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Author Topic: Muslims converting to Orthodoxy in Russia  (Read 4024 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 28, 2011, 11:11:02 AM »

An article by a Muslim source, lamenting the large numbers of ethnic Muslim coverts to Russian Orthodoxy which he says is far greater than the number of converts to Islam.
http://1muslimnation.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/islam-in-russia-2-million-ethnic-muslims-leave-islam-for-russian-orthodox-christianity/
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 11:33:57 AM »

An article by a Muslim source, lamenting the large numbers of ethnic Muslim coverts to Russian Orthodoxy which he says is far greater than the number of converts to Islam.
http://1muslimnation.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/islam-in-russia-2-million-ethnic-muslims-leave-islam-for-russian-orthodox-christianity/
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 11:35:04 AM »

Right on!!!
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 11:50:09 AM »

Love it!
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 11:57:09 AM »

So the Muslims aren't as optimistic about their spread as American cable news channels? Weird.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 12:06:57 PM »

Seriously?? Shocked
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 08:55:33 PM »

Happy to hear it.  Smiley I wonder if there will be some more civil protections for Christians in the Middle Eastern countries that have recently had uprisings, so that eventually Christians there will be free to preach, practice and convert without recrimination. Maybe I'm jumping too far, though.  Undecided Something to think about.
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 09:45:36 PM »

It would be good news, but the state of the Russian Church is woeful!
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2011, 09:47:26 PM »

It would be good news, but the state of the Russian Church is woeful!

Why do you say that?
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2011, 09:48:17 PM »

The hierarchy is corrupt, and is allied too closely with the Russian state for comfort.
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2011, 10:28:44 PM »

The hierarchy is corrupt, and is allied too closely with the Russian state for comfort.
Even if your charges against the hierarchy are correct, why does that make the news of conversions not "good news"? Since joining the OCA (which I see is your church as well), I've seen a metropolitan deposed and a bishop suspended. Does that counter the "good news" of my own conversion? Are we guilty for the sins of our hierarchs?
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 10:57:09 PM »

The hierarchy is corrupt, and is allied too closely with the Russian state for comfort.
Even if your charges against the hierarchy are correct, why does that make the news of conversions not "good news"? Since joining the OCA (which I see is your church as well), I've seen a metropolitan deposed and a bishop suspended. Does that counter the "good news" of my own conversion? Are we guilty for the sins of our hierarchs?

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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2011, 11:04:32 PM »

Praise God!

Lord Jesus, keep your new servants safe.
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2011, 11:39:22 PM »

Whoo! Glory to God.  Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2011, 12:19:48 PM »

I have a dear friend who fits this demographic. She is a Russian-speaking Tatar and read different religious books after the collapse of the USSR until she found peace in Orthodoxy and converted (masha'allah).

Nonetheless, it looks like most of the conversions are of a social nature - ethnic minorities trying to fit in or avoid being associated with terrorism. Thank God still, but I hope they're being catechized and brought into church life, not just left on the fringes as nominal Orthodox.
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2011, 12:45:33 AM »

Well, I have a mixed feeling here: Is it that simple for a Muslim, in spiritual terms, to become an Orthodox Christian? Even well-versed Catholics and Protestants have difficulties in following Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2011, 01:26:37 AM »

Well, I have a mixed feeling here: Is it that simple for a Muslim, in spiritual terms, to become an Orthodox Christian? Even well-versed Catholics and Protestants have difficulties in following Orthodoxy.
Even well-versed Orthodox have difficulties in following Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2011, 02:01:28 AM »

Well, I have a mixed feeling here: Is it that simple for a Muslim, in spiritual terms, to become an Orthodox Christian? Even well-versed Catholics and Protestants have difficulties in following Orthodoxy.

I have known some Muslims who have converted to Orthodoxy.

Some of them accept Orthodoxy with greater ease than Catholics.
They already pray and fast, but they like the stricter fast in Orthodoxy.
Many Muslims already have devotion to Orthodox Saints, particularly St. Mary and St. George.
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2011, 08:57:54 AM »

It is interesting that when the playing field is leveled that this faith seems to decrease. Much of the increase in the west seems to be from external immigration and anti Christian secular media propaganda.
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« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2011, 05:41:18 AM »

It is interesting that when the playing field is leveled that this faith seems to decrease. Much of the increase in the west seems to be from external immigration and anti Christian secular media propaganda.

I agree. Why would anyone want to become a convert to a religion that is barbaric, warlike, backwards in its treatment of women and minorities and full of terrorists that blow themselves up in the name of their God?
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« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2011, 06:30:14 AM »

I agree. Why would anyone want to become a convert to a religion that is barbaric, warlike, backwards in its treatment of women and minorities and full of terrorists that blow themselves up in the name of their God?

