has a history reaching back to the time of the Apostles.The Orthodox Church embodies and expresses the rich spiritual treasures of Eastern Christianity.It should not be forgotten that the Gospel of Christ was first preached and the First Christian communities were established in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
The first Greek Orthodox Christians arrived in the New World in 1768, establishing a colony near the present city of St. One of the original buildings in which these immigrants gathered for religious services is still standing. The chapel serves as a national religious landmark, bearing witness to the presence of Orthodoxy in America from the earliest days of its history.In recognition of this, Orthodoxy has been formally acknowledged as one of the Four Major Faiths in the United States.Following the practice of the Early Church, Orthodoxy treasures the various cultures of its people, but it is not bound to any particular culture or people. There are about 5 million Orthodox Christians in this country.It was in these eastern regions of the old Roman Empire that the Christian faith matured in its struggle against paganism and heresy. It was in the cities of the East that the fundamentals of our faith were proclaimed at the Seven Ecumenical Councils.The spirit of Christianity which was nurtured in the East had a particular favor.