THAT is a fantastic question.....I immidately though, "wow, that makes sence like an Eskimo Muslim......"
In the ALC we never heard of the Orthodox, and not such big fans of the Vatican (which was returned in kind: I recall on Relevant Radio and anti-Luther tract put out in the '50s, or was it the 30's?). That last thing was changing a bit when I left (I used to be on the ecumenical meetings with the local Vatican parishes ).
LCMS/WELS Lutherans have a favorable attitude towards both Orthodox and Catholics.
I don't know how they feel about Orthodox, but I definitely would not call the WELS attitude toward Catholicism "favorable".
Isa, can you please explain to me how an Arab ended up Lutheran in the first place?
Didn't see this before.
Actually, there is a number: the German Empire set up missions in the Middle East that were continued by their co-religionists, for instance. There is an Arab Lutheran Church in Jerusalemhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutheran_Church_of_the_Redeemer,_Jerusalem
The ELCA currently has 3 Arab and Middle Eastern Congregations. At present, there are 7 Arab and Middle Eastern pastorshttp://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Ministry/Multicultural-Ministries/Ethnic-Ministries/Arab-and-Middle-Eastern.aspxhttp://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Ministry/Multicultural-Ministries/Ethnic-Associations/Association-of-Lutherans-of-Arab-and-Middle-Eastern-Heritage.aspx
where I just went on pilgrimage (not to Salaamah, but to St. Nicholas Antiochian Cathedral, and to the original, St. Raphael's Cathedral, site of the first Orthodox consecration outside of the Old World, which still stands but is occupied by a Spanish Baptist congregation since the Orthodox moved to the present site. Btw, the neighborhood is still Arab, largely Yemeni to judge by the people I met. It was not the first Arab neighborhood in New York, however, and the site of the first Arab Orthodox Church: that was at 77 Washington, Manhattan, literally five minutes, past Holy Trinity Episcopal (one time practically the American Equivalent of Westminster Abbey) to Wall Street NYSE and Federal Hall, site of the establishment of the present US Government. Instead of going East from 77 Washington, going North the same distance would land you at the World Trade Center Site: the old Arab Christian Neighborhood, Little Syria, was demolished to erect the Twin Towers, the cornerstone of the old Maronite Church was found amongst the 9/11 rubble. Ironic
Much of Little Syria was demolished in the 1940s to allow construction of entrance ramps to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. What was left was bulldozed two decades later to make way for the World Trade Center.http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/little-syria-now-tiny-syria-finds-new-advocates/
there's a move to save "Tiny Syria," all that remains of Little Syria. http://www.facebook.com/groups/savewashingtonstreet/
That's not how I got there though (but I did worship at the Church of the Redeemer when I was in Jerusalem for the first time, less than a year before I embraced Orthodoxy), which was by intermarriage of my ancestors. They say my great mother was killed when her granddaughter, my god-mother, was baptized Lutheran.
Btw, when I went to a school run by a congregation of the Vatican's, I would be asked "I thought you're not Christian." "No, I'm not Catholic," I would reply. "Well, then you're not Christian," would be their reply. Different perspective.
In my Lutheran parish, we said "I believe in the Christian Church," never "in the Catholic Church," always "One, Holy, Christian and Apostolic Church." And the sole exposure I had to the Orthodox was a side mention in our catechism, in the section on Church History (which was not required reading IIRC, but I read it anyways), it said something about the Greek Church breaking off from "the Catholic church."