The Holy Christian Orthodox Church has nominated the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to be named a saint in the Christian church.
The Holy Christian Orthodox Church (HCOC) is an ecumenical Orthodox Catholic Communion of Churches with 4 million members around the world. Members of the Communion have roots in the Catholic, evangelical and Pentecostal branches of the Christian faith. The HCOC, also known as the Holy Communion of Churches, will submit the nomination for canonization to the World Bishops Council to begin the process.
"Dr. King was Catholic because he inspired the universal church, he was evangelical because of his Baptist roots, and he was charismatic. The Roman Catholic Church cannot make him a saint because he was not a Roman Catholic. But our church body, which has full apostolic succession, can present him to the entire Christian faith to be venerated on April 4, the date of his assassination," stated Archbishop Timothy Paul, Patriarch of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church and current President of the World Bishops Council.
The HCOC has nominated King along with several other names, including the Rev. Oral Roberts, Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, and the Rev. Richard Allen.
Unlike the Roman Catholic Church process of beautification, the Orthodox Church tradition is canonization then to glorification. At the stage of glorification, an icon is revealed and Christians around the world are encouraged to venerate the saint. There are nearly 600 million orthodox Christians around the world.