Orthodoxy in the West
Many Western people—both Orthodox and non-Orthodox—identity Orthodoxy with national churches of Eastern European and Middle-Eastern origin. Those who live in Western lands with holy soil under their feet may not realize that beneath them rests a vibrant Christian legacy, which for many hundreds of years was identical in spirit and almost indistinguishable in practice from the Christianity of the East.
In the lands in which German is now spoken, Orthodox Christianity was present, to a greater or lesser extent, from the earliest days of the Faith until around the time of the schism in 1054. It is still possible not only to uncover it in old writings and archeological, artistic, and other studies, but also to experience its living presence by venerating holy relics in places where they have been preserved and honored, and by reading unembellished lives of saints written by immediate disciples.
The Coming of Christianity