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Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas (1951 - Present) - Religious Group

Religious Family: Eastern Liturgical (Orthodox)
Religious Tradition: Orthodox
Description: The Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas (formerly known as the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas) is an autonomous part of the Romanian Orthodox Church headquartered in Bucharest, Romania. The Metropolia consists of the Archdiocese of the USA and the Diocese of Canada. Romania is called sometimes a “Latin country in a sea of Slavs,” because the Romanian language descended from the language of Roman soldiers who occupied Dacia following its conquest by Emperor Trajan in 106 AD. Historically, Romanian ethnic identity has been closely identified with the Orthodox Christian faith. Orthodox Christians comprise about 90% of the present-day Romanian population. The initial Romanian immigration to the U.S. occurred at the beginning of the 20th century and gravitated largely to industrial centers such as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, New York, and other “Rust Belt” cities. Typically, the Romanian immigrants were accompanied by Romanian Orthodox clergy who came to America to minister to them. The first Romanian Orthodox parish in the U.S. was opened in 1904, in Cleveland, OH. In 1929, the Congress of clergy and laity held in Detroit established the “Autonomous Missionary Episcopate,” which united all the scattered parishes. The Congress also asked the Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Bucharest to send a bishop. In 1935, the first Romanian Orthodox Bishop, Policarp Moruşca, arrived in America. From the beginning, the Romanian Church in North America had a significant administrative autonomy from its “Mother” Church, the Patriarchate in Bucharest. After WWII, the Communist takeover in Romania divided Romanian communities in America along political lines. The question of either remaining loyal to the Patriarchate of Bucharest or separating from the Communist-controlled Church in Romania provoked a schism among American Romanian Orthodox parishes. Since 1951, two rival Romanian Orthodox church bodies have existed in America. One was the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas, which remained loyal to the Patriarchate of Bucharest and has become the present-day Romanian Orthodox Metropolia in the Americas. The second was the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, which (in 1960) became a semi-autonomous diocese of the Orthodox Church in America. The local Romanian Orthodox parishes, their Church choirs, their youth dance troupes, and summer festivals continue to play a key role in keeping Romanian culture alive in the United States. With the fall of Communism in Romania in 1989, a massive influx of new immigrants changed the demographics of Romanian churches in America, making them both larger and more ethnically-centered.
Official Site:

Maps: Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas1

Adherence Rate per 1,000 (2020)

Congregations (2020)

Top 5 Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas States (2020)1 [View all States]

Rank State Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Nevada 1 500 0.16
2 Massachusetts 3 620 0.09
3 Georgia 1 700 0.07
4 Illinois 1 750 0.06
5 Connecticut 1 200 0.06

Top 5 Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas Counties (2020)1 [View all Counties]

Rank County Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Ontario County, NY 1 200 1.78
2 Spotsylvania County, VA 1 120 0.86
3 Gwinnett County, GA 1 700 0.73
4 Morris County, NJ 1 275 0.54
5 Washington County, MN 1 107 0.40

Top 5 Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas Metro Areas (2020)1 [View all Metro Areas]

Rank Metro Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Reading, PA Metro Area 1 150 0.35
2 Worcester, MA-CT Metro Area 2 320 0.33
3 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV Metro Area 1 500 0.22
4 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metro Area 1 200 0.21
5 Cleveland-Elyria, OH Metro Area 1 400 0.19


1 The 2020 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include data for 372 religious bodies or groups. Of these, the ASARB was able to gather data on congregations and adherents for 217 and on congregations only for 155. [More information on the data sources]

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