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(979 words)

Author(s): Wilhelm de Vries
In the first centuries of Christianity certain great Churches in the East administered districts in which a number of bishoprics were brought together under a central government. This was necessary for the uniform guidance of the Church which Rome was unable to effect under the conditions then prevailing. This development followed a parallel course both inside and outside of the Empire. The districts inside the Empire (Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Jerusalem) were later called “patriarcha…