Author Topic: Conversion Stories  (Read 69256 times)

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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #90 on: November 25, 2015, 06:36:36 AM »
First of all, you will be reading a story from someone who's 18. Things will sound silly.

As any middle-class Brazilian kid, I was a devout Catholic boy. I thought Protestant kids were weird and I was very joyful that I had not only my beautiful family on Earth, but a Father and a Mother in Heaven, taking care of every step I took. I was happy to know the saints could listen to me, and I told them my most compelling secrets.

My faith just got warm when I was 13, on 2011. As I turned 14 by the end of the year, though, dumb atheist propaganda started nuking my mind, and I just apostasised, I started to call myself an "Agnostic", a "Nihilist", and, at some point, I would pretend I was some kind of Laveyanist. On early 2014, I started studying Thelema, Gnosticism, Paganism, and maybe Kardecism. God is wise. I was to "edgy to simply return to Christianity, but those readings washed my silly contempt for the methaphysical away. Those studies made me retake Bible studying for curiosity's sake, although, as I clearly focused on the Old Testament, I treated the Holy Scriptures as some kind of series of foundational myths, historical accounts and wisdom.

Well, on early 2015, my admiration for some seminarists I met made me truly wish to come back to the Roman Catholic faith. I was a bit doubtful, specially after I attended a charismatic mass, but the strong light emanating from my new readings from the New Testament, plus my overall fascination with Russia, plus a big curiosity on what then would the three Orthodox friends I already had be doing Sunday morning... well, when I realised myself, there I was, going for liturgy every Sunday.

There are already five friends, plus my girlfriend, who simply followed me into the church, plus three internet buddies elsewhere in Brazil who are looking for the same. A friend of mine told me I have a great catechetical gift. I'll try not to get this over my head, since I'm a catechumen myself!  :P But I'm greatly happy with the path I've been taking. A year ago, my greatest dreams were all about getting a regular job and following some political panorama. Now, my life foresight is serving the Church, engaging my dear girlfriend and keep my healthy friendships. This last sentence may sound out of context, but all I mean is that: life is definitely changed for me.  :)

Creio em uma única Igreja: Una, Santa, Católica e Apostólica.

Que Deus os abençoe.
God bless you all.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Dominika

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2015, 02:24:00 PM »
Welcome to the forum!
Nice to see somebody from the Polish Church, especially from Brazilian mission (I'm from Polish Church too, but living in its homeland ;))
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #92 on: November 25, 2015, 06:57:21 PM »
Welcome to the forum!
Nice to see somebody from the Polish Church, especially from Brazilian mission (I'm from Polish Church too, but living in its homeland ;))

Nice to meet you, Dominika!  :)

Our community has a peculiar history inside the Polish Church. We're all Brazilians.  ;D When the original community, as seated in Portugal, wished to become fully canonical, Poland recognised they were faithfully Orthodox. And here we are:



Ambrose (Bishop for Recife), Chrysostom (Archbishop for Brazil) and blessed Sawa. I have the dear opportunity of asking Chrysostom the blessing most Sundays. He's really a very humble and attentive man.

Many years upon them. God bless you all in Poland, brothers!
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Dominika

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #93 on: November 26, 2015, 09:22:17 AM »
^^ Yeah, I know the story, and I've talked to bp Ambrose when he visited Holy Mount Grabarka in Poland 2 years ago. It was funny, as I was asking in Spanish, and he was giving answers in Portuguese ;) However, I haven't met abp Chrysostom ;)

It's nice to that this mission receives new converts, as Polish Church isn't so big jurisdiction, so that's amazing, that you keep being under our omophorion
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #94 on: November 28, 2015, 12:08:11 AM »
^^ Yeah, I know the story, and I've talked to bp Ambrose when he visited Holy Mount Grabarka in Poland 2 years ago. It was funny, as I was asking in Spanish, and he was giving answers in Portuguese ;) However, I haven't met abp Chrysostom ;)

It's nice to that this mission receives new converts, as Polish Church isn't so big jurisdiction, so that's amazing, that you keep being under our omophorion

That is amazing! I don't know him myself. I heard they're building him a new cathedral in Recife.  :)
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline vansensei

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #95 on: December 29, 2015, 03:19:28 AM »
First of all, you will be reading a story from someone who's 18. Things will sound silly.

