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Author Topic: What hinder Orthodox Church to preach gosepl to all nations?  (Read 6847 times) Average Rating: 0
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walter1234
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« on: October 20, 2012, 01:14:32 PM »

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 01:15:57 PM by walter1234 » Logged
WeldeMikael
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 01:18:15 PM »

There are missions in Africa : Kenya, Uganda, etc...
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 01:36:42 PM »

Actually, in the last 50 years, missionry activities have grown around the World. There are missions in many african nations as WeldeMikael mentioned. The russian Church is doing great in Asia, together with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. There are also reports about mass conversions in South America.
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 01:37:34 PM »

Why are there more Protestants than Orthodox Christians in Japan? That one really irks me.
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 01:39:52 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWPOxEDOiHY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC0PyFjexsE
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 02:04:46 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?


We have to understand that Orthodox isn't Billy Graham, and having mega-churches isn't exactly a powerful spiritual conversion.  It took the Orthodox Church 500 years to convert the Roman Empire away from hedonism towards Christianity.  We did it in slow motion, as a gradual process, across many generations.  We don't necessarily do it in huge evangelical crusades, by leaps and strides.  We like in biological terms, steadily creep in growing in our communities.  Orthodox can't superficially take people into the Church.  We can easily be hospitable and invite any and every visitor with a warm welcome.  However, considering how much Protestantism has been exposed to most people, and how fretful others are about structured institutional religion, its a losing battle.  So we have to let our personality, our example, and our love in the community speak on our behalf.  The Orthodox Church in the past has thrived as the conquerors religion, the Faith from the Crown.  So the Church has been able to let the Crown boss folks around, and the Church fill in the gap.  Well, we are past that era.  The Church is back to how we were before we became an Imperial Church in the late Roman period, we are more underground, we are creeping up, but we are succeeding.  For example, while we are not "strong" in Hong Kong, to be sure, even to have a few Orthodox parishes and missions conducting a few Divine Liturgies and Baptisms will radically change that community even if in a few hundred years Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 02:14:51 PM »

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?

The Orthodox seem to wrap themselves up in their ethnicity and nationality a little too much. Why is there a ¨Russian,¨ ¨Greek,¨ ¨Serbian,¨ etc. Church and not just a ¨Orthodox Church¨ anyways? That rings of nationalism and ethnocentrism.

But Think about it. If someone comes to convert you to the ¨Greek¨ Orthodox church and you are not Greek, well they already have a strike against them. I have read more than a few people saying they left the ¨Blank¨ Orthodox Church because they did not feel welcome because they were a convert and did not match the churches ethnicity or nation.

That is my thinking on why they have a hard time getting established in new areas.
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 02:19:31 PM »

One word: Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 02:27:24 PM »

Please consider this map. Thank you.
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2012, 02:32:52 PM »

That's three or four words, Cyrillic. Tongue

Umbrella: The Orthodox are big on history, and the so-called "ethnic" designations of the churches reflect the history of their founding in a particular place and time. Time was that the Protestant churches were this way as well (think about what "mainline" means), and the Catholics as well. In some places, the Catholics still are. In my hometown, there were even separate masses and separate priests for the Anglos and the Latinos, which were treated to entirely different sermons, different music, etc. And the historical relation of the Poles, Irish, Croats, etc. to Catholicism (to say nothing of the individual Eastern Catholic Churches which generally serve one ethnicity/cultural background, e.g., Maronites are Lebanese, Chaldeans are Iraqi, etc) is well-known. So I don't think this is an exclusively Orthodox phenomenon.
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2012, 02:37:12 PM »

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.  

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?

the Orthodox Church is the most catholic church in the world (Catholic is a Greek word which means universal). The Orthodox Church was born in the middle east and its still thr in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt (Orthodox countries). The church went to South & east Europe flourishing in Rome, Greece, the Balkans, eastern Slavic lands, and the pre-schism west. The church went to Africa and flourished/flourishes around Egypt and Ethiopia. The church came to Asia through the Apostle Thomas. He established Orthodoxy in India, Persia, and China (there still is Orthodox presence in these countries).

