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Author Topic: Re-evangelisation of previously Orthodox people in Europe  (Read 1042 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 27, 2011, 07:02:12 AM »

Firstly apologies if i slotted this in the wrong forum.

I have often wondered if it is possible to today re-evangelise previously Orthodox populations in Europe. I am specifically thinking of Bosnian Muslims, Albanian Muslims, Pomaks in Bulgaria/Greece and to a lesser extent Czechs and Slovaks.

Historically Bosnians, Albanians and Pomaks were Christian (mainly Orthodox) before the Ottoman Islamic conquest. Even further back Czechs and Slovaks received Orthodoxy from Sts Cyril and Methodius before Frankish tyranny forced Orthodoxy out.

Would a concerted and long term drive by the Church to educate these people about their past and how in many cases their ancestors were unwillingly converted, possibly bring even a small portion of these populations back to Orthodoxy?

I say this because i was reading about how recently atheist Czechs have joined or re-joined the Orthodox Church. In the words of one of them:

Igor Strelec says that the church's historical links to this country - stretching back to the time of the Great Moravian Archibishop Methodius in the ninth century - was one of the things that appealed to him.

"I feel like I'm continuing the tradition of Methodius and of our Hussite movement and Bishop Gorazd. I am proud that I come from the Czech Republic, where the Orthodox Church began in Great Moravia and then spread eastwards to Ukraine, Russia and other countries. It's a proud part of our history."

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/czechstoday/the-czech-orthodox-church-a-community-with-a-long-and-rich-history-in-bohemia-and-moravia

Can we hope for any or more of these cases amongst all the other populations i mentioned?


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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 11:23:01 AM »

Firstly apologies if i slotted this in the wrong forum.

I have often wondered if it is possible to today re-evangelise previously Orthodox populations in Europe. I am specifically thinking of Bosnian Muslims, Albanian Muslims, Pomaks in Bulgaria/Greece and to a lesser extent Czechs and Slovaks.

Historically Bosnians, Albanians and Pomaks were Christian (mainly Orthodox) before the Ottoman Islamic conquest. Even further back Czechs and Slovaks received Orthodoxy from Sts Cyril and Methodius before Frankish tyranny forced Orthodoxy out.

Would a concerted and long term drive by the Church to educate these people about their past and how in many cases their ancestors were unwillingly converted, possibly bring even a small portion of these populations back to Orthodoxy?

I say this because i was reading about how recently atheist Czechs have joined or re-joined the Orthodox Church. In the words of one of them:

Igor Strelec says that the church's historical links to this country - stretching back to the time of the Great Moravian Archibishop Methodius in the ninth century - was one of the things that appealed to him.

"I feel like I'm continuing the tradition of Methodius and of our Hussite movement and Bishop Gorazd. I am proud that I come from the Czech Republic, where the Orthodox Church began in Great Moravia and then spread eastwards to Ukraine, Russia and other countries. It's a proud part of our history."

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/czechstoday/the-czech-orthodox-church-a-community-with-a-long-and-rich-history-in-bohemia-and-moravia

Can we hope for any or more of these cases amongst all the other populations i mentioned?




We certainly can pray for this. Time will tell.
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 11:48:19 AM »

I take issue with people saying the "Franks," or, better, the Carolingians, were not Orthodox. It was Church politics, not heresy at that time. The heresy came later in the late 11th century.
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 11:52:44 AM »

I take issue with people saying the "Franks,"... were not Orthodox. It was Church politics, not heresy at that time. The heresy came later in the late 11th century.
I think the "bloodthirsty barbarian" part is the issue, not erroneous doctrine; and I say this as a fan of The Song of Roland.
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 12:06:08 PM »

I'm not very familiar with the history of this area but I once dated a Bosnian girl whose parents were Muslim. Of course once they found out where I was coming from (Orthodoxy, wasn't at the time but thats when I was first getting into it) they hated me. I got some major dagger eyes at their house haha. As you can guess that relationship didn't last long.
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 12:25:11 PM »

I have often wondered if it is possible to today re-evangelise previously Orthodox populations in Europe. I am specifically thinking of Bosnian Muslims, Albanian Muslims, Pomaks in Bulgaria/Greece and to a lesser extent Czechs and Slovaks.

