The Droidenian Orthodox Church, often called the Church of Droiden or the Ribe Patriarchate, is one of the autocephalous Northern Orthodox Churches. It has 231 dioceses within Droiden. The Primate of the DOC is the Patriarch of Ribe. The DOC and its Primate rank first in the Northern Orthodox Order of Precedence, followed by the Patriarch of Eriksby, and the Vinland Orthodox Church.
The Christianization of the Droitish, widely seen as the genesis of the DNOC, is said to have occurred around 1125 through the baptism of Kong Leifur I, who would later be canonized as Skt. Leifur den Store, and his court by the clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The DNOC remained under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople until 1451, when the Peace of Jeddah formalized the DNOC as an equal, autocephalous church. Eventual disparagements between the Church in Constantinople and the Church in Ribe led to the Orthodox Schism in 1666, which was said to be caused by satanic influences seeping into theology, an excuse perpetuated by both sides of the schism.
The DOC claims exclusive jurisdiction over the Northern Orthodox Churches, irrespective of their ethnic background, which reside in former territories of Droiden's vast colonial empire. The DOC also created the autonomous Iroquois Orthodox Church. Churches within the former Droidenian Empire enjoy a good amount of self government, albeit short of the status of formal ecclesiastical autonomy.
The Christianization of the Droites occurred during the reign of Kong Leifur I's reign, during his search for a suitable bride. He was approached by John Komnenos, who offered his daughter's hand in marriage in exchange for Leifur's baptism. Leifur was baptized in the Odense River, and married John's daughter, Theodora.
The Northern Crusades were religious conflicts initiated by the newly Christianized Droidenian Kingdom, commissioned by Patriarch Eysteinn I in 1200 in the first Ripenser Patriarchal Commission. The best known of these crusades is the Second, which saw the capture and Christianization of Iceland, and its subsequent incorporation into the Droidenian Crown. Iceland remains a possession of the Droidenian Crown, rather than a subdivision of the Empire, and is directly administrated by the Kongur. The First Northern Crusade targeted the Kingdom of Sweden, which was the strongest pagan nation in Scandinavia. A decisive blow was delivered to the Swedes at Gothenburg, where Kongur Ragnar I personally defeated the Swedish King, Eric IV. Eric refused to submit to Ragnar, so Ragnar hanged him and took the crown of Sweden for himself. Eric's son and heir, also named Eric, attempted to revolt against the Droidenian rule, but Ragnar, still retaining knowledge of the Runes disheartened Eric by casting a reversed Mannaz rune directed toward him, meaning that any further attempts at revolution would be met with certain death. Eric conceded the throne of Sweden, which was incorporated into the Droidenian Crown. The Second Crusade was led by the sickly and weak Skard I, and conquered Iceland. He was not well enough to return to the mainland of Droiden, and opted to remain in Iceland until his death, delivering orders via longship. The Third Northern Crusade was regarded as the most successful. It completely subjugated the Sami in Northern Scandinavia and constitutes to this day the largest acquisition of territory by Droiden in history. The Fourth Northern Crusade is referred to as the entry to Droiden's Dark Ages, as it was a grim defeat in Finland which destroyed the Droidenian army and forced a peace treaty between Droiden and the Finnish Pagans. Droiden would enter a dark period between 1307 and 1337, during which the Pagans of Finland retook the Kola Peninsula. Droiden retook the Kola Peninsula under the careful guidance of Dan "the Dragon" in 1336, and finally consolidated all of Finland in 1339. In 1453, Droiden sent an army of 100,000, the largest ever mustered by the nation, to aid the declining Byzantine Empire in repelling the Siege of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks. With the help of Droiden, the Ottomans were pushed out of Anatolia, suffering a crushing defeat at the Battle of Trebizond. The Peace of Jeddah was signed in 1463, bringing a tense yet peaceful end to the conflicts. As a result, Constantine XI married Haesteinn I's daughter, Astrid, who took the name Sofia. It is from her that the leadership of the Byzantine Empire descends. As a result of the Droiden-Hanse Union in 1521, the Catholic Eirik took the throne. He introduced some Catholic elements to Droiden, such as latinizing many Greek texts, Layman Baptism, introducing the Catholic Bible and Rosary, and most importantly, disavowing Caesaropapism. These reforms were denounced by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who denounced the new Byzanto-Ripenser Rite, causing the Northern Orthodox Schism in 1526. The Northern Orthodox Church split from the Eastern Orthodox Church, though a mending of relations occurred in the 1900s, bringing them back into communion. In 2020, the Droidenian Orthodox Church was expelled from its seat in Ribe upon the December Revolution but was re-seated in 2036. The Droidenian Orthodox Church In Exile (now the Droidenian Orthodox Church of Helsinki) was founded in Finland and cited anti-syndicalism as one of its doctrines. It is no longer in communion with the Ribe Patriarchate due to its proclamation of superiority and establishment of Antipatriarch Miskä Juri I. Patriarch Valdemar VII (formerly Bishop Asbjorn Dansonnr Paulssen of Lappland) was elected on 19 August 2036.