Apart from the apostolic missions, the church has a long history of missionary work. There very large Orthodox missions in many countries: Many places of Africa, Guatemala and many other places in Latin America, the U.S., Finland, Japan and South Korea and many places in Asia, Albania and former Communist countries also have had a great reviving of the faith.
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 02:39:59 PM »

Please consider this map. Thank you.


That map is not completely correct.
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2012, 02:40:29 PM »

That's three or four words, Cyrillic. Tongue

Umbrella: The Orthodox are big on history, and the so-called "ethnic" designations of the churches reflect the history of their founding in a particular place and time. Time was that the Protestant churches were this way as well (think about what "mainline" means), and the Catholics as well. In some places, the Catholics still are. In my hometown, there were even separate masses and separate priests for the Anglos and the Latinos, which were treated to entirely different sermons, different music, etc. And the historical relation of the Poles, Irish, Croats, etc. to Catholicism (to say nothing of the individual Eastern Catholic Churches which generally serve one ethnicity/cultural background, e.g., Maronites are Lebanese, Chaldeans are Iraqi, etc) is well-known. So I don't think this is an exclusively Orthodox phenomenon.

I do not think God cares about a persons nationality or ethnicity. I think those designations should be dropped regardless who has them or why. Someone just posted in another thread on why people leave the Orthodox church and they listed....

 ¨Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.¨

So there you have it. I have read a lot of these comments. Not on this forum of course.
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2012, 02:50:56 PM »

I think you've missed my point. The churches are as they are not because God cares about people's ethnicity, but because the history of the churches is such that they've primarily existed in certain particular places, which are the homelands of particular people. It's a matter of history, not theology (note how Arabs, Greeks, Slavs, and Romanians are all part of the same EO church, just as Egyptians, Armenians, and Indians are all part of the same OO church; these cultures and peoples are all quite distinct from each other). As for ridding ourselves of ethnic connections or pretensions, you can get rid of the name on the sign, but you can't actually make it be so Americans, Swedes, Igbo, and Japanese (to pick a few random people) are actually the same. So the Church will naturally reflect the makeup of its congregation, but it won't really be any less "ethnic" as a result, as everyone comes from somewhere. Often times we see other people as being ethnic and weird, but even the most diluted, bland W.A.S.P. usually doesn't have to go back too far in their own family tree to find an uncle, grandparent, or great grandparent speaking a different language, eating strange food, praying in what now seems like an odd way, etc.
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2012, 02:52:27 PM »


That map is not completely correct.

True. It is close enough though to illustrate some points...
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2012, 02:54:15 PM »

I think you've missed my point. The churches are as they are not because God cares about people's ethnicity, but because the history of the churches is such that they've primarily existed in certain particular places, which are the homelands of particular people. It's a matter of history, not theology (note how Arabs, Greeks, Slavs, and Romanians are all part of the same EO church, just as Egyptians, Armenians, and Indians are all part of the same OO church; these cultures and peoples are all quite distinct from each other). As far as ridding ourselves of ethnic connections or pretensions, you can get rid of the name on the sign, but you can't actually make it be so Americans, Swedes, Igbo, and Japanese (to pick a few random people) are actually the same. So the Church will naturally reflect the makeup of its congregation, but it won't really be any less "ethnic" as a result, as everyone comes from somewhere. Often times we see other people as being ethnic and weird, but even the most diluted, bland W.A.S.P. usually doesn't have to go back too far in their own family tree to find an uncle, grandparent, or great grandparent speaking a different language, eating strange food, praying in what now seems like an odd way, etc.



No, I did not miss your point at all. I am just not accepting the cop-out. It is nationalism and ethnocentrism and nothing else. They should be removed.
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2012, 03:08:36 PM »

History is a cop-out?  Huh

Even the missionary churches that exist now and can be considered in some measures a success, such as the OCA, are built around the ancient model of one church per geographical location. You don't think "Orthodox Church in America" is identified with a particular people? The whole point of it is to reach out to Americans with an indigenous Orthodoxy. Ditto the British Orthodox Church, which exists because of the need to evangelize native Brits and not make them have to follow the Coptic mode of worship just because they're within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. This goes back to my point of what "nativizing" a church does. It's paradoxical perhaps, but if you establish any church along the cultural lines present in a particular location, then you've established a church that will seem "ethnic" or "national" to someone. And yet, this is how it has always been done because when a missionary such as St. Mark or one of our modern missionaries arrives in a new place, they adapt the timeless Orthodox faith to the culture that surrounds them, so as to baptize what is able to be baptized and bring the people to the truth in ways that they can understand. So you essentially exchange one culture or ethnicity for another, because what works in Greece won't work in Botswana, and what works in Botswana won't work in Fiji, or what have you.

