Eastern Orthodox Church

Is the second largest professing Christian organization in the world (or third if one sees Protestantism as a single entity).  They claim to be the unsullied continuation of the original church established by Christ and the apostles.  They do not accept innovation within their doctrines which contradict earlier established doctrine.  Their doctrines were clarified (and consequently, certain heresies were defined) at seven ecumenical councils held between the 4th and the 8th centuries.  Other churches (Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox) are seen as breakaways who either did not accept the pronouncements of the seven councils, or as innovators, introducing new ideas not supported by the early church.  Despite various national labels (Greek, Russian, Serbian Orthodox, etc) it officially calls itself, “The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” according to its “Symbol of Faith” (the Nicene Creed).  The Church does not have a single leader.  It is organized into numerous “jurisdictions” following national and historic lines.  Each autocephalous group is governed by councils of bishops (Synods) who all have equal authority and who do not interfere in one another’s Episcopal Sees.  If it ever becomes necessary to convene a universal ecumenical council again, the Patriarch of Constantinople holds the position of “First among Equals” (i.e. He acts as president for an otherwise democratic council).