As any middle-class Brazilian kid, I was a devout Catholic boy. I thought Protestant kids were weird and I was very joyful that I had not only my beautiful family on Earth, but a Father and a Mother in Heaven, taking care of every step I took. I was happy to know the saints could listen to me, and I told them my most compelling secrets.

My faith just got warm when I was 13, on 2011. As I turned 14 by the end of the year, though, dumb atheist propaganda started nuking my mind, and I just apostasised, I started to call myself an "Agnostic", a "Nihilist", and, at some point, I would pretend I was some kind of Laveyanist. On early 2014, I started studying Thelema, Gnosticism, Paganism, and maybe Kardecism. God is wise. I was to "edgy to simply return to Christianity, but those readings washed my silly contempt for the methaphysical away. Those studies made me retake Bible studying for curiosity's sake, although, as I clearly focused on the Old Testament, I treated the Holy Scriptures as some kind of series of foundational myths, historical accounts and wisdom.

Well, on early 2015, my admiration for some seminarists I met made me truly wish to come back to the Roman Catholic faith. I was a bit doubtful, specially after I attended a charismatic mass, but the strong light emanating from my new readings from the New Testament, plus my overall fascination with Russia, plus a big curiosity on what then would the three Orthodox friends I already had be doing Sunday morning... well, when I realised myself, there I was, going for liturgy every Sunday.

There are already five friends, plus my girlfriend, who simply followed me into the church, plus three internet buddies elsewhere in Brazil who are looking for the same. A friend of mine told me I have a great catechetical gift. I'll try not to get this over my head, since I'm a catechumen myself!  :P But I'm greatly happy with the path I've been taking. A year ago, my greatest dreams were all about getting a regular job and following some political panorama. Now, my life foresight is serving the Church, engaging my dear girlfriend and keep my healthy friendships. This last sentence may sound out of context, but all I mean is that: life is definitely changed for me.  :)

Creio em uma única Igreja: Una, Santa, Católica e Apostólica.

Que Deus os abençoe.
God bless you all.

E você também. Há muito cristãos orthodoxos no Brasil? A country that's 70-80% Catholic must have some.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #96 on: December 29, 2015, 10:33:47 PM »
First of all, you will be reading a story from someone who's 18. Things will sound silly.

As any middle-class Brazilian kid, I was a devout Catholic boy. I thought Protestant kids were weird and I was very joyful that I had not only my beautiful family on Earth, but a Father and a Mother in Heaven, taking care of every step I took. I was happy to know the saints could listen to me, and I told them my most compelling secrets.

My faith just got warm when I was 13, on 2011. As I turned 14 by the end of the year, though, dumb atheist propaganda started nuking my mind, and I just apostasised, I started to call myself an "Agnostic", a "Nihilist", and, at some point, I would pretend I was some kind of Laveyanist. On early 2014, I started studying Thelema, Gnosticism, Paganism, and maybe Kardecism. God is wise. I was to "edgy to simply return to Christianity, but those readings washed my silly contempt for the methaphysical away. Those studies made me retake Bible studying for curiosity's sake, although, as I clearly focused on the Old Testament, I treated the Holy Scriptures as some kind of series of foundational myths, historical accounts and wisdom.

Well, on early 2015, my admiration for some seminarists I met made me truly wish to come back to the Roman Catholic faith. I was a bit doubtful, specially after I attended a charismatic mass, but the strong light emanating from my new readings from the New Testament, plus my overall fascination with Russia, plus a big curiosity on what then would the three Orthodox friends I already had be doing Sunday morning... well, when I realised myself, there I was, going for liturgy every Sunday.

There are already five friends, plus my girlfriend, who simply followed me into the church, plus three internet buddies elsewhere in Brazil who are looking for the same. A friend of mine told me I have a great catechetical gift. I'll try not to get this over my head, since I'm a catechumen myself!  :P But I'm greatly happy with the path I've been taking. A year ago, my greatest dreams were all about getting a regular job and following some political panorama. Now, my life foresight is serving the Church, engaging my dear girlfriend and keep my healthy friendships. This last sentence may sound out of context, but all I mean is that: life is definitely changed for me.  :)

Creio em uma única Igreja: Una, Santa, Católica e Apostólica.

Que Deus os abençoe.
God bless you all.

E você também. Há muito cristãos orthodoxos no Brasil? A country that's 70-80% Catholic must have some.

