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Author Topic: A Crackdown on Russian Protestants  (Read 7876 times) Average Rating: 0
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Alveus Lacuna
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« on: November 25, 2009, 02:08:16 AM »

I don't know if this has been posted before, but here is a video from the New York Times:

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2008/04/23/world/1194817098599/a-crackdown-on-russian-protestants.html
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 02:08:32 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2009, 03:12:51 AM »

On the long run the Russian authorities deal with the Protestant as they should.
The NYT report is very biased. They probably start with the assumption that all countries should "enjoy" the religious hodge-podge of the USA. Why should there be any Protestant missionaries in Russia?
Why should America export its religious confusion abroad?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 03:13:33 AM by augustin717 » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2009, 03:39:40 AM »

I don't think government should have any role in this. If people are converting over to protestantism, it's probably because the Orthodox Church in Russia needs to educate it's own better. It will serve to  sharpen the Orthodox Church in Russia if the govt steps aside.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 03:39:54 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2009, 04:00:02 AM »

The Orthodox Churches survived and stayed the majority Churches in Eastern Europe not so much by "educating their own better" ,  as by forging a very strong link between those peoples' national and religious identities. And I want the various national Orthodox Churches to stay strong and monopolize the religious life of the historically Orthodox peoples . That's why the intervention of the state in favour of the Church is not bad, as long nobody is actually done any physical harm.
If Protestantism were to make significant inroads in these countries, that would mean, beyond the religious loss, a huge cultural loss and historical amnesia, far worse, I think, than what was done by the former Communist regimes.
But, thanks be to God, that such is not the case, yet.
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2009, 05:02:08 AM »

On the long run the Russian authorities deal with the Protestant as they should.
The NYT report is very biased. They probably start with the assumption that all countries should "enjoy" the religious hodge-podge of the USA. Why should there be any Protestant missionaries in Russia?
Why should America export its religious confusion abroad?

 I totally agree with you.  And I'm American.
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 05:17:48 AM »

I don't think government should have any role in this.
This cannot be a blanket rule, for example, Article 3 of the Constitution of Greece states that "The prevailing religion in Greece is that of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ." This gives the Church of Greece precedence in the Greek Constitution over any other faith, and the government is obliged to maintain this precedence.
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 06:39:49 AM »

Why should there be any Protestant missionaries in Russia? Why should America export its religious confusion abroad?
Why should there be any Byzantine missionaries in Russia? Why should Roman empire export it's religion abroad? Damn that Vladimir for destroying Russia! Damn those Cyril and Methodius for destroying Russian culture!
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 08:04:50 AM »

Why should there be any Byzantine missionaries in Russia? Why should Roman empire export it's religion abroad? Damn that Vladimir for destroying Russia! Damn those Cyril and Methodius for destroying Russian culture!

St Cyril and Methodius were bringing truth in their missionary activities. St Vladimir may have forced people into baptism on pain of death, but he was doing it for their salvation. Meanwhile, Protestant bodies present in Russia are spreading lies and drawing people away from Orthodox. Your comparison is risible.
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2009, 10:58:22 AM »

Why should there be any Byzantine missionaries in Russia? Why should Roman empire export it's religion abroad? Damn that Vladimir for destroying Russia! Damn those Cyril and Methodius for destroying Russian culture!

St Cyril and Methodius were bringing truth in their missionary activities. St Vladimir may have forced people into baptism on pain of death, but he was doing it for their salvation. Meanwhile, Protestant bodies present in Russia are spreading lies and drawing people away from Orthodox. Your comparison is risible.

Let the people decide. Orthodoxy has suffered when it has been an arm of the state or been the state religion. Persuasion and not coercion is the true Christian approach and should therefore be the Orthodox approach.
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2009, 11:33:12 AM »

Why should there be any Protestant missionaries in Russia? Why should America export its religious confusion abroad?
Why should there be any Byzantine missionaries in Russia? Why should Roman empire export it's religion abroad? Damn that Vladimir for destroying Russia! Damn those Cyril and Methodius for destroying Russian culture!
The faculty of choosing-a religion, in this case- is not the highest good man can aspire to.
It depends on the religion that one chooses. That's what gives moral content to the act of choosing.
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2009, 12:10:45 PM »



St Cyril and Methodius were bringing truth in their missionary activities. St Vladimir may have forced people into baptism on pain of death, but he was doing it for their salvation.

To me, that's absurd. IMO a forced "conversion" is no conversion at all. You cannot force people into salvation. Please tell me this was not Orthodox belief? (someone, anyone?) I realize there are some things not disclosed in catechumen classes, or in mainstream Orthodox writings, but was this really the belief of the Church at that time? If not, where did Prince Vladimir ever get such an idea that forcing people to "convert" was a good idea? Just curious.


edited to emphasize my opinion, not anyone elses.

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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2009, 12:21:53 PM »

This is where something called "historical context" comes into play.  Prince Vladimir was living in the late 10th century.  A people's religion was the religion of their king, period.  There was no "freedom of conscience;" there was no concept of "religious freedom."  This was a non-negotiable part of life in 10th century Europe.  It seems incredibly wrong to us nowadays, but, back then, this was normal, right, and the way things were done.  Its implementation has little to do with Orthodoxy or religion in general, but with political thinking at the time.  Your king's gods were your gods, period.
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2009, 01:16:49 PM »

This is where something called "historical context" comes into play.  Prince Vladimir was living in the late 10th century.  A people's religion was the religion of their king, period.  There was no "freedom of conscience;" there was no concept of "religious freedom."  This was a non-negotiable part of life in 10th century Europe.  It seems incredibly wrong to us nowadays, but, back then, this was normal, right, and the way things were done.  Its implementation has little to do with Orthodoxy or religion in general, but with political thinking at the time.  Your king's gods were your gods, period.

Thank you for the answer!

I personally don't "buy" it, (at least totally) because obviously the Church went right along with this implementation. I wonder if Church leaders spoke out against this? 10th century Europe or not, it's clearly against the teachings of Jesus Christ. What happened to the "obey God rather than man" stance the early Church took against Emperor worship? That was certainly just part of "life in 1st and 2nd century Rome" and in fact it was normal, right, and the way things were done, but the Christians refused. Or at least enough of them did that we have writings etc on the subject. Did the 10th century Church do something similar? I reckon they didn't because now the Church was on the winning team. (I hate to be so cynical here but that's my assumption)

I do get that there are always historical contexts to many things like this, but sometimes I feel like Catholics/Orthodox use the "historical context" as a scapegoat to basically justify anything wrong done in the past, even if it was clearly against the teachings of Christ, because "oh those stupid dark age people just didn't know better"....when in fact I DO believe they knew better, or at least had the opportunity to know better because, well weren't Christ's teachings everywhere?

I get what you're saying, and I do understand that, to a degree, but I just cannot help but see it as wrong none the less. The teachings of Jesus were as available then as they are now, or they should have been, seeing as how this was the CHURCH baptizing people..shouldn't the priests, Bishops and Patriarchs have known better? I realize Prince Vladimir would not have, nor the Pagan people of Russia, because Christianity was all new to them, but the 1000 year old Church should have been aware they were doing wrong. At least that's how I see it.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, and you're right, there is a historical context to it all that I sometimes forget, but still, it doesn't sit well . . . .

hope you understand what I mean.
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2009, 01:23:08 PM »

I'm afraid this cracking down on Protestants is only a sign of weakness and insecurity on the part of the ROC. A secure person is willing to let people be who they are, and doesn't need to force anyone.  A union of Church and State does not usually produce a nation of strong and faithful believers. History will repeat itself.
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2009, 01:36:12 PM »

Like it or not, Ortthodox Churches have been in some sort of a union with the state for most part of their history. That's why there are lands where Orthodoxy is the established faith, and not an exotic community like the Amish.
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2009, 02:06:28 PM »

I'm not sure if that has really led to larger quantities of dedicated Christians. The thing is, if you antagonize people, they are going to fight back and become bitter, and stronger in their determination to prove themselves right. If you are kind to people, they might even start to respect you and understand that you have something worthy of consideration.
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2009, 02:39:18 PM »

I get it, I mean I understand how annoying protestant missionaries are and I would much prefer the Russian Orthodox Church who's greatest intrusion into into the average Russian's daily life is the annoying ringing of church bells. But you think the Russians would have learned by now...suppressing ideologies is not a healthy element of a stable state, this was a major contributing factor to the fall of their late empire.

Plus, why are they concerned? 2/3rds of their population is either Atheist, Agnostic, or non-religious and non-Orthodox Christians make up a whopping 2% of the country's population...are they really that threatened by an ideology held by 2% of the population?
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2009, 03:10:04 PM »

Quote
are they really that threatened by an ideology held by 2% of the population?

I would be, if I were them...
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2009, 03:24:30 PM »

It occurred to me that rather than forcibly expel Protestantism (which probably won't work in the long run), the ROC could employ a much more effective counter-method; publishing and disseminating material to every parish as to why Protestantism is wrong.  I would imagine that there are some country (and maybe city as well) priests who might not know how to address Protestants.  I believe that if the ROC were to address the issue of Sola Scriptura and make it available to every parish, then people could make a more informed decision.  I have a booklet in my library called Preaching Another Christ: An Orthodox View of Evangelicalism by St. Theophan the Recluse (a bishop from 19th century Russia), so the information and material is already out there.  We just need to do a better job of spreading the message, IMO.
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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2009, 03:57:31 PM »

I get it, I mean I understand how annoying protestant missionaries are and I would much prefer the Russian Orthodox Church who's greatest intrusion into into the average Russian's daily life is the annoying ringing of church bells. But you think the Russians would have learned by now...suppressing ideologies is not a healthy element of a stable state, this was a major contributing factor to the fall of their late empire.

Plus, why are they concerned? 2/3rds of their population is either Atheist, Agnostic, or non-religious and non-Orthodox Christians make up a whopping 2% of the country's population...are they really that threatened by an ideology held by 2% of the population?

Less than 2% of the population of your beloved Roman Empire was Christian at one point.  We see how well that turned out for them Wink
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« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2009, 05:23:52 PM »

I'm afraid this cracking down on Protestants is only a sign of weakness and insecurity on the part of the ROC. A secure person is willing to let people be who they are, and doesn't need to force anyone.  A union of Church and State does not usually produce a nation of strong and faithful believers. History will repeat itself.

agreed.
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2009, 06:13:40 PM »

This is where something called "historical context" comes into play.  Prince Vladimir was living in the late 10th century.  A people's religion was the religion of their king, period.  There was no "freedom of conscience;" there was no concept of "religious freedom."  This was a non-negotiable part of life in 10th century Europe.  It seems incredibly wrong to us nowadays, but, back then, this was normal, right, and the way things were done.  Its implementation has little to do with Orthodoxy or religion in general, but with political thinking at the time.  Your king's gods were your gods, period.
This was true with the Franks as well.








