The nation of Greece is mainly Greek Orthodox (98%). For more information about the Orthodox Church, read this article.
The Orthodox Church in both Greek and Russian forms, places great emphasis upon the maintenance of tradition, and is the major Christian religious group in countries such as Russia, Armenia, Syria, Iraq, Romania, Cyprus, Serbia Georgia, and Greece. The Orthodox Church is also established in Albania, Finland, Japan, Poland, the USA and Orthodox communities exist in Australia, Uganda and Western Europe.
The Orthodox Church has no single leader analogous to the Pope, although a senior archbishop called a Patriarch leads the church in each nation, and below him in the hierarchy are bishops and ordained priests, through whom God reached the People.
Religious life centres on the Sacrament, or Mysteries with the service of the Divine Liturgy, celebrated on Sundays and Feast Days, the most important. During the service, bread and wine is believed to be transformed into the blood and body of Christ.
Babies are baptized as young as eight days old, by total immersion. They are often dipped into the water three times, to symbolize the Trinity. This baptism admits the infants into full membership of the church.
The Virgin Mary, or Mother of God, holds a unique position among the many saints, being deeply loved and venerated. She is believed to intercede on behalf of believers. All orthodox services are rich in presentation, with lavish use of incense, singing, bells, candles and glowing icons, all serving to enhance the mystery and drama of the religious experience.