The 2010 census counted 130 thousand of us. but I believe they must have counted the Oriental Orthodox altogether.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline ahmad seraphim

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Offline Calla

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #98 on: December 05, 2016, 04:26:32 PM »
I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. My parents had a turbulent trip in that organization - Mom converted young, when I was a toddler, Dad was eventually baptized but later disfellowshipped, reinstated then DF'ed again - we moved across several states and congregations, they divorced - I have to give the JWs credit for being present, supportive, loving and the only constant in our lives throughout those years.

By the time I was 18, I was inactive as a JW, no longer living a moral lifestyle and largely agnostic. I moved around, "tried different things," and maybe once a year vaguely considered going back to the org.

I met my husband when I was 23, and we married a year later. From that point on, I would sporadically revisit the idea of Christianity, would attend a rare service here and there (mainline Protestant churches. An Episcopalian service, a Presbyterian.) I was thinking of the Church in terms of lifestyle and community, not faith or worship.

A year ago things got more intense. My husband and I had 3 children, and I became conscious of the fact that there was a gaping hole somewhere... in my chest, a desire for purpose, a clear recognition that despite the secular, casually negative towards Christian beliefs waters I had been swimming in, I wanted to truly believe in Christ, and worship God. I was thinking wholly in Protestant terms, and prayed, and visited some more churches. It felt like church shopping though, and that just couldn't be right. At that point I recognized that picking through churches till I found one that fit all of my preconceptions was doing just what every other cafeteria Christian does, and it was never supposed to be easy.

I read some softer "manosphere" stuff, and some Christian oriented manosphere blogs. We had already made great progress in our marriage by discarding essentially the last 60 years of male-female and marriage oriented thought and advice, and so I was looking to find out which churches those folks attended. One blogger in particular had hit on some things that affected me, and it turns out he was Orthodox (after making his own journey.) So I started reading on Journey to Orthodoxy... it was all at once deeply alien and massively appealing.

All of those church shopping list bullet points that I had been working with suddenly seemed much less important. They weren't wrong, exactly, just a much smaller piece of a tapestry and I began to understand was the "fullness of the faith." There was the understanding that all of the history of the Reformation that I had been taught was just not applicable to Orthodoxy - that was shockingly painless, walking away from being so certain of Protestantism. Too much and too many things to list here, as they are discussed all over the forum.

Anyway, I inquired on Journey to Orthodoxy. Fr. John Peck answered and referred me to a parish in my city. I went, the priest was uncannily on point as far as addressing my particular snarls and issues, and after 3 months of being an inquirer he accepted that I am serious  ;D , let me know he requires at least a year as a catechumen, and so now I am one! God sent me there. It feels a bit arrogant and absurd to say, but there is really no other explanation. I am very thankful, and have a long way to goo.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 04:31:22 PM by Calla »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #99 on: December 05, 2016, 04:39:39 PM »
Hi Calla, welcome to the forum and to the Church!

What would you consider a "softer" manosphere blog?
Quote
When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
- Berdyaev

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Offline Calla

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #100 on: December 05, 2016, 09:32:54 PM »
Hi Calla, welcome to the forum and to the Church!

What would you consider a "softer" manosphere blog?

Thank you.

I suppose anything that isn't full on PUA, or crosses over into other topics as well. I don't endorse everything in all of them - slatestarcodex, Dr. Helen, Athol Kay. Maybe 'related' would have been a better word.

Offline Saxon

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #101 on: March 06, 2017, 03:14:47 PM »
I had been a disenchanted Protestant since about the age of 13. I was baptised as an infant in a Presbyterian church that folded into the ultra-liberal United Church of Canada - we'll come to that later. While God and a Christian life were very important at home, we generally did not attend church; in fact, we only went a handful of times to a prominent Pentecostal megachurch in our city. While admittedly still a child, I found nothing about it to be appealing or of any spiritual value (the minister in a stylish suit belting out a fire-and-brimstone type sermons; people standing up and speaking in tongues or waving their hands with heads tilted back mumbling "praise Jesus"; the cavernous and oppressively sterile interior of the church itself, etc.).