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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2009, 06:23:58 PM »

I'm afraid this cracking down on Protestants is only a sign of weakness and insecurity on the part of the ROC. A secure person is willing to let people be who they are, and doesn't need to force anyone.  A union of Church and State does not usually produce a nation of strong and faithful believers. History will repeat itself.

agreed.

I agree as well. The Church for the first 3 hundred and 60 something years thought the same. We live in a day and age much like the early Nicene and pre-nicene world. And so, it would be a good idea to help the faithful know why they believe what they believe, as well as knowing why protestantism is wrong.....because the protestants ain't gonna stop doing what they are doing.

It doesn't look good overhere when stuff like that happens, just like it never looks good when talking to protestants when the Greeks and Armenians rumble during Holy Pascha. They show it on their blogs and they talk to us about it.

It just doesn't look good, and it's not good. To refuse to teach your people what they should believe will only hurt them in the long run, for the different kinds of protestants will be more than happy to seek them out like red meat. For they are just the kind of people they are looking for...........trust me!









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« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2009, 06:27:02 PM »


To refuse to teach your people what they should believe will only hurt them in the long run, for the different kinds of protestants will be more than happy to seek them out like red meat. For they are just the kind of people they are looking for...........trust me!


Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2009, 06:33:00 PM »

It occurred to me that rather than forcibly expel Protestantism (which probably won't work in the long run), the ROC could employ a much more effective counter-method; publishing and disseminating material to every parish as to why Protestantism is wrong.  I would imagine that there are some country (and maybe city as well) priests who might not know how to address Protestants.  I believe that if the ROC were to address the issue of Sola Scriptura and make it available to every parish, then people could make a more informed decision.  I have a booklet in my library called Preaching Another Christ: An Orthodox View of Evangelicalism by St. Theophan the Recluse (a bishop from 19th century Russia), so the information and material is already out there.  We just need to do a better job of spreading the message, IMO.


I don't think augustin717 wants the ROC to teach their people anything. At least, that's what it seemed like in his posts. He needs to understand that such things will only make the ROC look like the """evil""" Roman Catholic church in the eyes of alot of protestants, and that will just make them even more eager and happy to bumrush Russia with misssionaries.

I don't think he understands how such things are looked down upon overhere. In the long run it's only gonna hurt more than help.







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« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2009, 06:51:09 PM »

C'mon! We (American Convert Orthodox) are so fickle! Any number of things which go against living a free Chrsitian life in America, we run to our polling stations to fight it. If we had more power than that, we'd use it.
 So the Russian Orthodox try to do something which they feel goes against their fiber and allow their church to fight for them. What's wrong with that? If we had a Christian State Church over here, you can bet there'd be no abortion at all, no gay marriage at all, and every prosecuted drug addict would live on an island like Catalina.
It seems there is a distressing thought process over in America between Converts that touts a negative light on Cultural Orthodox Countries not having freedom of conscience. The people used their freedom of conscience to have a state church. If they didn't, people in general are volitile enough to change that. Revolutions - remember.I don't fault the Russians.
 But I agree with the Gabby da Celt too, we need to fight through education more. It helps to have a foundation for the laity. Maybe they will use it to convert the Protestants who keep running over there to "help".   
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« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2009, 07:01:44 PM »

Free market Christianity, FTW! Wink Cheesy
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« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2009, 07:12:50 PM »

Free market Christianity, FTW! Wink Cheesy
Why not?!! laugh
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« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2009, 07:38:31 PM »

This is where something called "historical context" comes into play.  Prince Vladimir was living in the late 10th century.  A people's religion was the religion of their king, period.  There was no "freedom of conscience;" there was no concept of "religious freedom."  This was a non-negotiable part of life in 10th century Europe.  It seems incredibly wrong to us nowadays, but, back then, this was normal, right, and the way things were done.  Its implementation has little to do with Orthodoxy or religion in general, but with political thinking at the time.  Your king's gods were your gods, period.

Thank you for the answer!

I personally don't "buy" it, (at least totally) because obviously the Church went right along with this implementation. I wonder if Church leaders spoke out against this? 10th century Europe or not, it's clearly against the teachings of Jesus Christ. What happened to the "obey God rather than man" stance the early Church took against Emperor worship? That was certainly just part of "life in 1st and 2nd century Rome" and in fact it was normal, right, and the way things were done, but the Christians refused. Or at least enough of them did that we have writings etc on the subject. Did the 10th century Church do something similar? I reckon they didn't because now the Church was on the winning team. (I hate to be so cynical here but that's my assumption)

I do get that there are always historical contexts to many things like this, but sometimes I feel like Catholics/Orthodox use the "historical context" as a scapegoat to basically justify anything wrong done in the past, even if it was clearly against the teachings of Christ, because "oh those stupid dark age people just didn't know better"....when in fact I DO believe they knew better, or at least had the opportunity to know better because, well weren't Christ's teachings everywhere?

I get what you're saying, and I do understand that, to a degree, but I just cannot help but see it as wrong none the less. The teachings of Jesus were as available then as they are now, or they should have been, seeing as how this was the CHURCH baptizing people..shouldn't the priests, Bishops and Patriarchs have known better? I realize Prince Vladimir would not have, nor the Pagan people of Russia, because Christianity was all new to them, but the 1000 year old Church should have been aware they were doing wrong. At least that's how I see it.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, and you're right, there is a historical context to it all that I sometimes forget, but still, it doesn't sit well . . . .

hope you understand what I mean.

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

2) The church also didn't speak out (not universally at least) against slavery and misogyny.

3) Are we to think this is essentially what happened when the Bible talks about whole households being baptized?  The master of the house accepts Christianity and so everyone else joins too.  The case of the conversion of nations is just this writ large.

4) Are we really sure that people were forced to convert on a large scale in Russia or anywhere else?
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« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2009, 08:06:33 PM »

Ap. Paul wrote both about freedom of religion (1 Tes 4, 12) and against slavery (2 Tes 3, 10-12).
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« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2009, 09:00:16 PM »

If we had a Christian State Church over here, you can bet there'd be no abortion at all, no gay marriage at all, and every prosecuted drug addict would live on an island like Catalina.

If the United States of America had an official state church, then it wouldn't be the same Unites States of America with the same principles, namely freedom of conscience.  This religiously pluralistic environment has allowed us to encounter and convert to Orthodoxy.  Do you think that all of those Eastern Europeans would have immigrated here if they would have had to abandon their religious identity?
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« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2009, 09:07:09 PM »

If the United States of America had an official state church, then it wouldn't be the same Unites States of America with the same principles, namely freedom of conscience.  This religiously pluralistic environment has allowed us to encounter and convert to Orthodoxy.  Do you think that all of those Eastern Europeans would have immigrated here if they would have had to abandon their religious identity?

I converted to Orthodoxy in a country that has an official state church.
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« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2009, 09:23:00 PM »

I converted to Orthodoxy in a country that has an official state church.

One soon to be disbanded, no doubt.  And tell me, what if you had chosen to do that 150 years ago?  How would the good king's representatives have taken the news?

The change came about by way of the influx of new ideas, but where did those come from?

In what year did a freedom of religious conscience become legal?
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« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2009, 10:33:44 PM »

One soon to be disbanded, no doubt.  And tell me, what if you had chosen to do that 150 years ago?  How would the good king's representatives have taken the news?

The change came about by way of the influx of new ideas, but where did those come from?

In what year did a freedom of religious conscience become legal?

I'm not talking about 150 years ago. I'm simply saying that it's possible for a state to have an official religion without restricting the religious freedoms of others. Finland has two state churches: one Lutheran, one Orthodox.
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« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2009, 11:06:34 PM »

If we had a Christian State Church over here, you can bet there'd be no abortion at all, no gay marriage at all, and every prosecuted drug addict would live on an island like Catalina.

If the United States of America had an official state church, then it wouldn't be the same Unites States of America with the same principles, namely freedom of conscience.  This religiously pluralistic environment has allowed us to encounter and convert to Orthodoxy.  Do you think that all of those Eastern Europeans would have immigrated here if they would have had to abandon their religious identity?
Until the Soviet Revolution, when did all these Orthodox come a runnin' to escape persecution from their opressive countries?
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« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2009, 01:40:05 AM »

At the end, the only "persecution" these people suffer is not even worth its name: not being able to proselytize as much as they would  like.
And contrary to their claims, they proselytize quite aggressively when given the chance. I've seen that.
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« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2009, 02:20:07 AM »


If the United States of America had an official state church, then it wouldn't be the same Unites States of America with the same principles, namely freedom of conscience.  This religiously pluralistic environment has allowed us to encounter and convert to Orthodoxy.  Do you think that all of those Eastern Europeans would have immigrated here if they would have had to abandon their religious identity?
Why do you automatically suppose they would have to give up their Religious identity to immigrate to this supposed ficticious country we're talking about?
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« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2009, 02:32:14 AM »

Why do you automatically suppose they would have to give up their Religious identity to immigrate to this supposed ficticious country we're talking about?

Well, they wouldn't necessarily, but if our constitution had a clause built in proclaiming that the American Church would be the "prevailing" church, then limitations of those freedoms could certainly be put into place if the immigrant churches started to grow beyond an "acceptable" level as interpreted by the government and state church.

Anyway, this is all conjecture.  I was merely pointing out the irony of converts supporting religious suppression, as their conversion was mainly possible because of our society's principles extolling free religious exchange and freedom of conscience.  Certainly Russians are free to convert to Protestant sects in the motherland (peace be upon her Wink) if they want to, but the government isn't exactly making it that easy for them.
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« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2009, 03:22:48 AM »

And why should the government make it that easy for people to embrace heresy?
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« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2009, 03:34:50 AM »

And why should the government make it that easy for people to embrace heresy?

