I don't think you understand how the Protestants who would send missionaries to an Orthodox country see the Church. Their goal is very often to convert people out of Orthodoxy. I have heard it from their very mouths.
The economic troubles of Greece have begun to take their toll on the church. Priests have faced pay cuts and soup kitchens which help the poor have also seen funding drop.
From the article:
Under the terms of an international bailout that saved Greece from bankruptcy, the government is cutting pay which for a typical parish priest is about 1,000 euros a month. Athens will also fund only one new priest to replace every 10 who retire or die, causing shortages in remote parishes during a deep recession when the flock most needs help.
Of course this will give our Protestant missionary types the opening they need to move in. They have loads of cash for overseas missions.
The Protestant missions reach only those that are unchurched and that are starting their spiritual journey, so in that sense they are desperately needed for a certain segment of society.
Protestants consider the Orthodox and Catholics idol worshipers. I'm fully aware of that, but elitism and ignorance abounds everywhere. They have pulled many a people out of the gutter and into the arms of a Church. A limited Church possibly but isn't it better than no Church? If some Orthodox are pulled away, then these people are on a low spiritual level and need to grow a bit. If they do come back, they'll probably be in a higher State of Grace than some Orthodox that are simply searching for something...at most.
Culturally though they are alien to the Greeks, and also lack the fullness of Grace existent in the Orthodox church so I don't know what the fear is?
Culturally Orthodoxy is alien to someone raised in the rural American South, but I converted. Who is to say alien religions don't have a certain appeal?
And grace or no grace, wolves have been known to snatch sheep.
This snatching sheep I find very offensive since the only purpose of a Church is to help people achieve unity with God. It's not an us against them thing. Do you have any idea how many atheists there are in Greece? How can you say they are being snatched away? Away from what? Besides this Protestant missionary work has done wonders for the Greek Church. Nothing like a bit of competition I say.
I am not going to deny that Protestant missionaries can do some good, but I do not know why you take such umbrage at the idea that they want to steal people away from Orthodoxy. They do
. For a long time, the infamous manual for converting EO people, “Witnessing to people of Eastern Orthodox Background
,” was hosted on the website for the North American Mission Board, which is a wing of the Southern Baptist Convention, one of the largest (possibly the largest) and best funded Protestant missionary organizations. It has since been taken down, but I doubt that was because the NAMB/SBC had a change of heart.
I will say it again: I have heard it from the missionaries’ mouths, they want to convert Orthodox people. They aren't targeting only athiests. If someone is taking Orthodox faithful (or Orthodox nominals) away from the faith, they aren’t doing so in the hope that the convert will one day thank them for everything they did and then return to Orthodoxy.
So, as inclined as I might be toward a soft ecumenism, I can’t look at doors opening to Protestants in Orthodox countries with any kind of enthusiasm.