What about the Italians, French, English, Irish, Spanish, Portugese, German, Polish, etc., etc., etc.? If we believe that the EO Church is the true one, then every nation baptized prior to the Great Schism was Orthodox -- no matter if Eastern or Western rite. BTW, the Cyrilo-Methodian mission to the Western Slavs was using a Liturgy which was combination of the Roman rite and the Byzantine rite.
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 01:13:16 PM »

Firstly apologies if i slotted this in the wrong forum.

I have often wondered if it is possible to today re-evangelise previously Orthodox populations in Europe. I am specifically thinking of Bosnian Muslims, Albanian Muslims, Pomaks in Bulgaria/Greece and to a lesser extent Czechs and Slovaks.

Historically Bosnians, Albanians and Pomaks were Christian (mainly Orthodox) before the Ottoman Islamic conquest. Even further back Czechs and Slovaks received Orthodoxy from Sts Cyril and Methodius before Frankish tyranny forced Orthodoxy out.

Would a concerted and long term drive by the Church to educate these people about their past and how in many cases their ancestors were unwillingly converted, possibly bring even a small portion of these populations back to Orthodoxy?

I say this because i was reading about how recently atheist Czechs have joined or re-joined the Orthodox Church. In the words of one of them:

Igor Strelec says that the church's historical links to this country - stretching back to the time of the Great Moravian Archibishop Methodius in the ninth century - was one of the things that appealed to him.

"I feel like I'm continuing the tradition of Methodius and of our Hussite movement and Bishop Gorazd. I am proud that I come from the Czech Republic, where the Orthodox Church began in Great Moravia and then spread eastwards to Ukraine, Russia and other countries. It's a proud part of our history."

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/czechstoday/the-czech-orthodox-church-a-community-with-a-long-and-rich-history-in-bohemia-and-moravia

Can we hope for any or more of these cases amongst all the other populations i mentioned?



Btw, the Hussite Utraquist tried a Union with the Orthodox at the same time the Vatican was forcing one at Florence.
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 02:04:24 PM »

Here's a thought: how about re-evangelizing traditional Orthodox countries?  What percentage of the population of Russia goes to church?  I am asking because I do not know the answer.
About 15 years ago I read about an American couple who were converts to Orthodoxy and went to live in Romania.  I used to read the reports of their pastoral work with prisoners for example and alcoholics.  They brought good social programmes in a Christian context to Romania.
This strikes me as a good venture. 
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2011, 02:22:59 PM »

It is possible. For me, personally, I think awareness of my partly Slavic heritage (which my family is basically minimally conscious of as possible, next to completely forgetting it) probably made it easier since I could not consider Orthodoxy "foreign." Of course, even western Europeans have Orthodox heritage, it is just further back in time.

A possible burden for some Slavs, I think, would be the fact that they are more likely to be consciously averse to things they associate with Russia due to more recent history. Even though there is no rational reason to associate the doings of atheist Russia with Orthodoxy I have no doubt that some people probably do.
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2011, 02:58:51 PM »

There's a good book called "Go Forth," by Fr. Luke Veronis. It's about his time in a mission in Albania. You may enjoy it.   angel
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 03:52:37 PM »

Here's a thought: how about re-evangelizing traditional Orthodox countries?  What percentage of the population of Russia goes to church?  I am asking because I do not know the answer.

AFAIR about 5.
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 05:22:26 AM »

I have often wondered if it is possible to today re-evangelise previously Orthodox populations in Europe. I am specifically thinking of Bosnian Muslims, Albanian Muslims, Pomaks in Bulgaria/Greece and to a lesser extent Czechs and Slovaks.