 I think Alveus Lacuna is simply pointing out, dear brother, that because Jesus Christ gives everyone freewill to either choose Him or deny Him, certainly all man made governments, especially those who purport to be Christian, should extend the same courtesy to it's people.  I'm like you Augustin- I don't like Protestantism creeping in and wreaking havoc on our Orthodox brothers and sisters!  But, we must let everyone make their own choices, don't you agree?  I'll use myself as an example (something else Alveus Lacuna touched upon); I'm a convert born and raised in America.  Now suppose America put restrictions on Eastern Orthodoxy because America sees herself as a Protestant nation?  It's very likely that I never would have heard of Eastern Orthodoxy had that been the case.  So I, as a convert, should be careful about placing a ban on other faiths.  But don't misunderstand me, brother Augustin; just because we allow other views, doesn't mean we should give up and roll over. 
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« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2009, 06:55:33 AM »

I really think those Orthodox who live in non-Orthodox countries need to visit Orthodox countries before deciding on this question. Its very different in a country where Orthodoxy is seen as part of the cultural identity. By analogy, imagine a protestant Church taking the Vatican City to the Hague for denying them the right to establish a protestant Church next to St. Peter's Basilica. And yet, protestants are not denied the right to establish churches in Orthodox countries, merely they are being denied the right to "evangelize" (read "spread heresy") among the young on university campuses etc.
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« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2009, 10:03:15 AM »

To me, that's absurd. IMO a forced "conversion" is no conversion at all. You cannot force people into salvation. Please tell me this was not Orthodox belief? (someone, anyone?) I realize there are some things not disclosed in catechumen classes, or in mainstream Orthodox writings, but was this really the belief of the Church at that time? If not, where did Prince Vladimir ever get such an idea that forcing people to "convert" was a good idea? Just curious.

St Vladimir's glorification as a saint was mainly due to his forcing all in his vicinity into the Dniepr to be baptized on a cold January day. This event is lovingly reenacted each year by Ukrainian faithful. While one can quibble about the "infallibility" of Orthodox saints, the fact that St. Vladimir has been praised for over a millennium for his actions suggest pretty strongly that this is all okay with the Church.
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« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2009, 11:30:50 AM »

St Cyril and Methodius were bringing truth in their missionary activities. St Vladimir may have forced people into baptism on pain of death, but he was doing it for their salvation. Meanwhile, Protestant bodies present in Russia are spreading lies and drawing people away from Orthodox. Your comparison is risible.
You seem to have missed my point. augustin717 was arguing that Protestant missionary activity is wrong because Orthodoxy is part of Russian culture. I found that as a bad argument since also Orthodoxy is an import to Russia. That would have been a decent argument if augusting717 would have tried to argue for original Russian religion but now it was kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. Orthodoxy was as big "cultural loss" and "historical amnesia" as Protestantism would be.
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« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2009, 11:56:54 AM »


1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.


Hmm, well there are the Gospels accounts for starters. Smiley

Like, the beatitudes, or how about when he told the Apostles not to lord it over others like the gentiles (ie: the Roman Empire) do. When Jesus was on trial before the Sanhedrin He kept silent, in fact Christ's entire life was one of letting people CHOOSE Him or reject Him. Not once did Jesus say, "well, you're going to choose me whether you like it or not!" Of course Jesus never used the phrase "freedom of religion" because it had not been invented yet, but Paul wrote that God calls all, but compels NO ONE! Even the OT which is full of things that seem confusing or show God as being "harsh", God starts right out in the Mosaic Covenant saying "I set before you life and death, CHOOSE life."



Quote
2) The church also didn't speak out (not universally at least) against slavery and misogyny.

The Church didn't, but Jesus did. The fact that the first witnesses of the Resurrection were women. I just don't agree with your points here. Are you supporting the idea that doctrine develops and evolves over time, and what was "right" in 10th century is now "wrong" today?

Quote
3) Are we to think this is essentially what happened when the Bible talks about whole households being baptized?  The master of the house accepts Christianity and so everyone else joins too.  The case of the conversion of nations is just this writ large.


Your comparing baptizing children to forcing entire nations into baptism? Wow...that's a leap I just cannot take.


Quote
4) Are we really sure that people were forced to convert on a large scale in Russia or anywhere else?

Well, everyone else seemed to think this indeed happened in Russia. Obviously if you read my first post in the thread, I was shocked as I'd never heard it, but I'm also not shocked that it did.

Anyways, we'll just have to agree to disagree I guess....

happy thanksgiving
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« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2009, 11:58:17 AM »

To me, that's absurd. IMO a forced "conversion" is no conversion at all. You cannot force people into salvation. Please tell me this was not Orthodox belief? (someone, anyone?) I realize there are some things not disclosed in catechumen classes, or in mainstream Orthodox writings, but was this really the belief of the Church at that time? If not, where did Prince Vladimir ever get such an idea that forcing people to "convert" was a good idea? Just curious.

St Vladimir's glorification as a saint was mainly due to his forcing all in his vicinity into the Dniepr to be baptized on a cold January day. This event is lovingly reenacted each year by Ukrainian faithful. While one can quibble about the "infallibility" of Orthodox saints, the fact that St. Vladimir has been praised for over a millennium for his actions suggest pretty strongly that this is all okay with the Church.


That's what I was afraid of...LOL!
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« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2009, 12:26:18 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

That's interesting to me. In my catechumenate I was bothered when my priest talked about how the Western ideal of freedom as we understand it in America is actually slavery - slavery to having to make choices about everything to stay in God's grace. True freedom is reaching the point of not having to make these choices, it is simply doing God's will.

In this case, I take that to mean that people are more free if they are given Orthodoxy as the only religious option. Why would you allow someone to easily convert to a faith less true than total truth?

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.
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« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2009, 01:17:35 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

That's interesting to me. In my catechumenate I was bothered when my priest talked about how the Western ideal of freedom as we understand it in America is actually slavery - slavery to having to make choices about everything to stay in God's grace. True freedom is reaching the point of not having to make these choices, it is simply doing God's will.

In this case, I take that to mean that people are more free if they are given Orthodoxy as the only religious option. Why would you allow someone to easily convert to a faith less true than total truth?

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

One question.  Where were all these Protestant missionaries during the communist persecution when doing what they do now would have gotten them a more severe punishment than explusion from the country?


=====================

Can any of them justify the following quotation against proseltyzing by St Paul found in Romans 15:20-21 -

20:

And so I have made it my aim to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation,

  but as it is written;

21:

"To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand."

=====================

Orthodoc

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« Reply #47 on: November 26, 2009, 01:24:41 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...
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« Reply #48 on: November 26, 2009, 01:26:56 PM »


Can any of them justify the following quotation against proseltyzing by St Paul found in Romans 15:20-21 -20:

And so I have made it my aim to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation,

  but as it is written;

21:

"To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand."

=====================

Orthodoc

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« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2009, 01:30:55 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc
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« Reply #50 on: November 26, 2009, 02:56:49 PM »

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the
stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man
better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority
granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we
know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are
kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

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« Reply #51 on: November 26, 2009, 03:17:20 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc


But to me, there is a big difference between St. Nicholas punching someone in the face one time, in a moment of weakness, (and in a moment of frustration and in a way love for truth) and a consistent lifestyle or national/Church policy of suppression and or forced conversions at the threat of death.   What I find shocking is more Orthodox don't find the "convert or die" attitudes in the Church's past more shocking.
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« Reply #52 on: November 26, 2009, 03:19:58 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc


But to me, there is a big difference between St. Nicholas punching someone in the face one time, in a moment of weakness, (and in a moment of frustration and in a way love for truth) and a consistent lifestyle or national/Church policy of suppression and or forced conversions at the threat of death.   What I find shocking is more Orthodox don't find the "convert or die" attitudes in the Church's past more shocking.
Why do you find this so shocking?
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« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2009, 03:25:35 PM »

Many of us in the United States and Canada who are so-called 'cradle Orthodox' are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of brave men and women who left the oppressive shores of European autocracies and 'empires', be they Austro-Hungarian, Russian, Ottoman or others, to come to North America in order to have the ability to profess their Faith and love of God in a country that didn't force a belief system upon them.  In fact, many of them returned to Orthodoxy within a few years of coming to America.  To argue that our Faith is somehow against religious liberty is slippery slope to the intellectualism and defense of oppression and persecution. To  believe otherwise is, I fear, to keep counsel with those who would force a model of 'religion' upon people through terror and fear, such as the Taliban in our days, or the Cromwellians of post-Elizabethian England or any of their ilk throughout history. I agree that the proseltyzing in Eastern Europe among the believers is offensive and contrary to Scripture - but keep in mind that is just as true in Europe as it is here in America. We all need to bear witness to the truth and power of our Faith in the face of those who would challenge us.
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« Reply #54 on: November 27, 2009, 11:53:21 AM »

Protestantism is poison.  Its fruit is iconclastic with its "worship centers" in warehouses and shopping malls.  It is the purveyor of gender-neutrality as it ignores and at times despises the Blessed Theotokos.  And it tends toward universalism and even nihilism as it works its way through a culture.  Is there some truth it it?  Of course it has elements of Orthodoxy in it, but so did Arianism. 

The American notion of "freedom of religion" has resulted in a freedom from religion as public squares are increasingly devoid in December of anthing reminiscent of the Nativity of Christ.  The Russian Orthodox do not want that to happen in their country.  They were persecuted by the communist for most of the last century; they do not want to set the stage for ideological liberals to poison the good thing that is happening in Russia.  Accordingly, Orthodox must not physically harm anyone in order to preserve truth; but this in no way implies that a majority Orthodox country must give equal rights and privileges to heterodox sects.
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« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2009, 12:31:35 PM »

A further thought.  I can completely understand those whose families have emigrated from Eastern Europe believing in freedoms of speech and religion.  You were oppressed in your own country, often with Soviet soldiers enforcing this tyranny.  But for those of us whose families have been in the U.S for some time (mine for well over three hundred years) we know that "freedom of speech" has been co-opted by liberals to protect vice such as pornography, child molestation (Why has the Acorn offices that promoted bring Hispanic children into our country for child prostitution not been closed down?) and the like.  Also freedom of religion has become freedom from religion.  In Russia the Church has successfully re-introduced Orthodoxy into the public schools; in the U.S such activities are becoming increasingly difficult.  This American Protestant country must look like heaven to many who have emigrated here, but for those who have deep roots here it is increasingly becoming an Adam Lambert hell. 
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« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2009, 12:37:47 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc


But to me, there is a big difference between St. Nicholas punching someone in the face one time, in a moment of weakness, (and in a moment of frustration and in a way love for truth) and a consistent lifestyle or national/Church policy of suppression and or forced conversions at the threat of death.   What I find shocking is more Orthodox don't find the "convert or die" attitudes in the Church's past more shocking.

I thought the "convert or die" attitude came from the Catholic Church in the Crusades, I didn't know it was ever prevalent in Orthodoxy. That attitude deprives someone of the chance of ever converting over one hard-hearted moment in their lives. Clearly that is wrong.

