I understand the reason why only icons should be in Orthodox churches (as opposed to, for example, the paintings inside the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour). But I've also seen photos of churches where, although the people in the pictures are painted more realistically, the way they're depicted still seems like an icon. For example:
Do these still count as icons, or are they just paintings?
Sit back, pop open a cold one, grab some pretzels and enjoy the show.
This subject can get heated.
Seriously , for several centuries following from about the early 18th century, through a 20th century revival of more traditional Byzantine style, there was a trend in much of Eastern Christendom (Orthodox and Eastern Catholic alike ) which favored a more western flavor in church appointments, including icons.
Many churches built by immigrants to North America by Greeks and Slavs alike between the late 19th through the mid 20th centuries reflect this reality as well as those of the same time in Europe.
I am of the opinion that they are worthy of veneration. Others passionately disagree. There are good arguments for both points of view and most of us can argue this one and at the end of the day still enjoy a cold brew and camaraderie while agreeing to disagree.