What is an icon? How did the east church differ from the church in the west?

Question by Kim M: What is an icon? How did the east church differ from the church in the west?
How did the church in the east differe in its views towards the icons vs the church in the west, please give both sides.

Best answer:

Answer by JJ
While both the East and the West use icons the Eastern Churches definitely put more importance on them. Both do use prayer and fasting to create icons, however to the Eastern Church the icon is seen as a bit more than just a symbol as it contains the image of God, and the Saints, and is therefore a “dwelling place” of God’s grace.

In the Western Church, particularly in the largest rite (Roman) while they seem to definitely receive a higher respect to those who understand them, they are generally not given as high of treatment as the East gives them. However the amount of respect given it does vary within the Western Church, due to the differences in the rites, for example the Byzantine or the Greek Catholic rite use icons in the same respects as the Eastern Church, not so surprisingly due to their recent (well relatively) return.

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