Surely preaching the gospel to people in a way that they can understand and helping them to build a native church that resonates with the souls of their people is about as far away from being ethnocentric as possible, isn't it?
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2012, 03:25:46 PM »

History is a cop-out?  Huh

Even the missionary churches that exist now and can be considered in some measures a success, such as the OCA, are built around the ancient model of one church per geographical location. You don't think "Orthodox Church in America" is identified with a particular people? The whole point of it is to reach out to Americans with an indigenous Orthodoxy. Ditto the British Orthodox Church, which exists because of the need to evangelize native Brits and not make them have to follow the Coptic mode of worship just because they're within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. This goes back to my point of what "nativizing" a church does. It's paradoxical perhaps, but if you establish any church along the cultural lines present in a particular location, then you've established a church that will seem "ethnic" or "national" to someone. And yet, this is how it has always been done because when a missionary such as St. Mark or one of our modern missionaries arrives in a new place, they adapt the timeless Orthodox faith to the culture that surrounds them, so as to baptize what is able to be baptized and bring the people to the truth in ways that they can understand. So you essentially exchange one culture or ethnicity for another, because what works in Greece won't work in Botswana, and what works in Botswana won't work in Fiji, or what have you.

Surely preaching the gospel to people in a way that they can understand and helping them to build a native church that resonates with the souls of their people is about as far away from being ethnocentric as possible, isn't it?

There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Quote
I have read that there are inquirers who come into Orthodoxy and silently leave through the back door after a while.  I was wondering what the main reasons were?  I joined a Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago.  The two negatives I had were:

1.  Learning the Divine Liturgy
2.  Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.

 

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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2012, 03:34:46 PM »

My point is that what a person experiences in a particular church is not dependent upon what the sign outside of the church building says, but on the people inside of it and their attitudes. Phyletism as been condemned as a heresy by the Church. If any particular congregation has fallen into it, it is a major problem, but that does not make the history of the Church or its evangelical principles other than what they are.
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2012, 03:57:33 PM »

What's interesting about that map is there is a section in Utah of irreligious people.
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« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2012, 04:21:13 PM »

What's interesting about that map is there is a section in Utah of irreligious people.

It may be the Great Salt Lake. It is about the right location. Alternatively, it could be the Ute Indian Reservation. If I recall correctly the Utes are mostly Protestants and Roman Catholics, not Mormon.
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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2012, 07:56:23 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Quote
I have read that there are inquirers who come into Orthodoxy and silently leave through the back door after a while.  I was wondering what the main reasons were?  I joined a Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago.  The two negatives I had were:

1.  Learning the Divine Liturgy
2.  Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.

 




But that is entirely the problem.  Isn't there an Orthodox Church in America? Is it really the Coptic or Byzantine Church's issue to convert Americans when there is supposed to be a a growing American Orthodoxy?



If Americans stumble into an ethnic parish because of their natural curiosity for the quixotic and then suddenly get turned off because ethnic folks in their own congregations duh, are ethnic, well what can they honestly expect? If these visitors had been sincerely interested in Orthodox they either would (a)  have purposefully sought out an Orthodox parish that spoke their language or was filled with themselves as a congregation or (b) wouldn't have got so caught up on one ethnic thing or another. 

Go to ethnic parishes and you find plenty of folks from all races who have married in or otherwise converted.  Again, Orthodox isn't about quick conversions, we aren't ever going to have mega-churches.  What we can expect is to slowly and gradually fill in the gap and become the Church in many communities.  We didn't do this in the past through mass conversions, and we shouldn't expect such for the future.  The Great Commission is not as literal as I think most Protestants take it.  We need to be hospitable and loving in our own individual lives with our co-workers and compatriots so that we convert them by our kindness, not our theology and linguistics Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2012, 07:58:28 PM »

Nothing - see the following for what is going on at the OCMC.

http://www.ocmc.org/
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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2012, 08:35:22 PM »

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?

You.

