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General Laws

Section 55. This section shall apply to all churches, congregations, parishes, committees and other religious organizations governed by jurisdictions, archdioceses and dioceses of any Orthodox Patriarchate, Synod or national church of the Orthodox Church (the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church), recognized by the apostolic historic Orthodox Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Moscow and Yugoslavia and in general to all churches, congregations, parishes, committees and other religious organizations founded or established with the intent and for the purpose of adhering to and maintaining the apostolic and historic communion, doctrine, discipline, canon law, tradition, worship and unity of the Orthodox Church.

An unincorporated church, congregation, parish or any other religious organization may apply to the appropriate hierarch, archbishop, bishop or administrator for permission to incorporate under this section. When such permission has been granted in writing, it shall be attached to the certificate of incorporation.

The certificate of incorporation shall be in the form provided by the state secretary for religious corporations and must, in addition, recite therein that the purpose and intent of the corporation is to maintain, propagate, practice and forever perpetuate religious worship, services, sacraments and teachings in full accordance and unity with the doctrine, ritual, canon law, faith, practice, discipline, traditions and usages of the Orthodox Church and for the carrying out of the said purpose and intent to maintain a religious organization which will be adherent and obedient to the Orthodox ecclesiastical jurisdiction and authority and which shall recognize and remain subject to the duly appointed and canonical Orthodox hierarch, archbishop, bishop or administrator appropriate for the Orthodox communicant members comprising the same.

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