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Author Topic: The russian church and the poor  (Read 1134 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 29, 2011, 12:12:50 PM »

I discovered this article by coincidence and since I do knot know very much about the social work of the russian church i thought that maybe some of you knew about this.

" The Russian Orthodox Church is not preoccupied with the country's social problems. DCA(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DanChurchAid) has a hard time finding church partners

While the number of homeless people and alcoholics in Russia rises, the Russian Orthodox church is pulling itself out of the political debate about the social problems. Also the actual welfare work leaves the church increasingly to secular charities.

"The church has turned into a more nationalist-patriotic direction and go more after what stands well with those in power than to fight for the weak. They align themselves with the idea of ​​'Russia for Russians' and rulers opposition to foreign interference in the work . This means that the church is unwilling to cooperate with foreign organizations such as DCA, because we also work to improve the most vulnerable groups' rights. It is politically controversial, so the church will rather not touch, "says Maria Nedergaard Gostisjtjeva .

She is the director of DCA's work in St. Petersburg and has lived in Russia for over 20 years.


"As a charity organization, we try to find partners who can work long terms, based on a Christian view on humanity. So it was natural for us to look for religious partners because the church was granted freer conditions in the 1990s. In a period we succeeded, but seven or eight years ago we broke more or less officially with the church and continued in limited cooperation with local congregations where there was an understanding of the diaconal work and a willingness to fight for disadvantaged groups such as homeless and HIV-infected, "she says .

But that cooperation has largely broken down because the local congregations who engage in politically controversial issues are being threatened and reprimanded by the church's top officials, she explains.

Annika Hvithamar who is an expert on Orthodox Christianity and lecturer at the Department of Education, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Southern University, is more positive.

"It's probably especially in the church's top, there is reluctance to lay out the government line. Further down the ranks there are people who think the church should play a more active role in society's weakest," she says, adding that the Orthodox Church, theologically speaking, is more oriented towards prayer, meditation and liturgy than social work. In addition, the church under communism was banned from engaging in social work.

"But after the Soviet welfare system collapse developed the Russian Orthodox Church explosively in the social field and the current patriarch, Kirill, is known for his involvement in that specific field. But while there is no doubt that the church generally is political follow-like, "says Annika Hvithamar.

Karsten Fledelius, MA. in history and Serbo-Croatian and specialist in Russian conditions, tend to agree. But he emphasizes that the church in many areas is very politically active and, among others have benefited from the fact that both prime minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev are practicing Orthodox Christians and is in line with the church when it comes to the sight of Orthodox Christianity in central role for the Russian nation.

"The church looks much more like the bearer of Russia's non-communist heritage and identity than as an institution which will compensate for society's major shortcomings in the social field," says Karsten Fledelius.

He adds that "floor level" is social action driven by enthusiasts, usually laymen.

"But the question arises as monasticism is in development, the right belief and cohesion of the Russian nation, which are prioritized by management. Homelessness is not seen as an important part of the legitimacy of the church. Unlike some regular Russians who look completely different on it, "he assesses.

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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2011, 12:35:07 PM »

I discovered this article by coincidence and since I do knot know very much about the social work of the russian church i thought that maybe some of you knew about this.

" The Russian Orthodox Church is not preoccupied with the country's social problems. DCA(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DanChurchAid) has a hard time finding church partners

While the number of homeless people and alcoholics in Russia rises, the Russian Orthodox church is pulling itself out of the political debate about the social problems. Also the actual welfare work leaves the church increasingly to secular charities.

"The church has turned into a more nationalist-patriotic direction and go more after what stands well with those in power than to fight for the weak. They align themselves with the idea of ​​'Russia for Russians' and rulers opposition to foreign interference in the work . This means that the church is unwilling to cooperate with foreign organizations such as DCA, because we also work to improve the most vulnerable groups' rights. It is politically controversial, so the church will rather not touch, "says Maria Nedergaard Gostisjtjeva .

She is the director of DCA's work in St. Petersburg and has lived in Russia for over 20 years.


"As a charity organization, we try to find partners who can work long terms, based on a Christian view on humanity. So it was natural for us to look for religious partners because the church was granted freer conditions in the 1990s. In a period we succeeded, but seven or eight years ago we broke more or less officially with the church and continued in limited cooperation with local congregations where there was an understanding of the diaconal work and a willingness to fight for disadvantaged groups such as homeless and HIV-infected, "she says .

But that cooperation has largely broken down because the local congregations who engage in politically controversial issues are being threatened and reprimanded by the church's top officials, she explains.

Annika Hvithamar who is an expert on Orthodox Christianity and lecturer at the Department of Education, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Southern University, is more positive.