This world is a spiritual war. The devil took well meaning (or not) Christians and used them to create perverted parallel religions such as Protestantism, which have the appearance of truth but miss out where it counts most. If Theosis really is the whole point of life, and Protestants do not even have the concept in their religion, what can we say about that, except that it's wrong and should be suppressed?

This is the Church protecting the flock from something less than the full truth. That's different from Protestants converting pagans, which is bringing them closer to the full truth. Their work in Russia is pulling people away from it.
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« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2009, 01:15:03 PM »

History tells us that if the Church, ANY Church, depends upon the coercive power of the STATE in order for it to thrive, that the foundation upon which that Church is planted is ultimately infirm. I find it ironic that many who view themselves as modern 'conservatives' condemn the actions of the state in economic activity and view the state as the source of society's troubles, but have no problem using the coercive powers of the same state to their own ends when they are in power. Do you really believe that the Russian state apparatus has the true interests of the Orthodox Church and the salvation of souls as its core principles? I am not defending Protestantism, but merely commenting upon the hubris of some. When invoking the history of this country,  keep in mind the intolerance and persecution of the some of the early settlers on these shores,directed towards Catholics and other non-Protestant immigrants. The religious defense of slavery in the 19th century by some American Protestants comes to mind as well. We need to be careful when we seek the state's assistance in doing the work of God.
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« Reply #58 on: November 27, 2009, 01:21:14 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc


But to me, there is a big difference between St. Nicholas punching someone in the face one time, in a moment of weakness, (and in a moment of frustration and in a way love for truth) and a consistent lifestyle or national/Church policy of suppression and or forced conversions at the threat of death.   What I find shocking is more Orthodox don't find the "convert or die" attitudes in the Church's past more shocking.

I thought the "convert or die" attitude came from the Catholic Church in the Crusades, I didn't know it was ever prevalent in Orthodoxy. That attitude deprives someone of the chance of ever converting over one hard-hearted moment in their lives. Clearly that is wrong.

This world is a spiritual war. The devil took well meaning (or not) Christians and used them to create perverted parallel religions such as Protestantism, which have the appearance of truth but miss out where it counts most. If Theosis really is the whole point of life, and Protestants do not even have the concept in their religion, what can we say about that, except that it's wrong and should be suppressed?

This is the Church protecting the flock from something less than the full truth. That's different from Protestants converting pagans, which is bringing them closer to the full truth. Their work in Russia is pulling people away from it.

That's why it's called proseltyzing rather than Evangelizing.

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« Reply #59 on: November 27, 2009, 02:25:37 PM »

Why should there be any Byzantine missionaries in Russia? Why should Roman empire export it's religion abroad? Damn that Vladimir for destroying Russia! Damn those Cyril and Methodius for destroying Russian culture!

St Cyril and Methodius were bringing truth in their missionary activities. St Vladimir may have forced people into baptism on pain of death, but he was doing it for their salvation. Meanwhile, Protestant bodies present in Russia are spreading lies and drawing people away from Orthodox. Your comparison is risible.

I must quote this one more time, "St Vladimir may have forced people into baptism on pain of death, but he was doing it for their salvation. "  Are you serious? I can't believe some of the responses to this posting. I'll take the American "hodge-podge" anytime, my friends. This is scary.
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« Reply #60 on: November 27, 2009, 04:05:21 PM »

Why should there be any Byzantine missionaries in Russia? Why should Roman empire export it's religion abroad? Damn that Vladimir for destroying Russia! Damn those Cyril and Methodius for destroying Russian culture!

St Cyril and Methodius were bringing truth in their missionary activities. St Vladimir may have forced people into baptism on pain of death, but he was doing it for their salvation. Meanwhile, Protestant bodies present in Russia are spreading lies and drawing people away from Orthodox. Your comparison is risible.

I must quote this one more time, "St Vladimir may have forced people into baptism on pain of death, but he was doing it for their salvation. "  Are you serious? I can't believe some of the responses to this posting. I'll take the American "hodge-podge" anytime, my friends. This is scary.
Why?
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« Reply #61 on: November 27, 2009, 04:08:57 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc


But to me, there is a big difference between St. Nicholas punching someone in the face one time, in a moment of weakness, (and in a moment of frustration and in a way love for truth) and a consistent lifestyle or national/Church policy of suppression and or forced conversions at the threat of death.   What I find shocking is more Orthodox don't find the "convert or die" attitudes in the Church's past more shocking.
Why do you find this so shocking?


Because it's shocking?  Shocked

I find it shocking because it seems to be so contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. Not to mention our understanding of free will. Why would a Church who teaches free will for every human being, think it a good idea to then FORCE people to be Christians? (God gives free will, but we shall taketh away?) It's shocking to me that so many people here apparently agree with this practice, not just in ancient times, but as good state/Church policy today. I guess I can't explain why it's shocking, because I'm just not articulate enough, but it is. But to each their own I guess. Smiley

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« Reply #62 on: November 27, 2009, 04:13:19 PM »

If Theosis really is the whole point of life, and Protestants do not even have the concept in their religion, what can we say about that, except that it's wrong and should be suppressed?


Well, just to defend "Protestants" I don't think it's completely accurate to say they don't have a concept of Theosis. Granted they wouldn't use the same terms and words and phrases we do, and there are some Protestants that just don't have the concept at all, but I'd say generally speaking, a lot of Protestant churches DO have the concept of Theosis. Just not as fleshed out or complete as what Orthodoxy has. But there are seeds of it there within some circles of Protestantism. Indeed though, it's somewhat incomplete.

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« Reply #63 on: November 27, 2009, 04:19:11 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc


But to me, there is a big difference between St. Nicholas punching someone in the face one time, in a moment of weakness, (and in a moment of frustration and in a way love for truth) and a consistent lifestyle or national/Church policy of suppression and or forced conversions at the threat of death.   What I find shocking is more Orthodox don't find the "convert or die" attitudes in the Church's past more shocking.
Why do you find this so shocking?


Because it's shocking?  Shocked

I find it shocking because it seems to be so contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. Not to mention our understanding of free will. Why would a Church who teaches free will for every human being, think it a good idea to then FORCE people to be Christians? (God gives free will, but we shall taketh away?) It's shocking to me that so many people here apparently agree with this practice, not just in ancient times, but as good state/Church policy today. I guess I can't explain why it's shocking, because I'm just not articulate enough, but it is. But to each their own I guess. Smiley


where does our church teach free will for all?is there an appointed day in our calende, or a certain scriptural reference which has been interpreted by a holy father in this way?
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« Reply #64 on: November 27, 2009, 04:20:15 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc


But to me, there is a big difference between St. Nicholas punching someone in the face one time, in a moment of weakness, (and in a moment of frustration and in a way love for truth) and a consistent lifestyle or national/Church policy of suppression and or forced conversions at the threat of death.   What I find shocking is more Orthodox don't find the "convert or die" attitudes in the Church's past more shocking.
Why do you find this so shocking?


Because it's shocking?  Shocked

I find it shocking because it seems to be so contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. Not to mention our understanding of free will. Why would a Church who teaches free will for every human being, think it a good idea to then FORCE people to be Christians? (God gives free will, but we shall taketh away?) It's shocking to me that so many people here apparently agree with this practice, not just in ancient times, but as good state/Church policy today. I guess I can't explain why it's shocking, because I'm just not articulate enough, but it is. But to each their own I guess. Smiley


Is it possible there's much more to this than meets your eye and that you're judging appearances too quickly?
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« Reply #65 on: November 27, 2009, 04:25:38 PM »

where does our church teach free will for all?is there an appointed day in our calende, or a certain scriptural reference which has been interpreted by a holy father in this way?

Are you serious? Isn't that the 2000 year old teaching of the Church that all humanity has been given free will to either choose or reject God? If not, then perhaps my Catechumen classes years ago didn't do their job. I certainly could be mistaken, but that's kind of central to Orthodoxy, our free will....or so I thought. What gives you the idea all humans DON'T have free will? I'd have to pull out my OSB, but I'm sure there is an article about free will in the Orthodox Study Bible, so I don't think I'm saying anything un-Orthodox. But I could be, who knows?

edited to add an extra clarifying (I hope) thought
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« Reply #66 on: November 27, 2009, 04:33:40 PM »


Is it possible there's much more to this than meets your eye and that you're judging appearances too quickly?


Much more to what?

To the "historical context" or to people's apparent opinion that oppressing other religions is good? (I really don't know which you're refering to)

I guess in both cases, for sure, I could be missing something here, or am just not "getting" some of the points being made. And yes I could be judging appearances too quickly. Absolutely. However in my defense, no one has come and "corrected" what they said and explained what they "really" meant . . . but of course I could be totally wrong not just in my perception of what's been said supporting a suppression of Protestantism in Russia. It just seems like quite a few are pretty supportive of it for reasons I do not think validate said suppression. But I could be wrong, I admit that, or I could just be jumping the gun. I concede both things are possible.

maybe someone will correct me and say they don't really think Protestantism or other religions should be suppressed in Russia. Or in the end, they may feel their reasons for thinking that are good reasons and I simply don't. In that case we'd have to agree to disagree.

Which is probably for the best anyways, because I admit I'm not schooled enough in Russian history to know much that I haven't read in Fr. Schmemman or some Met. Ware. Smiley


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« Reply #67 on: November 27, 2009, 04:42:14 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc


But to me, there is a big difference between St. Nicholas punching someone in the face one time, in a moment of weakness, (and in a moment of frustration and in a way love for truth) and a consistent lifestyle or national/Church policy of suppression and or forced conversions at the threat of death.   What I find shocking is more Orthodox don't find the "convert or die" attitudes in the Church's past more shocking.
Why do you find this so shocking?


Because it's shocking?  Shocked

I find it shocking because it seems to be so contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. Not to mention our understanding of free will. Why would a Church who teaches free will for every human being, think it a good idea to then FORCE people to be Christians? (God gives free will, but we shall taketh away?) It's shocking to me that so many people here apparently agree with this practice, not just in ancient times, but as good state/Church policy today. I guess I can't explain why it's shocking, because I'm just not articulate enough, but it is. But to each their own I guess. Smiley



We do have free will, but the point is to replace our fragmented wills with God's perfect will.

