Brotherhoods

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Orthodox Christian brotherhoods (or orthodox christian fraternities, or ecclesiastical organisations, or religious organisations)are named the incorporations of persons that aim in the ministration of the fold of orthodox church.

Operation

So, these fraternities come into being through the personal initiative of some orthodox and are activated in various sectors, as internal or exterior mission, voluntary work within a parish or association, the spiritual support of their members etc. The fraternities do not acquire separate place in the system of Church, as they constitute a private effort. They are in the jurisdiction of the local bishop. A particular category of fraternities is those whose members are "dedicated", with the meaning of their celibacy in Christ.

Historical evidence

Fraternities have appeared since the first century A.D.. In ecclesiastical sources, there are reports fot the fraternity of "Spoudaioi" (in which Antonios the Great took part in before leaving for the desert), the fraternity of "Parabalaneis" e.a.. Fraternities were founded by Saints of the Orthodox Church such as Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Clement of Alexandria, Saint Gregory Palamas. In the modern era, there are fraternities with various names, as fraternity, orthodox association, christian union, missionary association etc. Known modern fraternities exist in Greece

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