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In 1994, the synod erected an eparchy for Uganda and elected the auxiliary bishop of Irinoupolis as its first hierarch. Theodore Nagiama was the first black man elected to head an eparchy in the Orthodox world. Jurisdictions have also been created in Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Today, an estimated 300,000 people belong to the Orthodox Patriarchal Church of Alexandria — the highest number since the Byzantine emperors recognized the de facto split of the patriarchate in 567. The present pope and patriarch, Theodoros II, leads a dynamic church that honors its Greek past and celebrates its African future.

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Michael La Civita is CNEWA’s vice president for communications.

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Tags: Africa Orthodox Church Church history Orthodox Patriarchal Church of Alexandria