I don't really see anyone advocating forced conversions, but rather taking away the opportunity to apostatize to another religion. It removes a huge source of Doubt for the Russian people. If no other religions are allowed to proselytize, the likelihood of someone converting is pretty small. That may sound Orwellian, but freedom in the secular/western understanding ("I am my own person, I can do whatever I want") really is not a Christian value. It assumes we know what is best for us, when we don't. True freedom comes from slavery to Christ and following his will, and it's the Church's job to keep us from running away from our Master.
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« Reply #68 on: November 27, 2009, 04:43:55 PM »

Quote
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. ~ Joshua 24:15 (I don't know if this corresponds to the LLX).

Our free will is always at play.  Even those who are baptized into Orthodoxy decide whether or not to follow Christ every day of their lives.  They might not ever "accept Jesus into their heart" in some formal matter, but the Orthodox Christian has to accept or reject Christ every day.

Even if people are forcibly "converted", they still cannot be forced to serve and love God as an adopted child; an heir to His new covenant.  Those who converted by the sword still made their choice to serve God inwardly daily or to reject Him.  Free will cannot be suppressed.
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« Reply #69 on: November 27, 2009, 04:46:07 PM »

I find it shocking because it seems to be so contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. Not to mention our understanding of free will. Why would a Church who teaches free will for every human being, think it a good idea to then FORCE people to be Christians?

Even when rulers have forced their subjects into baptism, the individuals were free to retain their own beliefs. The residents of Kyiv who were forced into the Dniepr could still have rejected God in their hearts.

What we have here instead with big forced public conversions is the ruler wiping out the expression of heretical beliefs, which is a prudent action and one that several rulers have been glorified as saints for. No one is forced to be Christian, but the Church has condoned efforts to stop people from drawing others away from Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #70 on: November 27, 2009, 04:47:40 PM »

I can recall several references to slavery which seem to allude to certain types of slavery being o.k.
Jeremiah 2:14

And is not Judaism a slave itself through the Law which they are held to? Until the Lord reveals Himself to them as Father.

From the footnotes of the Orthodox OT Jeremiah 5:23-28 When God's people have an innatentive and disobedient heart (v.23) They not only miss the good things He offers,(skipping for clarity) ...When dedication to the Lord is compromised, social justice is not to be found.
So if our Righteous God sees fit to force our hand for His own glory, who are we to understand why or even question the reasons? Especially when later in the history of these peoples, it makes them more devout and seperates the wheat from the chaff.

It seems apparent that when we follow God as a people and then fall out of line, He offers us unto our own folly that we would see the error of our ways, even unto servitude.
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« Reply #71 on: November 27, 2009, 04:57:27 PM »

1) Where did Jesus talk about freedom of religion?  Not saying it's not there, I just can't think of anything.

I can't imagine the saints of old defending the freedom of religion of Arians or Nestorians --especially if the Church had real power to suppress the heresies as Russia does.

Indeed, many Emperors suppressed their theological opponents (sometimes that worked out for Orthodoxy, sometimes not so much.) We've come a long way since then... some of us, anyway...

Wasn't it jolly old St Nicholas who is revered by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and Protestants alike who defended the faith by punching another bishop?

Orthodoc


But to me, there is a big difference between St. Nicholas punching someone in the face one time, in a moment of weakness, (and in a moment of frustration and in a way love for truth) and a consistent lifestyle or national/Church policy of suppression and or forced conversions at the threat of death.   What I find shocking is more Orthodox don't find the "convert or die" attitudes in the Church's past more shocking.
Why do you find this so shocking?


Because it's shocking?  Shocked

I find it shocking because it seems to be so contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. Not to mention our understanding of free will. Why would a Church who teaches free will for every human being, think it a good idea to then FORCE people to be Christians? (God gives free will, but we shall taketh away?) It's shocking to me that so many people here apparently agree with this practice, not just in ancient times, but as good state/Church policy today. I guess I can't explain why it's shocking, because I'm just not articulate enough, but it is. But to each their own I guess. Smiley



So is proselyzing.  Why don't you find that shocking?  You are talking about an event that took place over a thousand years ago when all the peasants were illerate and looked to the Czar as their father.  Many pagans and Christians were forced to convert to Islam after its creation in the middle east.  Why aren't your missionaries going over to places like Iran, Saudia Arabia, and Iraq to convert or reconvert the Moselms back to Christianity?  Where were your missionaries during the 70+ years of persecution in Russia, Ukraine, and other eastern European countries that suffered for their faith so much.  Instead, contrary the teachings of St Paul you are proseltyzing by BUILDING ON ANOTHERS WEAKENED FOUNDATION!  That's what I find shocking.  The Russian/Ukrainians etc.  knew about Jesus and were praying to him long before your Protestant denominations were in existence.  Yet you try and bring the Bible to people who belong to the Christian denominatian that gave you that very Bible!  That's what I find shocking.

Orthodoc
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« Reply #72 on: November 27, 2009, 05:33:45 PM »


Is it possible there's much more to this than meets your eye and that you're judging appearances too quickly?


Much more to what?
I don't know.

To the "historical context" or to people's apparent opinion that oppressing other religions is good? (I really don't know which you're refering to)
Why limit my question to only these two options?
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« Reply #73 on: November 27, 2009, 05:39:00 PM »

Why aren't your missionaries going over to places like Iran, Saudia Arabia, and Iraq to convert or reconvert the Moselms back to Christianity?

They are. House churches are spreading in many Muslim countries. And sadly, the Christian community in places like Syria and Egypt no longer has the drive to evangelize their Muslim compatriots, keeping to themselves in exchange for security, meaning that a lot of people who wish to leave Islam are turning to Protestantism instead.

Quote
Where were your missionaries during the 70+ years of persecution in Russia, Ukraine, and other eastern European countries that suffered for their faith so much.

They were there. Protestant organizations ran a clandestine import of Bibles into the Soviet Union from Finland during several decades of Communism. Accounts of life in gulags regularly mention the presence of Protestant proselytizers.

Quote
Yet you try and bring the Bible to people who belong to the Christian denomination that gave you that very Bible!

Some Protestant denominations are going after Orthodox, that is true. However, I find that the Lutherans are often evangelizing Russia's non-Christian minorities, and they are doing so because the Orthodox Church has decided that it will be for ethnic Russians only. In the Republic of Mari El, where I do most of my fieldwork, Lutherans have come to serve Mari villages because the Orthodox Church has little desire to deal with the non-Russian inhabitants of the Republic. The Mari historically worship trees, and the Orthodox presence acts as if all these pagans with their weird rituals are already good as damned instead of being in desperate need of the gospel. Other Protestants are trying to convert the Nenets and Evenki because the Orthodox Church just doesn't go to them.

(The example of Fr. Syosev was really heart-warming. Finally a Russian priest who reached out to the Tatars in spite of official policy! I hope that after his martyrdom, others will continue his work.)

A great deal of Protestant infiltration is done because of Orthodox bodies' fear of causing interfaith tensions, as in the Middle East, or simple apathy and ethnocentrism, as in Russia and Central Asia. Our church needs to get back in shape. Governmental actions which limit Protestant groups may solve part of the problem, but there are legions of people whom the Church is not addressing.
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« Reply #74 on: November 27, 2009, 11:18:49 PM »



Even when rulers have forced their subjects into baptism, the individuals were free to retain their own beliefs. The residents of Kyiv who were forced into the Dniepr could still have rejected God in their hearts.

What we have here instead with big forced public conversions is the ruler wiping out the expression of heretical beliefs, which is a prudent action and one that several rulers have been glorified as saints for. No one is forced to be Christian, but the Church has condoned efforts to stop people from drawing others away from Orthodoxy.

If we really think Orthodoxy is true, then why are people so scared of a religious 'free market'? Won't Orthodoxy prevail, and if not, why? I would think there's more value in the choice to convert - FOR the individual doing the converting - or, to remain Orthodox, whatever the case may be - when he or she has actually had an opportunity to see and think about what else is going on out there. I do believe there is validity in this process beyond an American context. Yes, maybe 'back then' the kings were people's gods, and the masses were uneducated, but different ideals have come to be since then and the world IS different.

Some of the statements made today appear to portray the Russian populace as children who can't think and choose for themselves.  

And anyway, for those who would choose to attend Protestant churches, who are WE, in our finite knowledge, to say that this isn't playing some part in their larger spiritual journey? Does God not allow the diversity of churches that we see today to flourish? Do we know for sure why?

Is there an official Orthodox stand on this, BTW?  
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« Reply #75 on: November 28, 2009, 12:05:24 AM »

Protestantism causes alienation from Russian culture?

The protestants in that video seemed very Russian to me (women wearing headscarves, etc).

Anyway, who hasn't met the American Orthodox convert who grows a long beard and believes that Russias salvation lies in its restoration of the Tsar?
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« Reply #76 on: November 28, 2009, 12:28:55 AM »



Even when rulers have forced their subjects into baptism, the individuals were free to retain their own beliefs. The residents of Kyiv who were forced into the Dniepr could still have rejected God in their hearts.

What we have here instead with big forced public conversions is the ruler wiping out the expression of heretical beliefs, which is a prudent action and one that several rulers have been glorified as saints for. No one is forced to be Christian, but the Church has condoned efforts to stop people from drawing others away from Orthodoxy.

If we really think Orthodoxy is true, then why are people so scared of a religious 'free market'? Won't Orthodoxy prevail, and if not, why? I would think there's more value in the choice to convert - FOR the individual doing the converting - or, to remain Orthodox, whatever the case may be - when he or she has actually had an opportunity to see and think about what else is going on out there. I do believe there is validity in this process beyond an American context. Yes, maybe 'back then' the kings were people's gods, and the masses were uneducated, but different ideals have come to be since then and the world IS different.

Some of the statements made today appear to portray the Russian populace as children who can't think and choose for themselves.  

And anyway, for those who would choose to attend Protestant churches, who are WE, in our finite knowledge, to say that this isn't playing some part in their larger spiritual journey? Does God not allow the diversity of churches that we see today to flourish? Do we know for sure why?

Is there an official Orthodox stand on this, BTW?  


The Orthodox Church was weakened by 70+ years of destruction and persecution.  There were literally thousands of Churches that were destroyed or turned until barns, urinals, bars, etc.  Religious education was forbidden and  thousands of clergy were murdered,exiled, or imprisoned. It needs time to rebuild and replace all that was destroyed.  Then Protestants come in with their money, false promises, etc. instead of helping their fellow christians.  That's like Home Depot or Hechingers coming in to compete against the local mom and pop store and calling it equal competion!

