Orthodox Churches in Australia
The first Divine Liturgy in Australia was celebrated in 1820. Today, there are nearly 250 Orthodox churches in Australia, with more than half a million members. One of these churches appears in Catherine’s Pascha.
St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church
Coober Pedy, South Australia
Opal was discovered in Coober Pedy 100 years ago. It was an inhospitable area, where daytime highs in January average near 100°F, and rain is a scant 5 inches a year.
But opal mines required miners, and miners required homes. Most homes in Coober Pedy are built into the ground, where they are protected from the blazing heat.
And when the Serbian people in Coober Pedy decided to build a church, they built it the same way. The church is carved 30 feet into the ground. Even the icons on the walls are carved into the stone. The windows that are on ground level on the outside soar 20 feet over the nave. The icons on the iconostasis are written on glass and lit from behind.