List of Eastern Orthodox Christians

List of Eastern Orthodox Christians

This is primarily a list of notable people who contributed to the history of Eastern Orthodox Christianity's theology or culture. However it is also for people whose Eastern Orthodox identity is an important part of their notability. As there are many nations that are predominantly Eastern Orthodox names from such nations should usually meet a stricter standard, but in the case of converts their conversion might be notable enough to make an exception.


*Andrei Rublev - Important in the history of Russian Iconography
*Dionisius - Headed a school of icon painting
*El Greco - From Crete, noted for Christian art
*Feofan Grek - Noted iconographer
*Jerzy Nowosielski - Famous Polish painter, noted for his numerous works of Byzantine influenced religious art
*Karl Matzek - Convert from Catholicism who did religious art for the faith
*Prokhor - Icon painter
*Toros Roslin - An Armenian of Oriental Orthodoxy, but some of his works are Byzantine-influenced
*Simon Ushakov - A leading religious artist linked to the reforms of Patriarch Nikon
*Roy Marten - An Indonesian Artist


*Haile Gebrselassie - Runner
*Kenenisa Bekele - Runner
*Oksana Baiul - Figure Skating
*Dejan Bodiroga - Basketball Player
*Anna Chakvetadze - Tennis Player
*Tirunesh Dibaba - Runner
*Abebe Bikila - runner
*Elena Dementieva - Tennis Player
*Novak Đoković - Tennis Player
*Daniel Nestor - Tennis Player
*Nadia Comaneci - Gymnast
*Vlade Divac - Basketball Player
*Pete Maravich - Basketball Player
*Meseret Defar - Runner
*Dragan Džajić - Football Player
*Aleksandar Đorđević - Basketball Player
*Jeff George - Former NFL Quarterback
*Ana Ivanović - Tennis Player
*Jelena Janković - Tennis Player
*Vladimir Jugović - Football Player
*Yevgeny Kafelnikov - Tennis Player
*Andrei Kirilenko - Basketball Player
*Anna Kournikova - Tennis Player
*Svetlana Kuznetsova - Tennis Player
*Siniša Mihajlović - Football Player
*Predrag Mijatović - Football Player
*Anastasia Myskina - Tennis Player
*Ilie Nastase - Tennis Player
*Darko Pančev - Football Player
*Alex Rodriguez - Baseball Player
*Pete Sampras - Tennis Player
*Dejan Savićević - Football Player
*Dragoslav Šekularac - Football Player
*Maria Sharapova - Tennis Player
*Andriy Shevchenko - Football Player
*Irina Slutskaya - Figure Skater
*Dejan Stanković - Football Player
*Predrag Stojaković - Basketball Player
*Dragan Stojković - Football Player
*Nemanja Vidić - Football Player
*Lev Yashin - Football Player
*Theodoros Zagorakis - Football Player
*Sergei Gonchar - Hockey Player
*Evgeni Malkin - Hockey Player
*Troy Polamalu - Football Player
*Gheorghe Hagi - Football Player
*Cristian Chivu - Football Player
*Adrian Mutu - Football Player
*Gheorghe Popescu - Football Player


*Boris Berezovsky (convert)


*F. Murray Abraham, former Syrian Orthodox altar boy []
*John Belushi, Member of the Albanian Orthodox Church in childhood; his funeral was in that faith []
*George Chakiris - Contributor to a Greek Orthodox Cathedral []
*Tina Fey [] , []
*Zach Galifianakis - Baptized at St. Barbara's Greek Orthodox Church in Durham, NC
*Tom Hanks - Converted on marrying Rita Wilson, mention by Saint Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles. [] []
*Melina Kanakaredes - St. Nicholas's Greek Orthodox Church listed her as a possible speaker, credits the church as helpful to her in youth. [] []
*Elia Kazan - The director. Born to Greek parents who immigrated from the Ottoman Empire to the United States. []
*Emir Kusturica - His conversion gained some media attention. [,6737,1429569,00.html]
*Karl Malden (Mladen Sekulovich) is said to be Orthodox.
*Constantine Maroulis - Greek Orthodox, brother of Athan Maroulis [] []
*Debbie Matenopoulos [] []
*Christopher Orr - convert from Lutheranism(Some possibility of confusion here with Orthodox church reader [ Christopher Orr] )
*Telly Savalas - Contributed to Greek Orthodox Cathedrals and his bald image began after playing Pontius Pilate []
*Nia Vardalos [ Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church site]
*Rita Wilson [] []
*Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko - Russian Orthodox actress known as Natalie Wood. []


