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However, the appellation "Greek" was abandoned by the Slavic and other Eastern Orthodox churches in connection with their peoples' national awakenings, from as early as the 10th century A. Orthodox Churches, unlike the Catholic Church, have no Bishopric head, such as a Pope, and hold the belief that Christ is the head of the Church. The majority of Greek Orthodox Christians live within Greece and elsewhere in the southern Balkans (especially in Albania), but also in Lebanon, Cyprus, Anatolia, European Turkey, and the South Caucasus.

However, they are each governed by a committee of Bishops, called the Holy Synod, with one central Bishop holding the honorary title of "first among equals." Greek Orthodox Churches are united in communion with each other, as well as with the other Eastern Orthodox Churches (such as the Russian Orthodox Church). In addition, due to the large Greek diaspora, there are many Greek Orthodox Christians who live in North America and Australia.

Historically, the term "Greek Orthodox" has also been used to describe all Eastern Orthodox Churches in general, since "Greek" in "Greek Orthodox" can refer to the heritage of the Byzantine Empire.

During the first eight centuries of Christian history, most major intellectual, cultural, and social developments in the Christian Church took place within the Empire or in the sphere of its influence, where the Greek language was widely spoken and used for most theological writings.

Over time, most parts of the liturgy, traditions, and practices of the church of Constantinople were adopted by all, and still provide the basic patterns of contemporary Orthodoxy.

Thus, the Eastern Church came to be called "Greek" Orthodox in the same way that the Western Church is called "Roman" Catholic. Gregory the Dialogist The current territory of the Greek Orthodox Churches more or less covers the areas in the Balkans, Anatolia, and the Eastern Mediterranean that used to be a part of the Byzantine Empire.

“Bartholomew is not making this event an end in itself, but the start of a long process for Orthodox renewal,” Asia News translated from , a French newspaper.Before this time, divisions between the two branches of Christendom had long existed and were constantly increasing.The widening schism was caused by a mix of cultural, political, and religious differences.Orthodox Churches form a theologically united family of 13 autonomous bodies, denoted by their nation of origin.The umbrella of Eastern Orthodoxy includes the following: British Orthodox; Serbian Orthodox; Orthodox Church of Finland; Russian Orthodox; Syrian Orthodox; Ukrainian Orthodox; Bulgarian Orthodox; Romanian Orthodox; Antiochian Orthodox; Greek Orthodox; the Church of Alexandria; the Church of Jerusalem; and the Orthodox Church in America.“This is why he has deliberately limited the discussion to the texts on the agenda, even if this means initially accepting a minimalist consensus.” The six issues are not about doctrine or canonical structure, as Kirill has stressed.