"It's probably especially in the church's top, there is reluctance to lay out the government line. Further down the ranks there are people who think the church should play a more active role in society's weakest," she says, adding that the Orthodox Church, theologically speaking, is more oriented towards prayer, meditation and liturgy than social work. In addition, the church under communism was banned from engaging in social work.

"But after the Soviet welfare system collapse developed the Russian Orthodox Church explosively in the social field and the current patriarch, Kirill, is known for his involvement in that specific field. But while there is no doubt that the church generally is political follow-like, "says Annika Hvithamar.

Karsten Fledelius, MA. in history and Serbo-Croatian and specialist in Russian conditions, tend to agree. But he emphasizes that the church in many areas is very politically active and, among others have benefited from the fact that both prime minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev are practicing Orthodox Christians and is in line with the church when it comes to the sight of Orthodox Christianity in central role for the Russian nation.

"The church looks much more like the bearer of Russia's non-communist heritage and identity than as an institution which will compensate for society's major shortcomings in the social field," says Karsten Fledelius.

He adds that "floor level" is social action driven by enthusiasts, usually laymen.

"But the question arises as monasticism is in development, the right belief and cohesion of the Russian nation, which are prioritized by management. Homelessness is not seen as an important part of the legitimacy of the church. Unlike some regular Russians who look completely different on it, "he assesses.


there seem to be ideological strings attached.
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 12:50:44 PM »

Well criticism of Russia is not uncommon in danish newspapers but I still wanted to know more. After all charity is one of the most important things in christianity.
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 01:14:08 PM »

Well criticism of Russia is not uncommon in danish newspapers but I still wanted to know more. After all charity is one of the most important things in christianity.
It is, but I get the feeling from the boldened, that an agenda is what is involved in this case.

Here's the PoM website on charity etc.
http://www.diaconia.ru/english/
http://www.bearr.org/en/funding/synodcharity/2011
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5573
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=3816

some stuff on IOCC in Russia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX-aihQ81hY
http://www.iocc.org/countries/countries_russia.aspx
http://www.antiochian.org/node/23545
http://www.iocc.org/news/8-28-08georgia.aspx
http://www.iocc.org/news/8-25-10russia.aspx
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 01:33:23 PM »

Well criticism of Russia is not uncommon in danish newspapers but I still wanted to know more. After all charity is one of the most important things in christianity.
It is, but I get the feeling from the boldened, that an agenda is what is involved in this case.

Here's the PoM website on charity etc.
http://www.diaconia.ru/english/
http://www.bearr.org/en/funding/synodcharity/2011
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5573
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=3816

some stuff on IOCC in Russia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX-aihQ81hY
http://www.iocc.org/countries/countries_russia.aspx
http://www.antiochian.org/node/23545
http://www.iocc.org/news/8-28-08georgia.aspx
http://www.iocc.org/news/8-25-10russia.aspx
Thanks
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2011, 06:24:12 PM »

Well criticism of Russia is not uncommon in danish newspapers but I still wanted to know more. After all charity is one of the most important things in christianity.
It is, but I get the feeling from the boldened, that an agenda is what is involved in this case.

Here's the PoM website on charity etc.
http://www.diaconia.ru/english/
http://www.bearr.org/en/funding/synodcharity/2011
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5573
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=3816

some stuff on IOCC in Russia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX-aihQ81hY
http://www.iocc.org/countries/countries_russia.aspx
http://www.antiochian.org/node/23545
http://www.iocc.org/news/8-28-08georgia.aspx
http://www.iocc.org/news/8-25-10russia.aspx

Do these articles mention that the Diocese of Moscow alone runs 400 soup kitchens?   

You can judge from that statistic if they are also involved in  alcohol drug and rehabilitation programmes, orphanages, streetkids, etc.
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 04:20:49 AM »

Lets not forget. The main goal of Church is to send people to heaven. This is why right belief and pure sacraments are the most important. Not forget that.

For example would you preffer being a charitable muslim feeding 1 million people and going to Hell for not being baptized or an EOC feeding 10 people and going to Heaven?

I was wrong and I almost become Protestant because I believed at one time that charitable work tells one where God is. Good that I prayed to God and God told me that Eastern orthodox Church is the true Church and this is why he is sending Holy Light to EOC year after year.
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 04:43:56 AM »

Lets not forget. The main goal of Church is to send people to heaven. This is why right belief and pure sacraments are the most important. Not forget that.

For example would you preffer being a charitable muslim feeding 1 million people and going to Hell for not being baptized or an EOC feeding 10 people and going to Heaven?