Being from a family of English Anglican and Scottish Presbyterian ancestry, I liked the connection the latter still had to the Scottish diaspora in Canada, so I got my mother to start taking me to a beautiful, century-and-a-half old gothic revival Presbyterian church in our hometown when I was about 14. That suited me for a while. The minister was an older, theologically conservative type which suited the aversion I had already begun to cultivate to modernized, liberal Christianity. It was difficult to feel fully at home there, however; the congregation was mostly comprised of octogenarians and was very clannish. But still we went. It was shortly after that a young gay couple began attending the church - two men who would put their arms around each other when we stood to sing hymns, among other over PDA. The minister started happily chatting to them and heaping attention on them after the services, which I found very off-putting. I started attending some other Presbyterian parishes in town, but many were also hiring female clergy which I have always been vehemently opposed to.

We also intermittently went to Anglican services, but the regional Anglican cathedral located in my city had a flamboyant gay priest, and other Anglican parishes in the area flew rainbow flags and seemed more preoccupied with pushing social justice issues, multiculturalism (including Koran readings during services), and other things that I felt were downright anti-Christian. The Anglican Church of Canada is a particular problem even among the milieu of that faith, and is currently suspended by Canterbury for its ultra-liberal stances.

Now, I was well aware of Orthodoxy throughout most of this time. My aunt married a Romanian and my cousin was baptised in a beautiful Serbian Orthodox parish in our town. I knew nothing of the theology, but loved the outward beauty of the faith. However, as all local parishes were in Serbian, Russian, Greek, Ukrainian, or other foreign languages, and I still had the Protestant aversion to the rampant idolatry that I felt at the time characterised Orthodoxy (the usual icons are graven images, do not pray to saints, etc.), I did not pursue it, despite having a conversation with my mother at about the age of 14 about going to the local Russian church (before ultimately delving into Calvinism as aforementioned).

Now a bit older, I began to seriously study the tenets of various Protestant sects. To be honest, I never really agreed with fundamental aspects of Calvinism such as predestination, their rampant Zionism, etc. I liked Anglicanism for its liturgical, sacramental, traditional style, but the church descended into progressive values to the point of heresy, and seems to be proving that there is indeed a long journey to rock bottom. In university, I began attending a Confessional Lutheran (Lutheran Church Canada - ie. Missoui Synod) parish, as I found they best kept the tradition of the Reformation without sinking into modernism. I was also active in the pro-life club at school, which has attached to it an LCC seminary. Again, however, I just found nothing inspiring about it, and began to seriously look into Roman Catholicism just at the time of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, but dropped that when the liberation theologist who currently occupies the Papacy was selected.

My girlfriend (now fiance) comes from a Ukrainian family, and her grandparents were Orthodox but her parents did not bother with religion and she was not baptised or raised in the faith. However, she had always wanted to be involved with the Church, and felt it was part of her identity that her parents denied to her. At work, one of her coworkers is a Russian man who is heavily involved with the Russian Orthodox Church (his brother is the choir director at one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in Canada). This man was also a longtime friend of the priest of the Russian church in my hometown 45 minutes away - the one I had wanted to attend over a decade prior. The priest has a son around my age who my fiance's Russian coworker helped to get a job at their place of employment, and we became close friends. We began spending a lot of time with them, and were spiritually counselled by the priest and guided into the faith. We were finally baptised in December into their ROCOR parish, and will be getting married there in October.

I cannot believe it is a coincidence that, moving away from home, I meet a Ukrainian girl who wanted to return to the faith as much as I wanted to come to it, and then just happen to become acquainted with members of the Russian community who work in our industry, including the priest of the church I had previously been interested in in my old hometown, and who just happen to live down the street from us now. This goes to show that if you are sincere in your resolve to come to Christ, God will show you the way.

Offline ody30

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #102 on: April 19, 2017, 11:28:15 AM »
May God continue to guide you as you grow in the faith

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #103 on: April 19, 2017, 12:11:02 PM »
I converted as a teenager. Part of it was me wanting to find my own way as a teenager. Also I read Spare the Child that focused on corporal punishment as an aspect of Calvinism and Reformed Protestantism's religious system. The harshness reflected the judgmental attitudes that I had met among Evangelicals/Fundamentalists. I would probably have been left in a feeling of nondenominational liberal mainstream Protestantism, but I was interested in Russian culture.

