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Christianity vs. Orthodox Christianity — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Urooj Arif — Published on February 13, 2024
Christianity is broad term encompassing various denominations, including Orthodox Christianity, which specifically refers to the Eastern Orthodox branch. Orthodox Christianity follows traditions, while Christianity encompasses a wider spectrum of beliefs.
Christianity vs. Orthodox Christianity — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Christianity and Orthodox Christianity


Key Differences

Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It encompasses diverse denominations such as Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. Christianity's core tenets include the belief in the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and the Bible as sacred scripture.
Orthodox Christianity, a subset of Christianity, specifically refers to the Eastern Orthodox Church. It emerged from the schism between the Eastern and Western Christian churches in the 11th century. Orthodox Christianity places a strong emphasis on tradition, liturgy, and the authority of ecumenical councils, with the Patriarch of Constantinople serving as a spiritual leader.

Comparison Chart


Varied (pope, councils, scripture)
Ecumenical councils, tradition

Liturgical Practices


Leader Title

Varies (pope, priest, minister)
Patriarch, bishop, priest


Prescribed and traditional

Fasting Practices

Strictly observed during Lent

Compare with Definitions


Worship practices include diverse liturgies and rituals.
Sunday services in Christianity often involve hymns and prayers.

Orthodox Christianity

Emerged from the Great Schism in the 11th century.
The split between Eastern and Western Christianity led to the formation of Orthodox Christianity.


Has a range of leaders, including priests, ministers, and in some cases, a pope.
The pope is the highest authority in the Catholic branch of Christianity.

Orthodox Christianity

Emphasizes ecumenical councils and tradition.
Orthodox Christians adhere to decisions made at historic councils.


Encompasses various denominations like Catholicism and Protestantism.
The Catholic Church and Baptist Church are branches of Christianity.

Orthodox Christianity

A branch with roots in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Russian Orthodox Church is a prominent institution in Orthodox Christianity.


Holds the Bible as sacred scripture and follows the Trinity doctrine.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are central to Christian belief.

Orthodox Christianity

Liturgical practices are uniform across congregations.
Orthodox Christian worship services follow a consistent liturgical structure.


A religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus. Most forms of Christianity hold that Jesus is the son of God and is the second person of the Trinity, through whom humans may attain redemption from sin.

Orthodox Christianity

Icons play a significant role in religious practices.
Orthodox Christians use icons for veneration and meditation.


Christians as a group; Christendom.


The state or fact of being a Christian.


Pl. Chris·ti·an·i·ties A particular form or sect of the Christian religion
The Christianities of antiquity.


The religion of Christians; the system of doctrines and precepts taught by Christ.


Practical conformity of one's inward and outward life to the spirit of the Christian religion


The body of Christian believers.
To Walys fled the christianiteeOf olde Britons.


A monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior


The collective body of Christians throughout the world and history (found predominantly in Europe and the Americas and Australia);
For a thousand years the Roman Catholic Church was the principal church of Christendom


A monotheistic religion centered on Jesus Christ's teachings.
Christians believe in the divinity of Jesus and follow his moral teachings.

Common Curiosities

What is the primary text in Christianity?

The Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, is the primary sacred text in Christianity.

What distinguishes the liturgical practices of Orthodox Christianity?

Orthodox Christian liturgical practices are uniform across congregations, emphasizing tradition.

How did the Great Schism impact Orthodox Christianity?

The Great Schism led to the split between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church in 1054.

What is the role of icons in Orthodox Christian worship?

Icons are venerated in Orthodox Christianity, serving as visual aids for religious meditation and devotion.

What is the significance of the Trinity in Christian theology?

The Trinity represents the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit as one God in three persons.

What are the main branches of Christianity besides Catholicism?

Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Oriental Orthodoxy are major branches within Christianity.

How is leadership structured in Orthodox Christianity?

Orthodox Christianity has a hierarchical structure with a Patriarch, bishops, priests, and deacons.

Can anyone interpret the Bible in Christianity?

Interpretation varies, but clergy, theologians, and scholars often guide the understanding of the Bible in Christianity.

Is there a specific day for Christian worship?

Sunday is the primary day for Christian worship, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus.

Are there different denominations within Christianity?

Yes, Christianity includes diverse denominations such as Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Who is the spiritual leader in Orthodox Christianity?

The Patriarch, along with bishops, holds a central role in leading the Orthodox Christian Church.

Who is considered the highest authority in the Catholic branch of Christianity?

The pope is the highest authority in the Catholic Church, guiding its doctrinal and spiritual matters.

What is the role of fasting in Orthodox Christian practices?

Fasting is strictly observed, especially during Lent, as a form of spiritual discipline.

How are decisions made in Orthodox Christianity?

Decisions are influenced by ecumenical councils, which are gatherings of bishops and leaders.

Does Christianity accept diversity in worship practices?

Yes, worship practices in Christianity can vary among denominations, allowing for diverse expressions of faith.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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