The OCA may teach its members that the unbaptized go to hell (but surely not?) and if it does it is the only Orthodox Church on earth which teaches it.
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 06:50:42 AM »

What is you take on it?

"JN 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew,{The word translated "anew" here and in John 3:7 (anothen) also means "again" and "from above".} he can't see the Kingdom of God."
....
JN 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into the Kingdom of God!

"

There are some exceptions like St Elijah. St Enoch. also st John Chrysostom said that for 5000 years the Garden Of Eden was close.

Looking forward to see your interpretation.

MK 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned.


Also people comming from death backj to life that were not baptized say thye come from Hell.

So it was more the verses above I was based on. Maybe correct will be, those not baptized can not see the Kingdom of God. if they go to Hell or other place God knows, or if we baptize them even after death or either if God baptize them or if we pray for them and God baptikze and commune them and confesses them and moves them to Heaven this is possible. Since it is in Bible I think you can agree with it unless you know more and I have a wrong interpretation which is possible.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 06:58:06 AM by pasadi97 » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 07:31:48 AM »

What is you take on it?

"JN 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew,{The word translated "anew" here and in John 3:7 (anothen) also means "again" and "from above".} he can't see the Kingdom of God."
....
JN 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into the Kingdom of God!

"

There are some exceptions like St Elijah. St Enoch. also st John Chrysostom said that for 5000 years the Garden Of Eden was close.

Looking forward to see your interpretation.

MK 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned.


Also people comming from death backj to life that were not baptized say thye come from Hell.

So it was more the verses above I was based on. Maybe correct will be, those not baptized can not see the Kingdom of God. if they go to Hell or other place God knows, or if we baptize them even after death or either if God baptize them or if we pray for them and God baptikze and commune them and confesses them and moves them to Heaven this is possible. Since it is in Bible I think you can agree with it unless you know more and I have a wrong interpretation which is possible.

My interest is whether Metropolitan Jonah and your Synod of Bishops teach that the unbaptized go to hell?  Their teaching is all important.
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 07:33:51 AM »

In my understanding, this is something OCA and EOC don't have a definitive answer. Is something not part of dogma yet. What we have are the verses above. Anyhow, if anyone love Easterners , mission to them like St Kiril and Methodius is solution and not denying what God had said. Mission will help. Denying will keep people confused.

Iconography show even unbaptized aborted children of christian parents going to Hell. http://www.google.com/search?q=abortion+icon&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ACAW_enUS413&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1366&bih=552 Abortion can be forgiven through confession in Eastern orthodox Church. prayer to God to baptize,commune aborted babies can help and also mother doing confession and canon. Eastern Orthodox Church where God is inside is the KEY for this.

Paryer to God to baptize, commune and confess departed, actual and future Easterners and people after death can help.

May God bless everyone.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 07:43:57 AM by pasadi97 » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 07:43:53 AM »

In my understanding, this is something OCA and EOC don't have a definitive answer. Is something not part of dogma yet. What we have are the verses above. Anyhow, if anyone love Easterners , mission to them like St Kiril and Methodius is solution and not denying what God had said. Mission will help. Denying will keep people confused.

Iconography show even unbaptized aborted children of christian parents going to Hell. http://www.google.com/search?q=abortion+icon&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ACAW_enUS413&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1366&bih=552 Abortion can be forgiven through confession in Eastern orthodox Church. prayer to God to baptize,commune aborted babies can help and also mother doing confession and canon. Eastern Orthodox Church where God is inside is the KEY for this.

Paryer to God to baptize, commune and confess departed, actual and future Easterners and people after death can help.

All the Orthodox I know deny that God sends the unbaptized to hell.  They also deny that He sends to hell those who have not eaten His Body and drunk His Blood.   You're making me a little alarmed.

How strange that the OCA should be damnatory of the unbaptized when my Russian Church Abroad is not.

I just want to make this statement so that non-Orthodox reading the thread do not believe that the Orthodox teach the unbaptized go to hell.

Pasadi, you are wrong and it would be great if you discussed it with your parish priest.
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 07:47:12 AM »

Well I greatly doubt that my Bishop or my Priest will say against the verses in Bible. Thank you for your advice. Pray for me so that I find the truth and that God will guide me to truth and that God will speak through me and that I will speak with my parish priest about this.

Please pray for my salvation. My goal is to say the truth and if I did not say the truth may God put back the damage that I have caused and may God heal what I did destroy.
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 07:54:32 AM »

In my understanding, this is something OCA and EOC don't have a definitive answer. Is something not part of dogma yet. What we have are the verses above. Anyhow, if anyone love Easterners , mission to them like St Kiril and Methodius is solution and not denying what God had said. Mission will help. Denying will keep people confused.

