The Autocephalous Church of Poland, commonly known as the Polish Orthodox Church, is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches in full communion.
The church was established in 1924, to accommodate Orthodox Christians of Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian descent in the eastern part of the country, when Poland regained its independence after the First World War.
The Autocephalous Church of Poland recognized in 1924 by Constantinople, in 1948 by Russia.
While the majority of people in Poland are Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christians have resided in the area that makes up modern-day Poland since the missions of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in the ninth century.
Today, the Church of Poland includes six dioceses/eparchies:
– Warsaw and Bielsk;
– Bialystok and Gdansk;
– Lodz and Poznan;
– Wroclaw and Szczecin;
– Lublin and Chelm;
– Przemysl and Nowy Sacz.
Most Orthodox Christians are located in eastern Poland, where Old Church Slavonic is the liturgical language.
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There are a few parishes throughout Poland where Polish is used during services. The Holy Synod has translated and published St John Chrysostom’s and St Basil’s Liturgies, as well as the Presanctified Liturgy of St. Gregory Dialogus.
In recent decades Orthodox believers have also returned to the Lemko region, which is part of the Eparchy of Przemysl and Nowy Sacz. Old Church Slavonic is generally used as the liturgical language in the Lemko area.
It is estimated that there are about one million Orthodox in Poland.
The church has six dioceses and is currently led by Metropolitan Sawa, Archbishop of Warsaw and Metropolitan of All Poland.