*Maksym Berezovsky - Known for religious music []
*Dmytro Bortniansky - Religious music. []
*Bill Evans []
*Alexander Frey - Conductor, pianist, organist and composer, was baptized in the Greek Orthodox church, but is also a practicing Episcopalian.
*David Gahan - English lead singer for Depeche Mode, converted to Greek Orthodox Christianity to marry his current wife Jennifer.
*Constance Geanakoplos, Concert pianist
*George Michael - celebrity pop singer, a Greek-Cypriote. []
*Dimitris Mitropoulos - Conductor, pianist and composer. Music Director of the New York Philharmonic and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.
*Arvo Pärt - known for religious music, convert from Lutheranism []
*Tose Proeski - Macedonian pop singer
*Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - Possibly atheist after some point, but did Russian Orthodox church music. []
*Sergei Rachmaninoff []
*Igor Stravinsky - Left the faith from 1900 to 1926, after rejoining he did Symphony of Psalms. []
*John Tavener - Converted to Orthodoxy, and much of his music is influenced by that. He is now often said to be Universalist or Perrenialist, although he himself says that he remains Orthodox.
*Stephen M. Wolownik - Church music early on
*Lena Katina Member of Russian music group tatu
*Julia Volkova Member of Russian music group t.A.T.u
*Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac (Serbian Cyrillic: Стеван Стојановић Мокрањац) (January 9, 1856 - 1914) is one of the most famous Serbian composers and music educators of the nineteenth century. His work was essential in bringing the spirit of Serbian unwritten folk poems into organized art.


*Deno John Geanakoplos - Byzantine and Italian Renaissance historian
*George Pachymeres - Byzantine chief advocate of the church
*Avraamy Palitsyn - Russian historian who died at the Solovetsky Monastery
*Jaroslav Pelikan - convert from Lutheranism a trustee of Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
*Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopoulos - Byzantine ecclesiastical historian
*John Xiphilinus - Also a monk
*Joannes Zonaras - Also a theologian
*Nikolay Yakovlevich Danilevsky


*Ernie Anastos - New York television anchor
*Daria Albinger - ABC Radio News correspondent
*Thalia Assuras - CBS News anchor
*Alexis Christoforous - CBS News anchor / correspondent
*Chris Clark - retired news anchor, WTVF, Nashville, Tennessee
*Dimitra DeFotis - "Barron's" staff writer
*Rod Dreher - "Dallas Morning News" columnist, "Crunchy Con" blog
*Vicki Liviakis - San Francisco television news anchor
*Terry Mattingly - syndicated columnist
*Serge Schmemann - "International Herald Tribune" writer/editor
*George Stephanopoulos - ABC News chief Washington correspondent (son of a priest and a former altar boy.)


*Nikita Yakovlevich Bichurin - Russian Orthodox Church monk and Sinologist
*Saint Innocent of Alaska - Wrote books on Tlingit and worked on an alphabet for Aleut
*Pyotr Kafarov - Student of Bichurin, also a Sinologist and ROC monk
*Mateja Matejić - Priest in the Serbian Orthodox Church
*Alexander Nedoshivin - Russian Orthodox Church priest and Esperantist
*Epifany Slavinetsky - Polyglot, Russian Orthodox Church monk, and translator

Modern Politicians

Note: Most political figures in the Byzantine Empire, or most other Medieval Eastern European Empires, would be in least nominally Eastern Orthodox. Therefore this is limited to modern times, specifically after 1800. For United States entries Political Graveyard was used for this section, but additional sources are encouraged.

The list is not complete; the vast majority of politicians in countries such as Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Serbia and others are Eastern Orthodox.
*Spencer Abraham - Former Senator (R-MI) and Energy Secretary
*Michel Aflaq - Founder of Baathism
*Eleni Bakopanos - Former Canadian Member of Parliament (Lib-PQ)
*Melissa Bean-Serbian Orthodox Church
*Helen Delich Bentley - Former US Congresswoman (R-MD) (Serbian Orthodox) []
*Michael Bilirakis - US Congressman (R-FL) (Greek Orthodox) []
*Rod Blagojevich - Illinois Governor (D) (Serbian Orthodox)
*Tony Clement - Former Ontario Minister of Health, (Greek Cypriot)
*Miron Cristea - first patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church and Prime Minister for about a year
*Michael Dukakis - Former Governor and Presidential candidate (D-MA) []
*Nick Galifianakis - Former Congressman (D-NC)
*George Gekas - Former Congressman (R-PA)
*Michael Huffington - Former Congressman and Senatorial candidate (R-CA)
*Darrell Issa - US Congressman (R-CA)
*Constantine Karamanlis - First Prime Minister of the Third Hellenic Republic, Former President of Greece (ND)
*Kostas Karamanlis - Prime Minister of Greece (ND)
*Vojislav Koštunica - Prime Minister of Serbia.
*Leonid Kuchma - former President of Ukraine.
*Makarios III - President of Cyprus
*Nicholas Mavroules - Former Congressman (D-MA) [] []
*Fan S. Noli - Albanian orthodox bishop and briefly PM of Albania
*Tassos Papadopoulos - President of Cyprus
*Andreas Papandreou - Former Prime Minister of Greece (PASOK)
*Vladimir Putin - President of Russia
*Fyodor Rtishchev
*Paul Sarbanes - US Senator (D-MD)
*Andrew S. Shandro - Politician from Alberta
*Dean Skelos - New York State Senate Majority Leader
*Olympia Snowe - US Senator (R-ME); Attended St. Basil's Academy []
*George Tenet - Former CIA Director []
*Paul Tsongas - Late US Senator and Presidential candidate (D-MA) []
*Viktor Yanukovych - Prime Minister of Ukraine.
*Eleftherios Venizelos - Former Prime Minister of Greece
*Viktor Yushchenko - President of Ukraine.
*Constantin Zureiq - Early Arab nationalist leader