Just a personal anecdote. I'm very active in the Russian hitchhiking community, and there Islam has had a strong pull. When some Russians have travelled in the Muslim world, they felt more welcomed, more sincerely cared about than in their own countries. They note that if you walk into a village in the Muslim world, you instantly have somewhere to stay and people to talk with, while if you walk into an Eastern European village, no one looks at you and you have to worry about gopniki. They think that a religion that creates such warmth and hospitality must really have its act together, and the theology seems refreshingly simple compared to the elaborate and confusing Orthodox Christianity they've heard about (being insufficiently taught about the faith) so they convert.

Converts everywhere brush aside Muhammad's barbarity and violence, mistreatment of women and the religion's probable drive toward terrorism. I think there's little awareness of the bad treatment of minorities among converts, especially as most find their conversion celebrated instead of being chastised as not a real Muslim because they aren't Arab.
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« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2011, 09:55:13 AM »

I agree. Why would anyone want to become a convert to a religion that is barbaric, warlike, backwards in its treatment of women and minorities and full of terrorists that blow themselves up in the name of their God?

Just a personal anecdote. I'm very active in the Russian hitchhiking community, and there Islam has had a strong pull. When some Russians have travelled in the Muslim world, they felt more welcomed, more sincerely cared about than in their own countries. They note that if you walk into a village in the Muslim world, you instantly have somewhere to stay and people to talk with, while if you walk into an Eastern European village, no one looks at you and you have to worry about gopniki. They think that a religion that creates such warmth and hospitality must really have its act together, and the theology seems refreshingly simple compared to the elaborate and confusing Orthodox Christianity they've heard about (being insufficiently taught about the faith) so they convert.

Converts everywhere brush aside Muhammad's barbarity and violence, mistreatment of women and the religion's probable drive toward terrorism. I think there's little awareness of the bad treatment of minorities among converts, especially as most find their conversion celebrated instead of being chastised as not a real Muslim because they aren't Arab.

I'm sure some muslims are hospitable but there will be others that will likely take you hostage for ransom or behead you for propaganda reasons. How would these backpackers like to live in a Muslim s***holes like Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia etc? Even so called progressive Muslim states like Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia etc are terrible places to live in.

But is it the Islamic religion that makes people hospitable? I'm not convinced. People in Eastern Europe lived under totalitarian conditions for decades hence making them weary of strangers. It's no surprise they are reserved.
Germans and Swiss also have a reputation for being reserved people. Culture and tradition play a bigger part than religion i reckon.
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« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2011, 10:00:08 AM »

Even so called progressive Muslim states like Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia etc are terrible places to live in.

Really? How long did you live in each of those countries?
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« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2011, 10:06:33 AM »

Well it seems that many hospitable Moslems are becoming Christian & as to who is more "hospitable" seems debateable since the perception seems to be based on hitchhiking hippies.
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« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2011, 10:41:20 AM »

Even so called progressive Muslim states like Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia etc are terrible places to live in.

Really? How long did you live in each of those countries?

One only has to read the latest statistics and news to see what is going on.
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« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2011, 10:53:41 AM »

I'm sure some muslims are hospitable but there will be others that will likely take you hostage for ransom or behead you for propaganda reasons. How would these backpackers like to live in a Muslim s***holes like Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia etc?

There have been two Russian group expeditions to Afghanistan in the last decade, and individual hitchhikers go there regularly. They meet only friendly people. They cannot go to certain areas because of coalition roadblocks, but don't think that it's guaranteed that a sincere, polite traveller (especially one professing Islam) will get into trouble. Have you read The Spaces in Between? Rory Stewart notes straightaway that the people he met were sometimes outright barbarians and guilty of enormous atrocities against enemies on the battlefield, but to him they were selflessly kind.

Iraqi Kurdistan is now quite popular with hitchhikers. Again, it's only roadblocks that stop them from going further. And Pakistan has been described as possibly the most hospitable country in the world for independent travellers. It's certainly a lot more hospitable than India where Hindus (and the fairly lax Indian Muslims) will tell you "A guest in the house means God in the house", while in fact a foreigner will be at best ignored and at worst chased with sticks out of a village.

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Even so called progressive Muslim states like Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia etc are terrible places to live in.

I'd agree, but let's not assume that everyone has the same standards.

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But is it the Islamic religion that makes people hospitable? I'm not convinced. People in Eastern Europe lived under totalitarian conditions for decades hence making them weary of strangers. It's no surprise they are reserved.

In fact Russian villagers have been suspicious of outsiders for centuries. You can find the same hostility in historical accounts from European travellers (or even Way of a Pilgrim), and the Volga-area indigenous peoples I work with admit that they have no ancient tradition of welcoming strangers.
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« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2011, 10:55:48 AM »

I think it would help to keep in mind that 'Easterners' in general look at religion very differently than 'Westerners.'  It is much less about personal opinions than it is about familial identity and tradition.  This can be very frustrating for us who deal with Eastern Christians who seem to know little about their faith and have even less interest in learning about it, and feel that is quite acceptable.

