Author Topic: A Romanian Orthodox Church In Afghanistan!  (Read 4148 times)

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Offline Orthodoc

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A Romanian Orthodox Church In Afghanistan!
« on: December 28, 2002, 12:39:33 PM »
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Dec 9 (AFP) - On a windswept military camp in
Islamic
Afghanistan, a wooden church stands as a tiny haven of Orthodox Christianity
for Romanian soldiers serving with the military coalition pursuing Taliban and
al-Qaeda extremists.

The church -- built in 15 days by soldiers stationed near Kandahar,
Afghanistan's principal southern city and the former Taliban stronghold -- is
half-obscured by the wreckage of old Soviet trucks.

But despite its humble appearance, it last week attracted a senior cleric from
the Orthodox church of Oltenie, a region in southern Romania, plus an official
delegation, to mark Romania's national day.

The US-dominated military base at Kandahar is home to some 404 Romanian
soldiers, two of whom are women, from the Red Scorpions, or 26th battalion of
Craiova, the capital of Oltenie.

Arriving last July, the Romanians have made themselves at home in a forest of
beige and khaki tents that stretches across the desert, against a backdrop of
continual noise of heavy transport planes landing at the nearby airstrip.

The soldiers have quickly made friends with the 1,600-2,000 US troops
stationed at Kandahar, who were among the first to congratulate them on their
country's recent joining of NATO.

But the two nationalities are easily distinguished by their rifles. The US
troops perpetually carry their M-16s, whether in the showers or dining hall.
The Romanians are happy to leave their national-issue AKMs behind when
they go
to eat or shop.

Despite the early December sun, the cold wind makes the dust swirl and
penetrate everywhere. But the Romanian military seem oblivious as they
prepare
for their patrols around outlying Afghan villages.

For Lieutenant Florin Mitrica, 27, these patrols, conducted by around 40 men,
with two trucks escorted by a trio of armoured vehicles, are a way of
"controlling the contact zones with the local population" and humanitarian
missions.

As the trucks draw close to the village of Momand, some 20 kilometres (12
miles) from Kandahar, dozens of barefoot children, their clothes in tatters,
run out to greet the convoy.

Water and food are scarce in Momand, village elders tell the Romanians and
accompanying US civil affairs liaison officer, Captain Kit Parker.

As they press home their demands, the villagers are quick to insist they had
no links with the "foreign" al-Qaeda terror network, which fought alongside
the Taliban before the regime's surrender of Kandahar one year ago.

"No foreigner came," assures the head of the village, while the schoolteacher,
sporting a huge black beard, wilfully beats unruly children with his long
stick during a handout of pens and biscuits.

"The next time, return with food," the village chief says.

Parker replies with "it's a promise," before the patrol departs in a cloud of
dust.

Back on their trucks, the soldiers look back on the village and joke about
"Talibans turned democrats".

Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.

Offline sinjinsmythe

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Re:A Romanian Orthodox Church In Afghanistan!
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2002, 03:11:04 PM »
That is great that they built a church there.  Hopefully, it could become permanent and maybe enlighten the people of Afghanistan to the Orthodox church.  Anyway let us pary for it.
Life is just one disappointment after another.

Offline JoeS

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Re:A Romanian Orthodox Church In Afghanistan!
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2002, 01:18:02 PM »
As long as the Romanian military contingent remains the church building will probably survive.  Does anyone know how many Orthodox reside in Afghanistan?   I wasnt aware that any existed in this Muslim country. Anyway, Im affraid that this church building will become something else once the Romanians leave.  :-

JoeS

That is great that they built a church there.  Hopefully, it could become permanent and maybe enlighten the people of Afghanistan to the Orthodox church.  Anyway let us pary for it.

jude

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Re:A Romanian Orthodox Church In Afghanistan!
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2002, 02:02:02 PM »
Unfortunately, the average Afghan would associate Orthodoxy with the Russians, who brutally slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Aghans. Frankly, to say the average Afghan hates the Russians would be an understatement..

Besides, your average Afghan still dreams of a country united by Islam as an Islamic--but non-Taliban--Republic.

The rest speaks for itself.

Jude

Offline bergschlawiner

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Re: A Romanian Orthodox Church In Afghanistan!
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2010, 06:46:32 PM »
Apparently this Romanian chapel is alive and well at Kandahar and serves about 50 Believers, including Romanians, Americans, Canadians, etc.
See this recent blog http://sainteliaschurch.blogspot.com/2010/09/orthodox-christian-military-chapel-in.html

Offline Shiny

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Re: A Romanian Orthodox Church In Afghanistan!
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2010, 06:55:21 PM »
Great photos, thanks for that link.
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re:A Romanian Orthodox Church In Afghanistan!
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2010, 02:27:24 AM »
As long as the Romanian military contingent remains the church building will probably survive.  Does anyone know how many Orthodox reside in Afghanistan?   I wasnt aware that any existed in this Muslim country.

As far as I know, there aren't any native Orthodox there. This church serves the foreign soldiers in Afghanistan.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 02:29:45 AM by Ortho_cat »

Offline Irish_Melkite

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Re: A Romanian Orthodox Church In Afghanistan!
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 05:08:45 PM »
The Taliban did their very best to eradicate all traces of non-Muslim religions in Afghanistan.  If there are Christians among the Afghan population, they're deep underground.