What about the Italians, French, English, Irish, Spanish, Portugese, German, Polish, etc., etc., etc.? If we believe that the EO Church is the true one, then every nation baptized prior to the Great Schism was Orthodox -- no matter if Eastern or Western rite. BTW, the Cyrilo-Methodian mission to the Western Slavs was using a Liturgy which was combination of the Roman rite and the Byzantine rite.

What you say is true. However i was thinking specifically about Muslim groups that were Orthodox after the schism but who were forcibly converted to Islam about 5-6 centuries ago. Same with the Czechs & Slovaks - although the separation had not happened, they received the Byzantine form of Christianity directly from Constantinople.

French, English, Spanish and and the like never had any direct link with Constantinople or its missionaries afaik.
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 05:25:51 AM »

Firstly apologies if i slotted this in the wrong forum.

I have often wondered if it is possible to today re-evangelise previously Orthodox populations in Europe. I am specifically thinking of Bosnian Muslims, Albanian Muslims, Pomaks in Bulgaria/Greece and to a lesser extent Czechs and Slovaks.

Historically Bosnians, Albanians and Pomaks were Christian (mainly Orthodox) before the Ottoman Islamic conquest. Even further back Czechs and Slovaks received Orthodoxy from Sts Cyril and Methodius before Frankish tyranny forced Orthodoxy out.

Would a concerted and long term drive by the Church to educate these people about their past and how in many cases their ancestors were unwillingly converted, possibly bring even a small portion of these populations back to Orthodoxy?

I say this because i was reading about how recently atheist Czechs have joined or re-joined the Orthodox Church. In the words of one of them:

Igor Strelec says that the church's historical links to this country - stretching back to the time of the Great Moravian Archibishop Methodius in the ninth century - was one of the things that appealed to him.

"I feel like I'm continuing the tradition of Methodius and of our Hussite movement and Bishop Gorazd. I am proud that I come from the Czech Republic, where the Orthodox Church began in Great Moravia and then spread eastwards to Ukraine, Russia and other countries. It's a proud part of our history."

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/czechstoday/the-czech-orthodox-church-a-community-with-a-long-and-rich-history-in-bohemia-and-moravia

Can we hope for any or more of these cases amongst all the other populations i mentioned?



Btw, the Hussite Utraquist tried a Union with the Orthodox at the same time the Vatican was forcing one at Florence.

I always wondered how serious Jan Hus and his followers were about joining Orthodoxy. I read that the fall of Constantinople to the Turks put an end to this plan.

I've read hugely contradictory accounts of Hus and his connection to Orthodoxy. Not sure what to make of this one.
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 05:28:03 AM »

I'm not very familiar with the history of this area but I once dated a Bosnian girl whose parents were Muslim. Of course once they found out where I was coming from (Orthodoxy, wasn't at the time but thats when I was first getting into it) they hated me. I got some major dagger eyes at their house haha. As you can guess that relationship didn't last long.

Good thing you steered clear of that one. If i was Serb i would unfortunately view them as traitors to race, state and religion.
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2011, 07:06:39 AM »

Same with the Czechs & Slovaks - . . . they received the Byzantine form of Christianity directly from Constantinople.

You are talking about the 1st millennium, right? If yes, then it's not that simple. The Czechs and Slovaks first received the Roman form of Christianity form the Germans, but they were not satisfied with it because of the Germans' not-so-Christian attitude towrads them (Germanisation, claiming of Moravian lands, etc.), so they asked Constantinopole to send a Slavic-speaking mission. Sts Cyril and Methodius arrived. Their mission was under Roman jurisdiction (it was Rome's canonical territory). The Liturgy they brough was in Old Church Slavonic and it was probably this one: http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Liturgy/Liturgy-Peter.html, described by its English translator (the current Bishop Jerome of Manhattan) in these words: "The central prayer of this service is a form of the Roman Eucharistic Canon, based on a form at least as old as any surviving Latin source, but set in a Byzantine structure, and fitted out with a number of prayers that appear to be of Greek rather than Roman origin." This reflects the character of the Cyrylo-Methodian mission which was sent from Constantinopole but was under Roman jurisdiction, and on Rome's canonical territory, and aimed at people who were already familiar with Roman Christianity.

