It is likely that the Christian message was initially carried into the regions that produced the Oriental Orthodox churches at an early date, frequently replacing earlier forms of Christianity.
Schisms and Sects
The eastern churches could not accept the Christological formula proposed by the Council of Chalcedon (451 C.E.), resulting in the schism that endures to this day, although both sides have made recent overtures toward reconciliation.
Missions and Expansion
As is the case with most Christian churches, the Oriental Orthodox have facilitated missionary activities in their own spheres of cultural influence and sometimes beyond.
Exploration and Conquest
As a result of their geography, Oriental Orthodox Christians have frequently found themselves being used as pawns in the imperial rivalries of various great powers.
Oriental Orthodoxy can now be found in Europe, North America, and Australia, largely as a result of the emigration of its adherents from these zones of conflict.