Iconography show even unbaptized aborted children of christian parents going to Hell. http://www.google.com/search?q=abortion+icon&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ACAW_enUS413&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1366&bih=552 Abortion can be forgiven through confession in Eastern orthodox Church. prayer to God to baptize,commune aborted babies can help and also mother doing confession and canon. Eastern Orthodox Church where God is inside is the KEY for this.

Paryer to God to baptize, commune and confess departed, actual and future Easterners and people after death can help.

May God bless everyone.

Dear Pasadi,  I implore you to discuss with any of the priests that you know your belief that aborted babies go to hell.
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2011, 07:58:53 AM »

In my understanding, this is something OCA and EOC don't have a definitive answer. Is something not part of dogma yet. What we have are the verses above. Anyhow, if anyone love Easterners , mission to them like St Kiril and Methodius is solution and not denying what God had said. Mission will help. Denying will keep people confused.

Iconography show even unbaptized aborted children of christian parents going to Hell. http://www.google.com/search?q=abortion+icon&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ACAW_enUS413&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1366&bih=552 Abortion can be forgiven through confession in Eastern orthodox Church. prayer to God to baptize,commune aborted babies can help and also mother doing confession and canon. Eastern Orthodox Church where God is inside is the KEY for this.

Paryer to God to baptize, commune and confess departed, actual and future Easterners and people after death can help.

May God bless everyone.

Wow, will you believe any garbage you see on the internet?
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2011, 08:01:44 AM »

Dear Pasadi,  I implore you to discuss with any of the priests that you know your belief that aborted babies go to hell.

And that you think you can baptise or commune dead people... and that a dozen-year-old picture you call 'iconography'.
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2011, 08:04:40 AM »

Here is an explanation of that painting which was commissioned by a bishop whom I know and greatly respect.

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles4/BpJosephAbortion.php
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2011, 12:35:00 PM »

All the Orthodox I know deny that God sends the unbaptized to hell.  They also deny that He sends to hell those who have not eaten His Body and drunk His Blood.   You're making me a little alarmed.

Your emphasis is on "sends," right?
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2011, 01:47:18 PM »

Lets not forget. The main goal of Church is to send people to heaven. This is why right belief and pure sacraments are the most important. Not forget that.

For example would you preffer being a charitable muslim feeding 1 million people and going to Hell for not being baptized or an EOC feeding 10 people and going to Heaven?

The OCA may teach its members that the unbaptized go to hell (but surely not?) and if it does it is the only Orthodox Church on earth which teaches it.
I spent a decade in the OCA, and I don't recall that. Certainly not about the aborted going to hell.  The Lord's hand is not shortened that He cannot save.

Is there a reason why the EOC can't feed 10 if the Muslim feeds a million?
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2011, 02:10:51 PM »


The words of others have done enough, in my opinion, to point out other errors in your post. However, I can't let the above comment slide.  While I don't believe that image is an icon worthy of veneration in the Orthodox Church (and therefore it is at best an "icon"), it does not depict the babies going to hell, but rather depicting the truly hell-inspired death they go through.  The image shows a "spiritualized" physical reality, with the icon of the Presentation, and of the Panagia, superimposed over it.  Healthy family life, the Cross borne by mothers, and the evil inspiration that causes abortion.  Nowhere in the icon are the kids shown going to Hell, only going through it, so to speak.
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2011, 08:09:28 PM »

All the Orthodox I know deny that God sends the unbaptized to hell.  They also deny that He sends to hell those who have not eaten His Body and drunk His Blood.   You're making me a little alarmed.

Your emphasis is on "sends," right?

I don't understand.
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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2011, 09:03:20 PM »

All the Orthodox I know deny that God sends the unbaptized to hell.  They also deny that He sends to hell those who have not eaten His Body and drunk His Blood.   You're making me a little alarmed.

Your emphasis is on "sends," right?

No man is a sufficient or competent judge of himself.   In fact he would probably introduce all sorts of exculpatory factors for his sins which would place him in heaven despite his sins.  God alone is the just judge, not man.  At the funeral service every man and woman hears that Christ will be his Judge, from the Gospel of Saint John (John 5:19)

"Again he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: As I hear so I judge, and my judgement is just because I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father who sent me."

The "River of Fire" which is not Orthodox doctrine but an attractive personal theologoumenon has been confusing people about this over the last three decades.

To bring this on topic.... it will be Christ who will judge all the unbaptized streetkids in the cities of Russia, and all the alcoholics and addicts, and His judgement will be just because only He is able to comprehended every single factor and influence in the lives of the poor.  His Mother will also be there, weeping for what an uncaring society has done to those for whom her Son shed His blood and gave His life.
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