Your evangelical preachers tell everybody Orthodoxy and other liturgical churches are from the devil. Also, Asian societies aren't the most welcoming to those who are not of their heritage.
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« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2012, 08:55:12 PM »

What's interesting about that map is there is a section in Utah of irreligious people.

LOL, didn't notice that  Grin


But to expand on why I posted it: obviously no religion dominates all over the world. And no Christian denomination is widespread everywhere. This doesn't excuse Orthodoxy from continuing it's missionary work, but it does put things in perspective. A number of Christian groups have areas of the world where they have a huge chunk of the population, but no one group has widespread numbers everwhere. This is true even of Catholicism, by far the largest Church. Even if you add all of Christianity together in some ecumenicized glob, much of the world still hasn't been reached, or certainly converted. So what does this mean? First, there's still a lot of work to do. Second, it's not fair to dismiss a group just because they aren't strong in your area. All groups have areas where they are absent. I would also add a third thought, that given the human element involved, it's also not fair to dismiss an entire religion just because it is not strong in a particular area of the world.
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« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2012, 09:45:25 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Quote
I have read that there are inquirers who come into Orthodoxy and silently leave through the back door after a while.  I was wondering what the main reasons were?  I joined a Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago.  The two negatives I had were:

1.  Learning the Divine Liturgy
2.  Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.

 




But that is entirely the problem.  Isn't there an Orthodox Church in America? Is it really the Coptic or Byzantine Church's issue to convert Americans when there is supposed to be a a growing American Orthodoxy?



If Americans stumble into an ethnic parish because of their natural curiosity for the quixotic and then suddenly get turned off because ethnic folks in their own congregations duh, are ethnic, well what can they honestly expect? If these visitors had been sincerely interested in Orthodox they either would (a)  have purposefully sought out an Orthodox parish that spoke their language or was filled with themselves as a congregation or (b) wouldn't have got so caught up on one ethnic thing or another. 

Go to ethnic parishes and you find plenty of folks from all races who have married in or otherwise converted.  Again, Orthodox isn't about quick conversions, we aren't ever going to have mega-churches.  What we can expect is to slowly and gradually fill in the gap and become the Church in many communities.  We didn't do this in the past through mass conversions, and we shouldn't expect such for the future.  The Great Commission is not as literal as I think most Protestants take it.  We need to be hospitable and loving in our own individual lives with our co-workers and compatriots so that we convert them by our kindness, not our theology and linguistics Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 

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« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2012, 10:06:01 PM »

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Wiki can be good for some things, but in this case, you could really do better. Case in point, there is no ethnicity called "Antiochian". Antiochians are mainly Arabs (some say Arabized Syriacs) and Syriacs from Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, though the modern city (Antakya) is in Turkey and mainly filled with ethnic Turks.

Quote
Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 

Who are you to tell us, actual Orthodox Christians, what reality is in our own churches? Frankly, your depiction is an insult to me and every other convert who is not from the traditional background connected with the particular church. In some places (e.g., Bolivia) that is 100% of the church, and the church uses the local language exclusively. Even here in Albuquerque, where I am the only non-Egyptian convert who attends regularly, 80% of our liturgy is in English. Your version of "reality" doesn't look very realistic.
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« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2012, 10:12:25 PM »

Seems green_ umbrella Is just being a troll, not worth trading responses!
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« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2012, 10:16:40 PM »

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Wiki can be good for some things, but in this case, you could really do better. Case in point, there is no ethnicity called "Antiochian". Antiochians are mainly Arabs (some say Arabized Syriacs) and Syriacs from Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, though the modern city (Antakya) is in Turkey and mainly filled with ethnic Turks.

Quote
Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 

Who are you to tell us, actual Orthodox Christians, what reality is in our own churches? Frankly, your depiction is an insult to me and every other convert who is not from the traditional background connected with the particular church. In some places (e.g., Bolivia) that is 100% of the church, and the church uses the local language exclusively. Even here in Albuquerque, where I am the only non-Egyptian convert who attends regularly, 80% of our liturgy is in English. Your version of "reality" doesn't look very realistic.

And I find your whitewash of the obvious an insult.

¨I am the only non-Egyptian convert¨ Yeah well, this shows exactly what I am talking about does not it. Why are you the only ¨non-Egyptian?¨ If this is the ¨Catholic¨ (meaning universal) church. That is a bit odd really do not you think.