I went to Catholic school briefly and looked on it as substantially the same with some exceptions like Transubstantiation, private confession sessions with a priest, and what I saw as the Pope's status as a kind of infallible emperor over everyone. I didn't look at crossing yourself or praying the rosary as a significant difference.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 12:14:25 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #104 on: April 19, 2017, 12:40:18 PM »
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #105 on: April 19, 2017, 03:51:25 PM »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Cognomen

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #106 on: April 19, 2017, 08:39:45 PM »
Former Taliban From Afghanistan Baptized at Mount Athos

Hazara Taliban? Yeah...

Regardless, glad he's been received.
Sure he's Hazara? :P

Hah. No, but... And this: "for years he worked for the Taliban, doing various things," i.e. he wasn't exactly a tip o' the spear Taliban nunchuck wielding super-operator.

But like I said, good for him.
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #107 on: April 19, 2017, 08:42:15 PM »
ETA (in an accidental double post): Missed the Farsi part too. Far more common with Tajiks and Hazara than "Talibany" Pashtun. But it was kind of a jerk thing for me to harp on. And I could be wrong, of course. Just seems a tad bit off to me. But I'm not capable enough to edit my own post correctly, so don't trust me. I'll shut up now.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 08:47:17 PM by Cognomen »
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Offline MariaJLM

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #108 on: December 13, 2017, 03:55:49 PM »
I'll jump on the bandwagon. Buckle up, folks. This could be long.

Firstly, I'll get a little into my background as I feel it's important to understand my journey. I guess I'll begin by stating that I'm your pretty average Canadian woman. While I do possess heritage from Orthodox majority countries(Romania, Russia, and Ukraine) I never really knew much about it until recently. My family is pretty disconnected from their heritage and about the biggest reminder we've had were various family recipes from the old countries. Needless to say, faith was not at all a prominent factor in my upbringing. In fact, most of my family remains non-religious, either apathetic or atheist. For years, that was me as well.

Fast forward a few years and you'll see poverty in my upbringing. My mother was stuck raising three children almost entirely on her own. That made things hard. It also led to plenty of bullying and stuff in school(so did other factors, but those are not super important for the sake of this story), leading to what would be lifelong mental illness. In short, by the time I reached high school I was a hot mess. I had almost no friends and was already struggling with plenty of mental illness issues. At times I thought about simply ending it all. I was just so disillusioned with everything, both socially and politically. I began to desperately search for a cause I could cling to. Through that search I came to Marxism. I began to read about it and found it to my liking as a saw it as a solution to both the poverty I and others experienced and as something to give my life meaning, something that I could fight for and belong to.

From the time I was about sixteen Marxism pretty much became the core of my identity. As previously stated, it spoke to me in rather personal ways. I also found it to be a natural fit with everything I already believed about religion. Here I was reading a guy who believed that eventually humanity would simply move away from a need for faith. For a lifelong atheist what wasn't there to like in that? It also didn't help that previously I have had bad experiences with Evangelicals harassing me into believing. All in all, I didn't like religion and thought it was abusive/manipulative and hated capitalism as I believed it was only harming people.

Upon graduation from high school I briefly attended university. There I began to become minimally active in some on-campus socialist activism. It was nothing too involved, usually just postering and holding the occasional meeting. Nonetheless, it made me happy as I began to meet like-minded people and still felt like I belonged to something. It also deepened my already lifelong interest in history, history of the Soviet Union in particular. I became rather obsessed with the Soviet Union. I saw it as the ideal state and believed that nearly anything bad said about it was simply "bourgeois lies". Naturally, though, the rabbit hole went deeper and had me exploring further Russian history and culture. Of course, one thing that came up was the Orthodox church. Initially, I didn't really care for it, because religion. I found the iconography and architecture appealing, but beyond that I didn't put much stock into it. I still believed it had been an oppression institution and that the Soviet Union had been right in repressing it.

Eventually my family caught onto my obsession with Russia. It was then I found out a bit more about my family's roots and our connections to Russia. I thought that was kind of neat and it made me into a sort of weird Russian Patriot...thing. I already didn't trust the West since I was pretty disillusioned with everything so it fit well. Besides, I knew that communists in Russia were patriotic anyway. At the same time it gave me something to follow since I was also growing disillusioned with online Marxist circles due to the identity politics stuff. I simply did not care about trans people being called "xir/xe" or whatever when there was starving people in the world. At this time I was also experiencing plenty of harassment online at the hands of my former comrades due to my views. This brought me into a deep depression again. I felt empty and that life was meaningless. I thought about offing myself again.

