The Eastern Orthodox Church considers itself to be the oldest Christian church on the planet. The Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic churches separated in the Great Schism of 1054 A.D. over a variety of arguably minor theological issues, as well as some substantial political ones.

Then, the Roman Catholic Church was able to hold together across Europe, but the Eastern Church soon was driven from its Constantinople home by an aggressive, Islamic wave of expansion.

Rick Cousins can be reached at


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