But that is your problem not mine. Go ahead and live in denial.

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« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2012, 10:33:29 PM »

Because many people are uncomfortable with new things. Many people who have visited come from Protestant backgrounds and take us to be some kind of weird stepchild of the Roman church, and are not interested in our theology once they see us venerating icons, using loads of incense, chanting our liturgies instead of "testifyin'", etc. These are, of course, pan-Orthodox things, not terribly "Egyptian" or "Russian" or whatever in and of themselves.

Many people do not like Orthodoxy, and use the "ethnic" charge as an excuse to stay in their heterodox churches which, at their root, are just as ethnically/nationally bound as any particular Orthodox church (Anglicans in England, Lutherans in Germany and Scandinavia, Presbyterians in Scotland, etc).
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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2012, 11:40:12 PM »

I think you've missed my point. The churches are as they are not because God cares about people's ethnicity, but because the history of the churches is such that they've primarily existed in certain particular places, which are the homelands of particular people. It's a matter of history, not theology (note how Arabs, Greeks, Slavs, and Romanians are all part of the same EO church, just as Egyptians, Armenians, and Indians are all part of the same OO church; these cultures and peoples are all quite distinct from each other). As far as ridding ourselves of ethnic connections or pretensions, you can get rid of the name on the sign, but you can't actually make it be so Americans, Swedes, Igbo, and Japanese (to pick a few random people) are actually the same. So the Church will naturally reflect the makeup of its congregation, but it won't really be any less "ethnic" as a result, as everyone comes from somewhere. Often times we see other people as being ethnic and weird, but even the most diluted, bland W.A.S.P. usually doesn't have to go back too far in their own family tree to find an uncle, grandparent, or great grandparent speaking a different language, eating strange food, praying in what now seems like an odd way, etc.



No, I did not miss your point at all. I am just not accepting the cop-out. It is nationalism and ethnocentrism and nothing else. They should be removed.

The view must be less obstructed from that high horse.
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2012, 11:42:52 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Quote
I have read that there are inquirers who come into Orthodoxy and silently leave through the back door after a while.  I was wondering what the main reasons were?  I joined a Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago.  The two negatives I had were:

1.  Learning the Divine Liturgy
2.  Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.

 




But that is entirely the problem.  Isn't there an Orthodox Church in America? Is it really the Coptic or Byzantine Church's issue to convert Americans when there is supposed to be a a growing American Orthodoxy?



If Americans stumble into an ethnic parish because of their natural curiosity for the quixotic and then suddenly get turned off because ethnic folks in their own congregations duh, are ethnic, well what can they honestly expect? If these visitors had been sincerely interested in Orthodox they either would (a)  have purposefully sought out an Orthodox parish that spoke their language or was filled with themselves as a congregation or (b) wouldn't have got so caught up on one ethnic thing or another. 

Go to ethnic parishes and you find plenty of folks from all races who have married in or otherwise converted.  Again, Orthodox isn't about quick conversions, we aren't ever going to have mega-churches.  What we can expect is to slowly and gradually fill in the gap and become the Church in many communities.  We didn't do this in the past through mass conversions, and we shouldn't expect such for the future.  The Great Commission is not as literal as I think most Protestants take it.  We need to be hospitable and loving in our own individual lives with our co-workers and compatriots so that we convert them by our kindness, not our theology and linguistics Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 



A lovely argument from ignorance assisted by Wikipedia. It must be true. Just look at all the anecdotal evidence combined with opinion.
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2012, 11:53:02 PM »

Why are there more Protestants than Orthodox Christians in Japan? That one really irks me.

Well, the Orthodox mission to Japan under St. Nikolai, which lasted until 1914 and then continued under his successor as bishop and many native Japanese priests had quite a bit of early success. The Orthodox Church, like the Roman Catholic Church population suffered a lot in World War II. (On the other side of the world, in Poland and Czechoslovakia, IIRC, the Western Rite parishes were wiped off the face of the earth.) The earthquake and tsunami affected the local church in Sendai and elsewhere in the region. I think the population may also be aging. Also, Japan is sort of like Western Europe--having a low birth rate and a low interest in spirituality.