Orthodoxy needs the time and money to be able to compete with those that come in to destroy it. Those who have absolutely no respect for it. I admire the government for protecting the church that has been there for a 1000+ years while it heals itself and regenerates itself.  It has done a fabulous job so far. While Orthodoxy is is growing by leaps on bounds and churches being built or restored at an enormous rate in these Orthodox countries, Roman Catholics and Protestant Churches are being closed in the west (*).  THAT'S WHAT WESTERN CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT INSTEAD OF SHEEP STEALING FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED SO MUCH.  Clean your own back yard before you invade anothers  -

====================


MOSCOW [RNS} - Some 200,000 clergy, many crucified, scalped, and otherwise

tortured, were killed during the communist era in the former Soviet Union, a

Russian commission reported here on November 27, 1995.  Another 500,000

believers were martyred and millions exiled.  There were 40,000 churches destroyed between 1922 and1980, the report said.



"Clergymen were crucified on churches' Holy Gates, shot scalped, and

strangled.,"
said Alexander Yakovlev, head of the Commission for the

Rehabilitation of the Victims of Political Repression which prepared the

report for Russian president Boris Yeltsin.  "I was especially shocked by

accounts of priests turned into columns of ice in winter, "Yakovlev

continued, adding that the commission unearthed documents showing that as

early as 1918,
Vladimr Lenin had odered a campagn of "merciless terror

against priests.

====================

01 December 2008

Russian Orthodox Church statistics

(from the report by Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutistsy and Kolomna at the meeting of the capital's clergy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on 12 December 2008)

The Russian Orthodox Church has 157 dioceses (compared to 142 last year), 203 bishops (149 ruling bishops and 48 vicar bishops). The total number of clergy in the Russian Church equals to 30 670. The number of parishes - 29 268 (compared to 27 942 last year). Today the Russian Orthodox Church has 804 monasteries, including 142 monasteries and 153 nunneries in the CIS-countries and three monasteries and three nunneries in foreign countries. Also acting are 203 representations and 65 hermitages.

Besides, there are 25 stauropegial monasteries (under direct subordination to the Patriarch). The Russian Church Abroad has 16 monasteries and 9 nunneries.

The number of Russian Orthodox theological schools equals to 87. The number of Sunday schools in the dioceses increased by one thousand - from 10 141 to 11 051.

The number of churches and chapels acting in Moscow has increased from 851 to 872 since December 2007. About 1838 clergymen are working in the capital today (last year their number equaled to 1770).
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=reference&div=3
--------------------

...In 1914 in Russia, there were 55,173 Russian Orthodox churches and 29,593 chapels, 112,629 priests and deacons, 550 monasteries and 475 convents with a total of 95,259 monks and nuns.  ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Orthodox_Church

===================


(*)

U.S. Protestant population seen losing majority status (Joyce
Howard Price; July 21, 2004, WASHINGTON TIMES) The United States will
lose its historic status as a majority-Protestant nation as early as
this year, according to a national survey released yesterday..
Between 1993 and 2002, the proportion of Americans who said they were
Protestants fell from 63 percent to 52 percent after decades of
stability, according to the study released by the National Opinion
Research Center at the University of Chicago...  The number of
Americans who said they had no religion rose from 9 percent in 1993 to
14 percent in 2002..  Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup
Poll, which tracks religious affiliation, said yesterday that in his
group's survey, "the percentage who say they are Protestant is getting
close to the 50 percent level. It was 51 percent in 2003."  As
recently as 1996 or 1997, the proportion of Protestants was 58
percent, he said.

=======================

Orthodoc



« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 12:44:45 AM by Orthodoc » Logged

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« Reply #77 on: November 28, 2009, 12:53:31 PM »

Protestantism causes alienation from Russian culture?

The protestants in that video seemed very Russian to me (women wearing headscarves, etc).

Anyway, who hasn't met the American Orthodox convert who grows a long beard and believes that Russias salvation lies in its restoration of the Tsar?
Well, a total alienation is impossible as long as the majority stays Orthodox and the sectarians recruit theirs from the said majority.
But Protestantism still causes a major alienation from the Russian or whatever other traditionally Orthodox culture.
From my observations I've noticed that this is especially true for the younger generations. I've seen quite a few Romanians turned Protestant that although living in Romania had something about them that was really exotic, western in a very pop way.
I would never give these people any legal opportunity to proselytize only to turn others in amnesiacs like them. I don't really care how many Bible verses they know or what a "wonderful personal relationship with Jesus" they have. It makes no difference.
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« Reply #78 on: November 28, 2009, 01:12:48 PM »




So is proselyzing.  Why don't you find that shocking?


Do you find it equaling shocking that the Orthodox proselytize in predominantly Catholic countries?


Quote
 You are talking about an event that took place over a thousand years ago when all the peasants were illerate and looked to the Czar as their father.

I look to it because if it is in fact an accepted teaching of the Church that forced conversions is in fact a "Christian teaching", then I admit I would have serious issues with that.

Quote
 Many pagans and Christians were forced to convert to Islam after its creation in the middle east. Why aren't your missionaries going over to places like Iran, Saudia Arabia, and Iraq to convert or reconvert the Moselms back to Christianity?

I don't know why OUR missionaries aren't doing that...you tell me! Smiley (BTW Protestant missionaries DO go to Muslim countries, but that's besides the point since I'm not a Protestant)


Quote
 Where were your missionaries during the 70+ years of persecution in Russia, Ukraine, and other eastern European countries that suffered for their faith so much.  Instead, contrary the teachings of St Paul you are proseltyzing by BUILDING ON ANOTHERS WEAKENED FOUNDATION!  That's what I find shocking.  The Russian/Ukrainians etc.  knew about Jesus and were praying to him long before your Protestant denominations were in existence.  Yet you try and bring the Bible to people who belong to the Christian denominatian that gave you that very Bible!  That's what I find shocking.

LOL! You're barking up the wrong tree. It's funny, I'm challenged by the moderator that I'm jumping to conclusions about people's post, and I admit that I indeed may very well be doing that. And I tried to keep an open mind waiting for someone to clarify what they meant. and all I see are continued posts "rationalizing" religious suppression of "heretics" (comparing Protestants with Arians etc) And yet I do understand this is a sensitive issue for many Orthodox and so I try to admit I may very well be jumping the gun here.

And then, here you are saying things about me that simply aren't true. You assume I'm a Protestant.  Why is that when my profile clearly says I'm Orthodox and a member of the GOA? Do you feel it's somehow "un-Orthodox" to disagree with the Church doing (1000 years ago) what I feel are un-Christian things? Do you find it bizarre or un-Orthodox that I'd find suppressing another religion as wrong, even though it's my Church that is doing it? I DON'T agree with Protestants attempting to sheep steal in Russia or from other Churches, that doesn't mean I think suppression (even through "legal" means) is the proper reaction.

You brought up how Muslims forced converted and how that is very disagreeable. Indeed it is. But I personally see ALL forced conversions as being wrong. I don't think because "I'm on the winning team" that it's ok for us to force people to convert, but it's not ok for anyone else to do it. Your point about all the illiterate pagans could most certainly apply to the period of the rise of Islam as well, and I'm sure Muslim apologists would also in fact use that identical argument towards Christians.

EVERYONE thinks that. Everyone wants to feel like they are part of God's select little group of people and that God then empowers them to go forth and impose His will upon everyone else. (He does this through this select group of course) Maybe we should be more concerned with OUR own house rather than the what everyone else is doing. If we're losing people to Protestantism it's probably because we aren't doing something right. "Sheep stealing" is a nice label, and indeed that does happen in some cases, but I've a feeling a lot of people are lost to Orthodoxy not because of some deceptive practice used by Protestants, but because our Church isn't doing a very good job of helping people in their lives. And they feel like Protestantism offers them something in that regard that they feel Orthodoxy doesn't offer. Now I certainly believe it is certainly there in it's fullest in our faith, but we have such a rich and full Tradition that sometimes the little, practical every day stuff tends to get lost to the general population of Orthodox laity. And so suppressing protestants (or anyone else) is only treating the symptom, while the cause of the sickness remains.

You disagree, that's fine. And I'll leave it at that.

In Peace, NP











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« Reply #79 on: November 28, 2009, 04:26:24 PM »

LOL! You're barking up the wrong tree. It's funny, I'm challenged by the moderator that I'm jumping to conclusions about people's post, and I admit that I indeed may very well be doing that.
Important Correction:  Though I am a moderator, except when I type in bold green font like this, I am speaking merely as another poster and want to be understood as such.  So please don't attribute what I type to "the moderator" unless I use the bold green font to speak as a moderator. Wink
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« Reply #80 on: November 28, 2009, 04:32:48 PM »




So is proselyzing.  Why don't you find that shocking?


Do you find it equaling shocking that the Orthodox proselytize in predominantly Catholic countries?


Quote
 You are talking about an event that took place over a thousand years ago when all the peasants were illerate and looked to the Czar as their father.

I look to it because if it is in fact an accepted teaching of the Church that forced conversions is in fact a "Christian teaching", then I admit I would have serious issues with that.

Quote
 Many pagans and Christians were forced to convert to Islam after its creation in the middle east. Why aren't your missionaries going over to places like Iran, Saudia Arabia, and Iraq to convert or reconvert the Moselms back to Christianity?

I don't know why OUR missionaries aren't doing that...you tell me! Smiley (BTW Protestant missionaries DO go to Muslim countries, but that's besides the point since I'm not a Protestant)


Quote
 Where were your missionaries during the 70+ years of persecution in Russia, Ukraine, and other eastern European countries that suffered for their faith so much.  Instead, contrary the teachings of St Paul you are proseltyzing by BUILDING ON ANOTHERS WEAKENED FOUNDATION!  That's what I find shocking.  The Russian/Ukrainians etc.  knew about Jesus and were praying to him long before your Protestant denominations were in existence.  Yet you try and bring the Bible to people who belong to the Christian denominatian that gave you that very Bible!  That's what I find shocking.

LOL! You're barking up the wrong tree. It's funny, I'm challenged by the moderator that I'm jumping to conclusions about people's post, and I admit that I indeed may very well be doing that. And I tried to keep an open mind waiting for someone to clarify what they meant. and all I see are continued posts "rationalizing" religious suppression of "heretics" (comparing Protestants with Arians etc) And yet I do understand this is a sensitive issue for many Orthodox and so I try to admit I may very well be jumping the gun here.

