In connection with the theme of the icon, initial dialogue had been conducted between the Christians and the Judeans, and later after the appearance of Iconoclasm, the dialogue was expanded and led between the iconodules and the Iconoclasts. For the ancient church, Iconoclasm was a large-scale challenge. History has shown that the struggle with the Iconoclasm had in fact been a struggle for Orthodoxy.

The iconodules condemned Iconoclasts for heresy, while the Iconoclasts considered themselves bearers of enlightenment, and accused iconodules of the alleged fall into idolatry.

The appearance of Iconoclasm caused huge unrest in the Byzantium. There were terrible conflicts and persecutions. Church of Christ had suffered many martyrs.

Many researchers believe that the emperor Constantine V was under the influence of Eastern peoples, primarily the people who lived in the region of Mesopotamia, but also under the influence of Islam.

The problem of Iconoclasm is in fact a deeper conflict about a lasting and comprehensive meaning of religion, art, beauty, and the Liturgy. For the holy icons in the Church of Christ, the Incarnate Theanthropos are the works of art and “monuments”, but also much more than that: they are documents of the Christian faith, faith in the lasting and timeless meaning and the God-likeness of the human image, and Christ-like personality of the Saints as true people.

The Western civilization has lost the sense for the icon. It degraded the icon, and brought exactly that which Iconoclasm, but also the Reformation was trying to eschew – a new idolatry.

The Orthodox view is that the veneration of the sacred icons is based on the one hand, on a God-revealed truth that the Triune God created man “in His image” out of shear love, and on the other, that the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, God the Logos, incarnated, was begotten in the human body. Thus in His Theanthropic Person merged the Prototype – God and the type, image – man. It is in this union of the Prototype and the image one may see the sense of creation of the world and man in it as the crown of God’s creation.




The Oros of faith, that is the exposition of the Orthodox faith,
a statement of determinations agreed
at the Seventh Ecumenical Council:



We make obeisance, respect and with love kiss the all-honourable icon of the human incarnation of the Word of God (Christ), anointed by Godhead, remaining unchanged, so that he who is anointed believes with faith to see in the icon the Very God, Who appeared in the body and lived with people. We make obeisance and we give honour to the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, and to icons of the all-honourable God’s Saints, raising the eyes of our souls to the Image of the Prototype and raising our mind to the unimaginable and unutterable.

However, even after the Seventh Ecumenical Council, at the beginning of IX century, Iconoclasm reappears owing to the policies of some Byzantine emperors. So it was until Empress Theodora and Patriarch of Constantinople Methodius finally legalized and restored honouring of the holy icons on 11 March 843.

This event is dedicated at the first Sunday of Easter, or the Great Lent, which concludes the first seven days of intensified prayer and ascetic contrition and which is dubbed the Sunday of Orthodoxy. In this ceremony, the Holy Church celebrates not only the victory over Iconoclasm, but the victory of the Holy Orthodoxy in general, its triumph over all heresies, false teachings and divisions.

Veneration of holy icons for the West was only a pious habit, while for the Byzantium holy icons are inseparable from the Liturgy and the sacramental life of Orthodox Christians.

Orthodox Christians worship and serve only the Living God, while completely different respect is shown to God’s creatures – the saints. We worship them as those who have been glorified by God as servants of God and the liturgists, and as those who out of love for Him gained courage.

Iconodulism is an expression of Orthodox faith and Christian love, it could be called – a loving testimony.