*Alexander Friedmann - Discovered the expanding universe solution to the Einstein field equations.
*Sergei Korolev - Designed the R-7 rocket which launched the Space Age on October 4, 1957.
*Anthemius of Tralles - Also an architech who designed the Hagia Sophia
*Abram Samoilovitch Besicovitch
*Theodosius Dobzhansky - Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution concerns the religious reader
*Pavel Florensky - He worked on Dielectrics and theodicy.
*Dmitri Mendeleev - Noted chemist
*Josif Pančić(convert)
*Ivan Pavlov - Father was a Russian Orthodox priest and he was enrolled in the seminary before reading The Origin of Species []
*John Philoponus - "Christian philosopher, scientist, and theologian" []
*Michael I. Pupin - Famous physicist
*Alexander Popov - Inventor of radio. Son of a priest and planned to enter seminary.
*Nikola Tesla - Serbian scientist, inventor of AC and radio. He was Serbian Orthodox as a child in least since his father was a priest. []


*Nikolai Berdyaev - Russian Orthodox Christian existentialist
*Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh - A bishop and writer.
*Michael Choniates - Byzantine writer and ecclesiastic
*Fyodor Dostoevsky - Many of his novels, like The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov, have specific Russian Orthodox themes
*Alexander Galich - Russian Jewish convert who wrote poems and screenplays. (Also joined the National Alliance of Russian Solidarists)
*Ivan Ilyin - Slavophile, wrote "Axioms of Religious Experience"
*Ivan Kireevsky - often considered the father of Russian and Slavophile philosophy.
*Konstantin Pobedonostsev
*Seraphim Rose(convert) - Monk
*Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - Russian Orthodox novelist
*Richard Swinburne - Christian philosopher and convert to Orthodoxy late in life
*Timothy Ware - A bishop and writer.

Theologians and Clergy

*Michael Apostolius
*Basil of Caesarea - One of the Three Holy Hierarchs and a Doctor of the Church in Catholicism
*Georges Florovsky
*Charles Sydney Gibbes - English tutor of the Romanov children.
*Michael Glycas - also a historian and poet
*Thomas Hopko
*Archbishop Iakovos - former Leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
*John of Kronstadt - Archpriest
*Jeremias II - Patriarch of Constantinople
*John Chrysostom - One of the Three Holy Hierarchs and a Doctor of the Church in Catholicism
*John of Shanghai and San Francisco
*John of Tobolsk
*Konstantin of Murom
*Cyril Lucaris - Crypto-Protestant Patriarch of Constantinople
*John Anthony McGuckin - Priest and professor, convert from Catholicism to Romanian Orthodox Church)
*Alexander Men
*John Meyendorff
*Peter Mohyla
*Gregory Nazianzus - One of the Three Holy Hierarchs and a Doctor of the Church in Catholicism
*Nicholas of Japan
*Gregory Palamas
*Grigol Peradze - Patristics, also a historian.
*Maximus Planudes
*Justin Popović
*Sergius of Radonezh
*Alexander Schmemann
*Gennadius Scholarius
*Victor Sokolov - Archpriest and Soviet dissident journalist
*Theophan the Recluse
*Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow - Martyr
*Joseph Volotsky - Theologian/saint.

Fools for Christ

*Basil Fool for Christ
*Nicholas Salos of Pskov
*Xenia of Saint Petersburg


On the politics section the main source is [ Political Graveyard: Eastern Orthodox Politicians] .

For other sections [ Famous Adherents Eastern Orthodox Christians] and [] were used. As these are less reliable additional searches on each individual was used for verification.

ee also

*List of Byzantine Empire-related topics
*List of children of Orthodox priests
*List of Orthodox dioceses and archdioceses
*List of current patriarchs
* [ OrthodoxWiki]

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