And then, here you are saying things about me that simply aren't true. You assume I'm a Protestant.  Why is that when my profile clearly says I'm Orthodox and a member of the GOA? Do you feel it's somehow "un-Orthodox" to disagree with the Church doing (1000 years ago) what I feel are un-Christian things? Do you find it bizarre or un-Orthodox that I'd find suppressing another religion as wrong, even though it's my Church that is doing it? I DON'T agree with Protestants attempting to sheep steal in Russia or from other Churches, that doesn't mean I think suppression (even through "legal" means) is the proper reaction.

You brought up how Muslims forced converted and how that is very disagreeable. Indeed it is. But I personally see ALL forced conversions as being wrong. I don't think because "I'm on the winning team" that it's ok for us to force people to convert, but it's not ok for anyone else to do it. Your point about all the illiterate pagans could most certainly apply to the period of the rise of Islam as well, and I'm sure Muslim apologists would also in fact use that identical argument towards Christians.

EVERYONE thinks that. Everyone wants to feel like they are part of God's select little group of people and that God then empowers them to go forth and impose His will upon everyone else. (He does this through this select group of course) Maybe we should be more concerned with OUR own house rather than the what everyone else is doing. If we're losing people to Protestantism it's probably because we aren't doing something right. "Sheep stealing" is a nice label, and indeed that does happen in some cases, but I've a feeling a lot of people are lost to Orthodoxy not because of some deceptive practice used by Protestants, but because our Church isn't doing a very good job of helping people in their lives. And they feel like Protestantism offers them something in that regard that they feel Orthodoxy doesn't offer. Now I certainly believe it is certainly there in it's fullest in our faith, but we have such a rich and full Tradition that sometimes the little, practical every day stuff tends to get lost to the general population of Orthodox laity. And so suppressing protestants (or anyone else) is only treating the symptom, while the cause of the sickness remains.

You disagree, that's fine. And I'll leave it at that.

In Peace, NP
If your friend were to get the snot beat out of him by a pack of robbers, would you put him back out in the world before he's healed from his injuries, encourage him to stand strong against his enemies, and blame him for his weakness when he fails, or would you treat his wounds and keep him in your home to protect him while he recovers?
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« Reply #81 on: November 28, 2009, 05:46:08 PM »


If your friend were to get the snot beat out of him by a pack of robbers, would you put him back out in the world before he's healed from his injuries, encourage him to stand strong against his enemies, and blame him for his weakness when he fails, or would you treat his wounds and keep him in your home to protect him while he recovers?[/quote]

Exactly!  That's the point I've been trying to make.

Northern Pines:  Listing yourself as Orthodox doesn't necessarily make it so.  You certainly don't present yourself as one in your defense of Protestant proseltyzing.  And your lack of comprehension of the slavic Orthodox ethos leaves a lot to be desired.  I am addressing and replying to what you write not what you what you list yourself as. Which, in my opinion,  is anything but Orthodox.
Also, my replies are addressed to all those in this thread who are trying to defend Protestant proseltyzing in an Orthodox country.  Not only you.

Orthodoc

P.S.  If you are indeed Orthodox, care to comment on St Paul's preaching against proseltyzing?



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« Reply #82 on: November 28, 2009, 07:24:52 PM »


If your friend were to get the snot beat out of him by a pack of robbers, would you put him back out in the world before he's healed from his injuries, encourage him to stand strong against his enemies, and blame him for his weakness when he fails, or would you treat his wounds and keep him in your home to protect him while he recovers?

But, in this case, aren't the non-Orthodox the ones "getting the snot beat out of them here"? No, it's not a 1 to 1 comparison, and I do mourn for the suffering that the Church went through during Communism.

I understand what you're saying about the Church in Russia being persecuted for 70 years. The Church should be protected in Russia of course, but not by suppressing others. How is that any different than just doing to others what was done to them, albeit at a much more mild (thus far) level? There are other and better means of protecting Orthodoxy IMO. The Church can be the Church, and be given time to heal, and it should, while at the same time NOT taking away the rights of others.

That's just my opinion...

I do apologize as well for confusing your moderator status with your personal posts. It was a mistake, and I'll learn from it. thanks...

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« Reply #83 on: November 28, 2009, 07:40:38 PM »

^

care to comment on St Paul's preaching against proseltyzing?
Well?
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« Reply #84 on: November 28, 2009, 07:52:54 PM »



Northern Pines:  Listing yourself as Orthodox doesn't necessarily make it so.  You certainly don't present yourself as one in your defense of Protestant proseltyzing.


I have not defended Protestant proselytizing. Isn't it possible you're reading things into my posts based on your assumptions and disagreement with Protestants in Russia? Isn't it possible that because I don't support the Church's position that you're also assuming I must automatically be taking the opposite point of view when in  reality I said I was against sheep stealing by Protestants. I just also happen to be against suppressing other Christians whom we personally disagree with. It is possible to be against both things same time and that there are not simply "2 sides" on this issue, but a vast array of possible opinions?


Quote
 And your lack of comprehension of the slavic Orthodox ethos leaves a lot to be desired.

Which parts of the Slavic Orthodox ethos do I need to comprehend better?


Quote
 I am addressing and replying to what you write not what you what you list yourself as. Which, in my opinion,  is anything but Orthodox.


Which parts of my posts here in this thread have been un-Orthodox? Where have I said something that is not in line with Orthodox dogma and theology accepted by the Church universal? (ie: all EOy) I would very much like specifics. Feel free to list sources, documents, and articles that I can reference and accepted as Ecumenically binding by the entire Church.  If I'm not being Orthodox in something I've said I'd like to know.

Now if you mean I'm not being "culturally Orthodox" then yeah, I'll agree with that. Nor am I being "slavic", and again, I'll agree with that. But to accuse me of not being Orthodox because I question the Church on an issue that I believe to be a human rights issue is a bit of a stretch.


Quote

P.S.  If you are indeed Orthodox, care to comment on St Paul's preaching against proseltyzing?




Not really, for 2 reasons: 1, because you haven't bothered to address my question about Orthodox proselytizing in predominantly Catholic countries. (or Protestant countries for that matter) 2. because I already said I'm against Protestants using deceptive tactics, sheep stealing etc. So there isn't anything for me to disagree with as far as Paul's writings go.  


The vast irony in all this is that even though I'm in the GOAA (would you like the name of my parish, my priest, and other priests I know, just to "prove" to you I'm Orthodox?) I firmly believe the OCA has the most legitimate claim to being the North American Church because it was here first via the Russian missionaries.

The Second irony is that my priest is not Greek but Romanian, his family fled from the Communists when they came for his father (a priest too) in the middle of the night in the 1970's...they fled to Sweden, then Canada, then eventually came to the states. So I'm personally familiar with a family who witnessed Communism first hand. My priest's mother was beaten by the secret police dozens of times while she was pregnant...and she's now dying prematurely because of those beatings. And yet, none of this makes me feel the Church should get a "pass" when it comes to treating people with honor and respect, the same rights that we'd want to have if the shoe were on the other foot. Which it has been, and will be again I'm sure.








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« Reply #85 on: November 28, 2009, 07:53:36 PM »

^

care to comment on St Paul's preaching against proseltyzing?
Well?

Just finished typing a reply to this, but it will probably disappoint you. Smiley
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« Reply #86 on: November 28, 2009, 08:31:56 PM »

"At this point, the thread took a turn for the worst. Old Roscoe and Lightnin' hadn't caught up to Northern Pines yet, and he felt he had to do something drastic to lose them! Well wouldn't you know it, Daisy pulled up right beside him, driving faster than a clairvoyant chicken fixin' for to be supper, and said...."


Orthodoc, You don't have a leg to stand on.

But as far as the whole protection of the church thing goes, don't they have to be in the church, not just a certain ethnicity to be protected by the church anyway? Or is it because the Church works with the State that Russia as a whole feels they need to protect the people in general from these HERETICS!!!?
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« Reply #87 on: November 28, 2009, 08:34:24 PM »

Just finished typing a reply to this, but it will probably disappoint you. Smiley
[/quote]

^^ I nominate this for the POST OF THE YEAR!!!Wink
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« Reply #88 on: November 28, 2009, 09:26:35 PM »

Being an American of Slavic heritage, I concur with NP. Two things to say - I know the GOAA priest of whom you speak, and he is a fine and compassionate man.  Second, for our modern 'conservative' friends, you may not realize it, but the argument about the friend being beaten up sounds like it could equally be an apologia for affirmative action! Let us stop arguing and pray that our Church be resolute in her teachings, strong in her example of Christian mercy and compassion and be led by clergy and monastics possessed of a strong heart, character,wisdom, charity and love.
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« Reply #89 on: November 28, 2009, 10:04:21 PM »

Being an American of Slavic heritage, I concur with NP. Two things to say - I know the GOAA priest of whom you speak, and he is a fine and compassionate man.  Second, for our modern 'conservative' friends, you may not realize it, but the argument about the friend being beaten up sounds like it could equally be an apologia for affirmative action!
I don't understand. Huh  Could you please explain what you mean?
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« Reply #90 on: November 28, 2009, 10:22:23 PM »

Neighbors that are four houses from me are Protestant missionaries that have gone to Russia several times.  They are sent to areas where there are very few Orthodox churches and few priests.  The last city they were sent was along the Amur River (-45 C in winter).  There wasn’t a church for miles.  The highways are wretched and very few own cars.

They take hundreds of Russian Bibles with them.  They take clothing, vitamins, shoes, and baby formula for the orphanage.  They encourage everyone to investigate Christianity. They are sent with large funds to have fruit (very expensive) brought in on the train from China and to purchase breads to feed the poor. I look at their missionary activity as positive and as being a “warm-up” band for an Orthodox church if one ever is built in that city.  I would feel very differently if this couple was sent into areas that have many Orthodox churches. 
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« Reply #91 on: November 28, 2009, 10:28:27 PM »

^

care to comment on St Paul's preaching against proseltyzing?
Well?

Just finished typing a reply to this, but it will probably disappoint you. Smiley

Let's hear it anywhow.

Comment:

Let us stop arguing and pray that our Church be resolute in her teachings, strong in her example of Christian mercy and compassion and be led by clergy and monastics possessed of a strong heart, character,wisdom, charity and love.

Reply;  And you don't set the same standards for the Protestant missionaries that should be there assisting their fellow Christians that have been there for 1000+ years and have suffered so much?  Why the double standard?

