After the expulsion of the Turks, the Romanian population of the Great Plain organized their congregations and built their modest churches. The Orthodox Romanians and Serbs organized their Church together. The Romanian Orthodox population living in Arad, Békés, Bihar and Csanád Counties belonged to the Arad Diocese, which was established in 1705 and was under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Metropolitan of Karlóca. In the 1790s the administration of the diocese was divided into two, the Consistories of Arad and Nagyvárad were established with episcopal authority. The Romanian Orthodox parishes of Bihar were under the jurisdiction of the latter. The Romanians fought a serious struggle for the independence of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The movement succeeded in 1829 when in the person of Nestor Ioanovici a Romanian bishop was inaugurated. The Romanian Orthodox Church separated from the Serbian Patriarchate of Karlóca in 1864 and became an independent archbishopric.
After 1920, eighteen Romanian Orthodox parishes remained within the Trianon borders, which belonged to the Dioceses of Arad and Nagyvárad. In order to solve the unresolved situation, the priests elected a dean in 1933, then in 1940 all Romanian congregations with the exception of three parishes (Battonya, Magyarcsanád and Budapest) joined the Hungarian Orthodox Church. However, the congregation of Gyula declared its separation in 1943 and the other parishes followed suit. In 1946 they established their Vicariate and Diocesan Consistory. The Vicariate of the Romanian Orthodox Church of Hungary was elevated to episcopate after the fall of the dictatorship, in 1999, when its first bishop was inaugurated in Gyula. The episcopal seat is adjacent to the only Hungarian Orthodox architectural monument, the Saint Michael Cathedral.
The archives of the Orthodox parishes preserve ecclesiastical documents as well as rich material of educational history. The archival material of the churches includes numerous registers, protocols, ecclesiastical and educational documents, statements, economic documents, circular letters, cash-books, inventory books, registers relating to religious life and mixed documents from the period after 1700. The early documents contain data and texts in Romanian, written in Cyrillic writing.
Owing to the inadequate storage method and the lack of financial support, after 1918 the valuable church relics started to deteriorate. In view of the bad condition of documents, ritual books and objects, after 1989 the material was collected from the Romanian Orthodox parishes and placed in the seat in Gyula but remained in the property of the parishes.
Address: 5700 Gyula, Szent Miklós tér 2.