I think it was probably desperation that led me to make my next move, but I began to look into various faiths. I kind of found the subject fascinating from an academic point of view anyway so I dug right in. I still did not like Christianity as I remembered all the awful Evangelicals who had harassed me and all the evil in the world that I perceived to have been done by Christians. Islam, though, was something I found growing on me. I found it a fairly straight forward faith. It had clearly laid out rules to follow, the theology was not confusing like I believed Christian theology to be, and it was easy to convert. A read through of the Quran and many theological discussions later I found myself quite convinced of its truth. I began to attempt prayer multiple times a day, I fasted during Ramadan, I stopped eating pork, etc. About the only thing I did not do is take that final step of officially publicly converting(the town I lived in at the time lacked an Islamic community).

My stint with Islam lasted about two or three years? During almost all that time I managed to keep it concealed from my family as I knew they would probably be hostile due to "Islamophobia". However, sooner or later my mother began forwarding me many emails, suggesting that she at least knew I took interest in it. Essentially, they were emails about various bad things done by Muslims: child marriage, FGM, oppression of women, etc. At first I shrugged it all off as mindless Islamophobia, but slowly I began to question things as I became more active in online Muslim communities as I still did not know any Muslims in person. I began to see support for many of these awful things firsthand. That had me running pretty quickly, at least from the mainstream Sunni communities.

Having begun to question Sunni Islam I briefly flirted with Shia Islam. That was only short-lived as once again I saw support for practices I didn't agree with. Eventually this led me into a group of "progessive Muslims". I thought they were alright, taking a more liberal stance on Islam. Many of them also rejected the ahadith(which is where I saw most of the bad stuff being justified from) and followed what is known as "Quranism". I stayed in that group for awhile and was able to retain faith in Islam. I don't recall what exactly triggered me to begin to question that, but something did and point is that I left it behind too. By that point I became disillusioned with religion again and simply went back to identifying as atheist. I also got back into Marxism, still feeling bitter about poverty and the fact that I wasn't being hired by anybody.

Once again I came to eventually question Marxism, remembering how all the SJW identity politics stuff had made me uncomfortable the first time. After that I tried to simply stay away from politics entirely. Instead, I simply just focused on history again. Russia, of course, since I still had an interest in it. I also noticed Pope Francis making headlines a lot. He seemed like the new big thing so I began to follow some of those headlines. Because of my focus on poverty I actually found some of what he was saying to be appealing. I felt like because he was the Catholic Pope that some of what he was saying must somehow have justification in Christian teachings. Sure enough, I found myself digging deeper. I started reading about Catholic theology and stuff so I could better understand. I found it growing on me too, even if at this point I still did not believe many of the claims made about Christ by Christians.

Suddenly both the Catholic church and Russia became interests of mine. I continued reading and learning about both. Of course, references to Orthodoxy kept coming up in my readings about Russia. Once again I got reminded of the beautiful icons and architecture that had captured my attention years ago. Due to that alone my theological interests began to shift East. I delved into Eastern theology and found it made even more sense than Catholic theology. The more I read the more I actually found myself unable to refute Christianity. Slowly I began to realize that I was turning into the thing I once hated: a Christian. It was by a sheer stroke of luck that I had just moved to a city that has Orthodox churches as well. Between all the online theological discussions and readings I decided it was time to visit an Orthodox church. I figured that it was harmless and that I simply would not have to go again if I didn't want to.

It was one summer day when I was fairly bored that I finally cracked down and emailed the priest of the nearest Orthodox church. I told him that I was interested in the faith and wanted to meet with him to ask questions and such. A couple days later he met with me. He began to explain things to me and show me around the church building itself. Immediately I was taken aback by the beauty of the icons so I was overjoyed when he invited me to attend Vespers that following weekend. I was nervous, but I showed up! I was super confused as I was unfamiliar with the structure of the service, but I found it to be something beautiful and uplifting. By the time it ended I found myself wanting to return.

I did return. Not once, but for every Saturday evening for months. Finally, about a couple months later I finally had the guts to attend a Sunday liturgy. I went to that and once again found myself uplifted, arguably even more so than I had at Vespers. Soon, attending both Vespers and Liturgy became a weekly routine for me. I also found my own faith in Jesus Christ growing. I felt like He wanted me there and that I was at last involving myself in something meaningful. Naturally, I was overjoyed when both the parish priests agreed that I was ready to be officially made a catechumen.