By the way, such practices of hospitality to the stranger also goes on in regions with hideous inter-clan rivalries and neighborly animosity that rivals the Hatfield-McCoy disagreement.  Hospitality can often be used as a means of showing off to the neighbors, hoping to make an important 'friend' who can do a favor in return later, etc.

There are lots of Moslems who convert the same reason there are lots of Orthodox kids who abandon the Church: mostly to get away from their embarrassing relatives and to seek their own identity.  I know several native-born clergy serving in jurisdictions of a different ethnicity for precisely that reason.

So, I think that the issue of conversion in Russia of ethnic Moslems runs far deeper that intellectual openness, but also one of identity, culture and one's place in society.  In the East, those things are inherently effected by religion in a way lost here in the West.
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« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2011, 03:06:34 PM »

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2fc_1207419041

Muslims converting to Christianity in record numbers.  In Algeria the imams are hitting the panic button as well as in Iraq.
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« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2011, 03:41:20 PM »

Even so called progressive Muslim states like Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia etc are terrible places to live in.

Really? How long did you live in each of those countries?

One only has to read the latest statistics and news to see what is going on.
You seen the murder, rape and other violent crime statistics in the US?
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« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2011, 04:38:01 PM »

I think it would help to keep in mind that 'Easterners' in general look at religion very differently than 'Westerners.'  It is much less about personal opinions than it is about familial identity and tradition. 

Hm, I think this is a pretty common problem for all religious populations east or west.
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« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2011, 04:44:32 PM »

The hierarchy is corrupt, and is allied too closely with the Russian state for comfort.
Even if your charges against the hierarchy are correct, why does that make the news of conversions not "good news"? Since joining the OCA (which I see is your church as well), I've seen a metropolitan deposed and a bishop suspended. Does that counter the "good news" of my own conversion? Are we guilty for the sins of our hierarchs?
The conversion is good news. However, the church in mainland Russia is affected by systemic corruption, while the OCA had only two, and the Synod forcibly retired the offenders.
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« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2011, 05:37:04 PM »

CRCulver,

     I've actually had a somewhat different range of experience traveling around Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Russia and Ukraine, by far, are the worst places to be a foreigner, but it's on account of the almost unbelievable degree of indifference that the locals have for outsiders. On the other hand, Islamic countries (Morocco and Egypt stand out in this regard, it's not true of Syria), are even worse in terms of false hospitality used as a way to con travelers-- and I will say that whether one is Muslim or not (I speak Arabic, so it's ambiguous) is often assessed in these places before they try to rip you off. On the other hand, Ethiopian Christians, I've found, show the best hospitality without desire to con(I've been treated well whether I was superficially perceived there as a Muslim or as a Christian), closely followed by Syrian Christians, Romania/Moldova a distant third... 


But yeah, I guess that's a prolix way to say that anyone is friendlier to a foreigner than the Russians.....
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« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2011, 05:54:54 PM »

CRCulver,

     I've actually had a somewhat different range of experience traveling around Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Russia and Ukraine, by far, are the worst places to be a foreigner, but it's on account of the almost unbelievable degree of indifference that the locals have for outsiders. On the other hand, Islamic countries (Morocco and Egypt stand out in this regard, it's not true of Syria), are even worse in terms of false hospitality used as a way to con travelers-- and I will say that whether one is Muslim or not (I speak Arabic, so it's ambiguous) is often assessed in these places before they try to rip you off. On the other hand, Ethiopian Christians, I've found, show the best hospitality without desire to con(I've been treated well whether I was superficially perceived there as a Muslim or as a Christian), closely followed by Syrian Christians, Romania/Moldova a distant third... 


But yeah, I guess that's a prolix way to say that anyone is friendlier to a foreigner than the Russians.....
I've never known a Copt in Egypt, or Christians in general in Egypt, ever show false hospitality (I haven't been since '92, though).  The rest of what you say is true enough: I'm quite white, so I play dumb as to the Arabic.  There are notable exceptions (I had a Muslim in the South arguing in Arabic with a Muslim Brotherhood type over my status as a Christian, when we were out in the stix, they not knowing I understood every word).
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« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2011, 06:13:48 PM »

Isa,

     The least connish con I've ever experienced was a Coptic pimp in Chisinau. He asked me the time in English (those unfamiliar: this is how a pimp approaches you in many places), and then after I answered him in Arabic we had a weird, long talk over a few cigarettes where he was still trying to talk me into some kind of deal, but didn't want to unduly pressure me. It must be said that religion never came up, I only noticed his from the tattoo....
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