French, English, Spanish and and the like never had any direct link with Constantinople or its missionaries afaik.

What does it have to do with their their being former Orthodox Christians or not?
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2011, 10:28:59 AM »

Same with the Czechs & Slovaks - . . . they received the Byzantine form of Christianity directly from Constantinople.

You are talking about the 1st millennium, right? If yes, then it's not that simple. The Czechs and Slovaks first received the Roman form of Christianity form the Germans, but they were not satisfied with it because of the Germans' not-so-Christian attitude towrads them (Germanisation, claiming of Moravian lands, etc.), so they asked Constantinopole to send a Slavic-speaking mission. Sts Cyril and Methodius arrived. Their mission was under Roman jurisdiction (it was Rome's canonical territory). The Liturgy they brough was in Old Church Slavonic and it was probably this one: http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Liturgy/Liturgy-Peter.html, described by its English translator (the current Bishop Jerome of Manhattan) in these words: "The central prayer of this service is a form of the Roman Eucharistic Canon, based on a form at least as old as any surviving Latin source, but set in a Byzantine structure, and fitted out with a number of prayers that appear to be of Greek rather than Roman origin." This reflects the character of the Cyrylo-Methodian mission which was sent from Constantinopole but was under Roman jurisdiction, and on Rome's canonical territory, and aimed at people who were already familiar with Roman Christianity.

French, English, Spanish and and the like never had any direct link with Constantinople or its missionaries afaik.

What does it have to do with their their being former Orthodox Christians or not?


Thanks for the info. Although as you (or the bishop) put it the mission was on "Rome's canonical territory and aimed at people who were familiar with Roman Christianity" were the citizens of Greater Moravia wholeheartedly members and supporters of this Frankish imposed Roman Christianity? I don't know for sure but as you say they were dissatisfied, so i would guess not. So was Rostislav, so he asked the Byzantine Emperor to send missionaries that would bring the Gospel to them in their own language. The Great Schism hadn't really happened so Rome having juristiction over the mission and in Moravia doesn't imply much. However as Cyril and Methodius were sent due to a direct appeal to the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Emperor did their mission not have an Eastern Christian orientation? And wasn't their mission originating from Constantinople a huge success with the Moravians until a successor to the King kicked them out? All these things indicate at least in my opinion that the Moravians of the time were Orthodox. 
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2011, 10:41:59 AM »

Thanks for the info. Although as you (or the bishop) put it the mission was on "Rome's canonical territory and aimed at people who were familiar with Roman Christianity" were the citizens of Greater Moravia wholeheartedly members and supporters of this Frankish imposed Roman Christianity?

No. The reason why the Cyrylo-Methodian mission brought them a Byzantinized Roman Liturgy was probably not to upset the Germans (who were upset anyway -- due to the language).

All these things indicate at least in my opinion that the Moravians of the time were Orthodox.

Yes, I completely agree. But so were the Germans, Franks, Poles, Italians and all other Western Christian nations prior to the Great Schism. Why are you identifying the term 'Orthodox' with 'Byzantine'?
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« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2011, 11:07:04 AM »

I'm not very familiar with the history of this area but I once dated a Bosnian girl whose parents were Muslim. Of course once they found out where I was coming from (Orthodoxy, wasn't at the time but thats when I was first getting into it) they hated me. I got some major dagger eyes at their house haha. As you can guess that relationship didn't last long.

Good thing you steered clear of that one. If i was Serb i would unfortunately view them as traitors to race, state and religion.

Oh man her brother would always be getting in fights with these other dudes. They were Serb, Russian, or something like that. I never realized the volitility of the two groups until I got on youtube and saw all the pro albania/muslim videos vs the serb/orthodox ones.
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