About a little over a year after stepping into an Orthodox church for the first time I was baptized. I was, of course, excited as I had waited months for it to happen. I was impeccably prepared and already had a patron saint picked out quite awhile before it occurred. After months of reading I had settled on who I was certain was "the one": St. Maria of Paris. From there I think you can all pretty much guess the rest.                 

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #109 on: December 13, 2017, 04:49:21 PM »
Welcome! A fascinating story, to which more folks here than you might think can relate.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #110 on: December 13, 2017, 04:53:36 PM »
Nice story, Maria, reminds me in part of my own.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline MariaJLM

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #111 on: December 13, 2017, 07:21:47 PM »
Ngl, I'm impressed that people actually read it all :o.

Offline Serafimos

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #112 on: February 04, 2018, 03:05:40 PM »
Well I'll keep it very simple..................I'm a Eastern Orthodox convert from RC. Why??? I discovered the true faith, the right faith and the correct practice. I don't have anything against RC's but I was very disappointed in the church and the clergy. Eastern Orthodox gave me what I needed and the support from my priest and spiritual father.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #113 on: February 04, 2018, 03:15:47 PM »
Well I'll keep it very simple..................I'm a Eastern Orthodox convert from RC. Why??? I discovered the true faith, the right faith and the correct practice. I don't have anything against RC's but I was very disappointed in the church and the clergy. Eastern Orthodox gave me what I needed and the support from my priest and spiritual father.
Welcome to the forum, Serafimos!
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline Olga24

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #114 on: July 15, 2018, 11:55:51 AM »
First of all, I am new on this board and want to introduce me a bit - and what´s better than my conversion story for this? ;)
I´m a 26 year old woman from germany. I was raised in a multicultural household (french/german/persian) and was mainly in contact with the religion of my mother, who raised me catholic, but left to non-denominational protestantism early. I spent many years searching my way in different religions and never found my home. I started my studies to become a historian then, met my now-husband there at university (baptized protestant, but a non believer) and as he has an interest for byzantium, I looked closer on byzantine history, later theology and made it a one of my main research topics. Then I had to work once with the hagiography of Saint Olga of Kiev. First just an academic interest, I started more and more to get interested. I felt in love with an icon of her, and after I ordered the Icon I realized I wish to experienxe the faith for that it stands. I contacted the nearest orthodox parish (a russian one where I live) and was warmly invented to experience the divine liturgy. I got more and more involved, prayed regularly, and as it was the sunday before great lent when I first visited, I started lent fasting to have a deeper look. All this was great. Finally, I´ll be baptized the 16th of august this year (new style calendar date) and my patron Saint will be Saint Olga ov Kiev :) :)
Greetings from germany, I´m glad to be here.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #115 on: July 15, 2018, 12:08:20 PM »
Welcome, Olga24.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #116 on: July 15, 2018, 02:33:07 PM »
First of all, I am new on this board and want to introduce me a bit - and what´s better than my conversion story for this? ;)
I´m a 26 year old woman from germany. I was raised in a multicultural household (french/german/persian) and was mainly in contact with the religion of my mother, who raised me catholic, but left to non-denominational protestantism early. I spent many years searching my way in different religions and never found my home. I started my studies to become a historian then, met my now-husband there at university (baptized protestant, but a non believer) and as he has an interest for byzantium, I looked closer on byzantine history, later theology and made it a one of my main research topics. Then I had to work once with the hagiography of Saint Olga of Kiev. First just an academic interest, I started more and more to get interested. I felt in love with an icon of her, and after I ordered the Icon I realized I wish to experienxe the faith for that it stands. I contacted the nearest orthodox parish (a russian one where I live) and was warmly invented to experience the divine liturgy. I got more and more involved, prayed regularly, and as it was the sunday before great lent when I first visited, I started lent fasting to have a deeper look. All this was great. Finally, I´ll be baptized the 16th of august this year (new style calendar date) and my patron Saint will be Saint Olga ov Kiev :) :)
Greetings from germany, I´m glad to be here.
Viele Jahre! (many years)
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #117 on: July 15, 2018, 02:34:01 PM »
Welcome, Olga!
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