The Eastern Orthodox Church is not one big church is you may think. It is actually composed of thirteen independent churches named “autocephalous,” each of them administering its own matters but having a common approach to sacraments, liturgy, and doctrine. A “patriarch” or a “metropolitan” is the one who leads an autocephalous. The Patriarch of Constantinople — which is now modern Istanbul in Turkey — is seen as the universal patriarch. He doesn’t meddle in the affairs of the twelve other churches but otherwise enjoys special privileges.
Despite the name, the Eastern Orthodox Church somewhat baffles especially the Western Christians with its rather unconventional ways which make up for its unique character. This means there are more interesting facts a lot non-follower should find out about one of the largest and oldest Christian churches in the world.