Faith in the Orthodox Church

Triomphe de l'Orthodoxie

The Orthodox Church in Togo, which is within the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, uses the Creed of Nicaea, which was adopted by the three hundred and eighteen priests present in Nicaea in Bithynia in 325, without the Latin ˝filioque˝ [1]

Its doctrine is based on the Old Testament tradition, on the Gospel, on the Tradition of the Apostles and Fathers of the Church, but also on dogmas of faith announced by the seven Ecumenical Councils :

1- The Council of Nicaea of 325, which condemned Arius’s doctrine. The Council affirms the Father and Son’s consubstantiality and cursed Arianism which considers Jesus as an intermediary creature between God and man.

2- The Council of Constantinople of 381, which reaffirmed Christ’s divinity, declared the Holy Spirit’s divinity and finished writing the creed known as the Nicaea-Constantinople Creed.

3- The Council of Ephesus of 431, which confirmed the unity of Christ, one Person in two natures, divine and human and named His mother « mother of God », Théotokos »

4- The Council of Chalcedon of 451, which confirms that Jesus Christ is both God and Human, reconciling within himself his divine and human nature, united with neither confusion nor division.

5- The second Council of Constantinople of 553 which condemned Nestorius’s doctrine who tried to destroy the mystery of the Incarnation by saying that “the Word of God inhabited Christ because he was a just man whom served Him well” and that “Jesus Christ received the anointing of the Holy Spirit for His worth and His innocence”. The Council condemns the Nestorian heresy and maintains that the divine nature or substance is unique and consubstantial in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

6- The third Council of Constantinople of 680 which condemns Monothelitism which taught that Jesus Christ has only one will. This Council states that Jesus Christ has two wills: “a divine will which manages human things divinely and a human will which manages divine things humanely”.

7- The second Council of Nicaea of 787 which authorizes and defines the use and veneration of icons and ends iconoclasm.

Saint-Athanase-d'Alexandrie

Saint Athanasius of Alexandria (between 298 – 373)
 A fervent defender of the True Faith and of the dogma of the divinity of  the Word, whose consubstantiality with the Father he claimed at the Council of Nicaea, adding the word “Homoousian” to the theological vocabulary.

 Saint Cyrille d'Alexandrie

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Defended in the Council of Ephesus (431) the undoubted union of the divine and human nature in Jesus Christ and claimed the Virgin’s divine maternity by calling her Theotokos, Mother of God.


[1]  See The Profession of faith and the Dogmas of faith in the Orthodox Church