The DOC is organized hierarchically, with the lowest level of organization, usually a single DOC Church and its attendees, headed by a Priest who acts as a father superior, constitutes a Parish. All Parishes within a region constitute an eparchy. All Eparchies within one of Droiden's first level subdivisions constitute an exarchate. Since the breakup of the Droidenian Colonial Empire in the 20th Century, some churches within the Ribe Patriarchate enjoy degrees of self-governance, which, according to DOC terminology, differs from autonomy. Such churches include the Vinland Orthodox Church, the Ćkvatorialafrikan Orthodox Church, and the Shantunker Orthodox Church. The Droidenian Orthodox Church Outside Droiden experiences similar status. Smaller Eparchies are governed by a single bishop, however, in large centres such as Hamburg, Danzig, Novgorod, and Althior, an Archbishop is chosen from several bishops (a number usually around 5-6) to govern said Eparchy. The Holy Synod of Ribe is the highest level of authority outside of the Patriarch of Ribe himself. It comprises all of the Exarchs and Archbishops of Droiden, from which the Patriarch is elected via internal vote. Similarly to the Pope, the Patriarch of Ribe holds jurisdiction outside of Ribe, and is generally considered equal to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in the Orthodox Order of Precedence.
In accordance with the practice of the Orthodox Church, a particular hero of faith can initially be canonized only at a local level within local churches and eparchies. It may only be performed by the ruling hierarch and only when the Patriarch of Ribe grants his blessing to do so. All believers of the local are tasked with recording descriptions of miracles, the creation of Hagiographical accounts of a saint's life, and icon painting, as well as drafting a liturgical text for the service where the saint is canonized. All of this is sent to the Synod of Ribe, who deliberates on the accounts provided and decides whether or not to canonize the local hero of faith.
During the exile of the Church of Droiden, no official canonizations occurred save for Antton Immonen, leader of the Integralist Party of Droiden, a proponent of the DOC, and Kongur Edgar IV, who was executed by the Syndicalists. Antipatriarch Miskä Juri I (at the time Patriarch Mikkel II) canonized several generals and soldiers of the Syndicalist military who were outed as Christians and executed, however such canonizations are not recognized by the Droidenian Orthodox Church. At the time, the canonization of soldiers totaled nearly 6,000, with Patriarch Mikkel II stating "They are unknown to us but known and adored by God."
The making of icons within the Droidenian Orthodox Church is a sacred practice. Originally, Droidenian Iconography followed strict Byzantine conventions, however later on, especially after Eirik's reformation, they took on a more unique shape. Oftentimes, houses in Droiden will have a "gront-hjorne" (Green Corner) which is where most of the home's icons are found. Most Droidenian Churches are decorated with Icon-Doors, which are usually of Bronze or Copper with casted iconic patterns and panels. There are also often many stained-glass windows, which are considered iconic in nature.
Κοινωνία μεταξύ των πλασμάτων, literally "Communion Among the Creatures [of God]" is a philosophy unique to the Droidenian Church, incorporated from the Sami of Northern Scandinavia. Communion among the creatures is a series of laws and precedents which guarantee the good treatment of animals, as if they were people, except in the matter of consumption. It is widely regarded as the reason for Droiden's very humane treatment of slaughter-animals.
Droidenian Bell-Ringing, a practice adopted from the Novgorodians of the Hanseatic Kingdom, is a staple of religious celebration.
The Droidenian Orthodox Church shares close ties to the Russian Orthodox Church of Russia Major, with the Moscow and Ribe Patriarchates being notably alike in ideology and belief, which has led many to believe that the churches are the same but use different languages during services.
Since the Mending of the Orthodox Schism, the Droidenian Orthodox Church is in communion with every Orthodox Church in the world, other than the Droidenian Orthodox Church of Helsinki. In recent years, certain hierarchs have found fellowship with the Evangelical Church of Oldenburg-Frisia. Patriarch Valdemar VII said of them "We have many things in common. I would not be unhappy to see some engagement between our churches."
The Patriarch of Ribe also believes that Catholicism and Orthodoxy may "peacefully co-exist" and has met Pope Pius XIII on four occasions, and has said that "Our churches are different, but we may exist together in peaceable harmony. An allyship is something I would like to work towards."
The DOC is said to be the largest Orthodox Church in the world, having an estimated membership of 934 million adherents from Droiden, its former empire, and the rest of the world. 87% of Droidenian citizens consider themselves Droidenian Orthodox.