Orthodoc
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« Reply #92 on: November 28, 2009, 10:35:03 PM »

Being an American of Slavic heritage, I concur with NP. Two things to say - I know the GOAA priest of whom you speak, and he is a fine and compassionate man.  Second, for our modern 'conservative' friends, you may not realize it, but the argument about the friend being beaten up sounds like it could equally be an apologia for affirmative action!
I don't understand. Huh  Could you please explain what you mean?
HAHAHAHAHA! OH, P.T.A. You slay me! Everytime someone leaves the door open, you walk in like Kramer from Seinfeld! Smiley
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« Reply #93 on: November 28, 2009, 10:59:49 PM »



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« Reply #94 on: November 28, 2009, 11:13:16 PM »

Being an American of Slavic heritage, I concur with NP. Two things to say - I know the GOAA priest of whom you speak, and he is a fine and compassionate man.  Second, for our modern 'conservative' friends, you may not realize it, but the argument about the friend being beaten up sounds like it could equally be an apologia for affirmative action!
I don't understand. Huh  Could you please explain what you mean?
HAHAHAHAHA! OH, P.T.A. You slay me! Everytime someone leaves the door open, you walk in like Kramer from Seinfeld! Smiley
But we're discussing Protestants in Russia, not episodes of Seinfeld.
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« Reply #95 on: November 28, 2009, 11:45:47 PM »

Being an American of Slavic heritage, I concur with NP. Two things to say - I know the GOAA priest of whom you speak, and he is a fine and compassionate man.  Second, for our modern 'conservative' friends, you may not realize it, but the argument about the friend being beaten up sounds like it could equally be an apologia for affirmative action!
I don't understand. Huh  Could you please explain what you mean?
HAHAHAHAHA! OH, P.T.A. You slay me! Everytime someone leaves the door open, you walk in like Kramer from Seinfeld! Smiley
But we're discussing Protestants in Russia, not episodes of Seinfeld.
Of course, of course, business as usual...Nothing to see here folks, nothing to see. Go about your business.
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« Reply #96 on: November 29, 2009, 08:38:11 PM »

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the
stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man
better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority
granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we
know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are
kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom

http://www.balamandmonastery.org.lb/fathers/indexsayings2.htm

Good quote, although I read some things in where he almost supported the opposite. But I have to re-read it just to make sure......but what you quoted was pretty much how christians thought for the first number of centuries.





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« Reply #97 on: November 29, 2009, 08:41:00 PM »

Many of us in the United States and Canada who are so-called 'cradle Orthodox' are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of brave men and women who left the oppressive shores of European autocracies and 'empires', be they Austro-Hungarian, Russian, Ottoman or others, to come to North America in order to have the ability to profess their Faith and love of God in a country that didn't force a belief system upon them.  In fact, many of them returned to Orthodoxy within a few years of coming to America.  To argue that our Faith is somehow against religious liberty is slippery slope to the intellectualism and defense of oppression and persecution. To  believe otherwise is, I fear, to keep counsel with those who would force a model of 'religion' upon people through terror and fear, such as the Taliban in our days, or the Cromwellians of post-Elizabethian England or any of their ilk throughout history. I agree that the proseltyzing in Eastern Europe among the believers is offensive and contrary to Scripture - but keep in mind that is just as true in Europe as it is here in America. We all need to bear witness to the truth and power of our Faith in the face of those who would challenge us.

I would like to thank you for this post!






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« Reply #98 on: November 29, 2009, 08:45:43 PM »

A further thought.  I can completely understand those whose families have emigrated from Eastern Europe believing in freedoms of speech and religion.  You were oppressed in your own country, often with Soviet soldiers enforcing this tyranny.  But for those of us whose families have been in the U.S for some time (mine for well over three hundred years) we know that "freedom of speech" has been co-opted by liberals to protect vice such as pornography, child molestation (Why has the Acorn offices that promoted bring Hispanic children into our country for child prostitution not been closed down?) and the like.  Also freedom of religion has become freedom from religion.  In Russia the Church has successfully re-introduced Orthodoxy into the public schools; in the U.S such activities are becoming increasingly difficult.  This American Protestant country must look like heaven to many who have emigrated here, but for those who have deep roots here it is increasingly becoming an Adam Lambert hell. 

True and a thousand amens! But Russia shouldn't reject the idea of teaching her people the faith, as well as teaching them why protestantism is wrong.

For that alone, will stop most of what's going on in it's tracks.





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« Reply #99 on: November 30, 2009, 08:19:45 AM »

There have been indigenous Russian Protestants as well as those from outside http://www.molokane.org/
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« Reply #100 on: November 30, 2009, 09:10:28 AM »

Neighbors that are four houses from me are Protestant missionaries that have gone to Russia several times.  They are sent to areas where there are very few Orthodox churches and few priests.  The last city they were sent was along the Amur River (-45 C in winter).  There wasn’t a church for miles.  The highways are wretched and very few own cars.

They take hundreds of Russian Bibles with them.  They take clothing, vitamins, shoes, and baby formula for the orphanage.  They encourage everyone to investigate Christianity. They are sent with large funds to have fruit (very expensive) brought in on the train from China and to purchase breads to feed the poor. I look at their missionary activity as positive and as being a “warm-up” band for an Orthodox church if one ever is built in that city.  I would feel very differently if this couple was sent into areas that have many Orthodox churches. 

See that is exactly the point.  The above is entirely contrary to the ethos of Slavic Orthodoxy.  The grandeur, might and glory of the Third Rome are quintessential of Slavic Orthodoxy, as well as giving the occasional street kid a tattoo.   
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« Reply #101 on: November 30, 2009, 11:34:05 AM »

Protestantism is poison.  Its fruit is iconclastic with its "worship centers" in warehouses and shopping malls.  It is the purveyor of gender-neutrality as it ignores and at times despises the Blessed Theotokos.  And it tends toward universalism and even nihilism as it works its way through a culture.  Is there some truth it it?  Of course it has elements of Orthodoxy in it, but so did Arianism. 

The American notion of "freedom of religion" has resulted in a freedom from religion as public squares are increasingly devoid in December of anthing reminiscent of the Nativity of Christ.  The Russian Orthodox do not want that to happen in their country.  They were persecuted by the communist for most of the last century; they do not want to set the stage for ideological liberals to poison the good thing that is happening in Russia.  Accordingly, Orthodox must not physically harm anyone in order to preserve truth; but this in no way implies that a majority Orthodox country must give equal rights and privileges to heterodox sects.

But isn't atheism and militant anti-theism (theomachia) also a poison?

So, would you support mass arrests or deportations or other measures of state-run repression on Russian atheists and anti-theists?
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« Reply #102 on: November 30, 2009, 11:44:04 AM »

In Russia the Church has successfully re-introduced Orthodoxy into the public schools;

In my home country, Ukraine, the state (particularly the President and the Prime Minister) is now trying to come up with a project of introducing a subject called Orthodox Ethics into public schools. I can't begin to tell you how infuriated the Ukrainian intellectuals and public activists are by this project. People openly say that this means "clericalization" of the Ukrainian education, which will mean the end of it, as well as the end of the last remnants of sciences and humanities in Ukraine.
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« Reply #103 on: November 30, 2009, 07:57:58 PM »

Protestantism is poison.  Its fruit is iconclastic with its "worship centers" in warehouses and shopping malls.  It is the purveyor of gender-neutrality as it ignores and at times despises the Blessed Theotokos.  And it tends toward universalism and even nihilism as it works its way through a culture.  Is there some truth it it?  Of course it has elements of Orthodoxy in it, but so did Arianism. 

The American notion of "freedom of religion" has resulted in a freedom from religion as public squares are increasingly devoid in December of anthing reminiscent of the Nativity of Christ.  The Russian Orthodox do not want that to happen in their country.  They were persecuted by the communist for most of the last century; they do not want to set the stage for ideological liberals to poison the good thing that is happening in Russia.  Accordingly, Orthodox must not physically harm anyone in order to preserve truth; but this in no way implies that a majority Orthodox country must give equal rights and privileges to heterodox sects.

But isn't atheism and militant anti-theism (theomachia) also a poison?

So, would you support mass arrests or deportations or other measures of state-run repression on Russian atheists and anti-theists?
I don't think of anyone as "poison".  I only wish for the Orthodox churches to not have to "compete" with the Protestant missionaries.  The Far East suffers with escalating poverty and unemployment. The free fresh fruit and other freebies distributed after Protestant worship services would be very enticing.
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« Reply #104 on: November 30, 2009, 08:53:26 PM »

In Russia the Church has successfully re-introduced Orthodoxy into the public schools;

In my home country, Ukraine, the state (particularly the President and the Prime Minister) is now trying to come up with a project of introducing a subject called Orthodox Ethics into public schools. I can't begin to tell you how infuriated the Ukrainian intellectuals and public activists are by this project. People openly say that this means "clericalization" of the Ukrainian education, which will mean the end of it, as well as the end of the last remnants of sciences and humanities in Ukraine.

According to this document, some schools is the eastern area have to take ethics courses based on atheist, Soviet-times doctrine. What is included in the Soviet ethics class?

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2006/71415.htm

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« Reply #105 on: November 30, 2009, 08:58:51 PM »

In Russia the Church has successfully re-introduced Orthodoxy into the public schools;

In my home country, Ukraine, the state (particularly the President and the Prime Minister) is now trying to come up with a project of introducing a subject called Orthodox Ethics into public schools. I can't begin to tell you how infuriated the Ukrainian intellectuals and public activists are by this project. People openly say that this means "clericalization" of the Ukrainian education, which will mean the end of it, as well as the end of the last remnants of sciences and humanities in Ukraine.

According to this document, some schools is the eastern area have to take ethics courses based on atheist, Soviet-times doctrine. What is included in the Soviet ethics class?

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2006/71415.htm

I'm sure the same thing found in every single other ethics class I've ever seen: Misinformation, Propaganda, and Indoctrination. Some things are just standard across cultures.
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« Reply #106 on: December 01, 2009, 01:02:24 PM »

In Russia the Church has successfully re-introduced Orthodoxy into the public schools;

In my home country, Ukraine, the state (particularly the President and the Prime Minister) is now trying to come up with a project of introducing a subject called Orthodox Ethics into public schools. I can't begin to tell you how infuriated the Ukrainian intellectuals and public activists are by this project. People openly say that this means "clericalization" of the Ukrainian education, which will mean the end of it, as well as the end of the last remnants of sciences and humanities in Ukraine.

According to this document, some schools is the eastern area have to take ethics courses based on atheist, Soviet-times doctrine. What is included in the Soviet ethics class?

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2006/71415.htm
I'm sure the same thing found in every single other ethics class I've ever seen: Misinformation, Propaganda, and Indoctrination. Some things are just standard across cultures.
Sounds like modern American "science" classes that promote the catastrophic Gore-bull warming myth.
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