An interesting side fact: Many Japanese became Christian after hearing Bach cantatas and passions and reading the translations.
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« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2012, 12:19:02 AM »

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 

This statement seemed so untrue that I decided to look up its source. Of course you did not make it easy because you did not provide the source at wikipedia for this statement. It sounded like it was from some kind of study and it was nothing of the sort. If you bothered to look at the citation for this statement (footnote 5) you would discover it was from the Russian Orthodox Church in America (ROCIA) which exists at two locations, Roswell New Mexico and a mission in Hayward California. I know Hayward fairly well and I never heard of this mission.  They are an old calendarist church (according to them), I do not know who they are in communion with (Irish Melkite may know about this), and their motto is "Freedom From Phyletism". They also make sure that they have an overwhelming internet presence.

I think it is safe to assume that they did not commission some statistical study on the topic your are citing.

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« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2012, 12:19:43 AM »

Please consider this map. Thank you.


That map is not completely correct.

Not even close.  According to this, there  are no Orthodox in the Americas or western Europe.
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« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2012, 12:21:17 AM »



There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Except for that whole immigration thing that happened in the United States.


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« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2012, 12:24:57 AM »

Not even close.  According to this, there  are no Orthodox in the Americas or western Europe.

The map doesn't tell you every group that lives in an area, it tells you what the dominant/majority group is.
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« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2012, 01:59:36 AM »

One word: Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

That's 3 if you consider the hyphenated part as one word  Grin Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2012, 02:02:24 AM »

Because many people are uncomfortable with new things. Many people who have visited come from Protestant backgrounds and take us to be some kind of weird stepchild of the Roman church, and are not interested in our theology once they see us venerating icons, using loads of incense, chanting our liturgies instead of "testifyin'", etc. These are, of course, pan-Orthodox things, not terribly "Egyptian" or "Russian" or whatever in and of themselves.

Many people do not like Orthodoxy, and use the "ethnic" charge as an excuse to stay in their heterodox churches which, at their root, are just as ethnically/nationally bound as any particular Orthodox church (Anglicans in England, Lutherans in Germany and Scandinavia, Presbyterians in Scotland, etc).

I like Orthodoxy but ethnicity really is a problem.
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« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2012, 02:11:31 AM »

Where are you going to go to not be in an "ethnic" environment, Choy? Where in the world do people not have an ethnic/cultural background?
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« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2012, 02:14:26 AM »

Why are there more Protestants than Orthodox Christians in Japan? That one really irks me.

Well, the Orthodox mission to Japan under St. Nikolai, which lasted until 1914 and then continued under his successor as bishop and many native Japanese priests had quite a bit of early success. The Orthodox Church, like the Roman Catholic Church population suffered a lot in World War II. (On the other side of the world, in Poland and Czechoslovakia, IIRC, the Western Rite parishes were wiped off the face of the earth.) The earthquake and tsunami affected the local church in Sendai and elsewhere in the region. I think the population may also be aging. Also, Japan is sort of like Western Europe--having a low birth rate and a low interest in spirituality.

An interesting side fact: Many Japanese became Christian after hearing Bach cantatas and passions and reading the translations.

I see. So it is not a church who wants to identify its culture and nationality first and religion second who has the problem. It is all those millions and millions of Japanese and Europeans who have some sort of problem. Not to mention all of South America where Orthodoxy is almost non existant.

I have Mormans, Jehovahs Witness, Roman Catholic, Evangelicals of every flavor. uh...Jewish, Seventh-day Adventist, etc., from all ethnicity in easy 10-15 minutes.  One Orthodox Church at least 3 hours away and it is with the specific immigrants. The Catholic and Universal church? Does that sound like the Catholic and Universal church to you?

Maybe it is not all those Japanese, Europeans and South Americans who have some sort of spiritual problem. Maybe, just maybe it is you who have some sort of problem. Maybe like nationalism and ethnocentrism. Something that might be considered.


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« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2012, 02:15:43 AM »



There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Except for that whole immigration thing that happened in the United States.




How is that a good reason?
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« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2012, 02:18:21 AM »

That is a whitewash.  

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language.  

This statement seemed so untrue that I decided to look up its source. Of course you did not make it easy because you did not provide the source at wikipedia for this statement. It sounded like it was from some kind of study and it was nothing of the sort. If you bothered to look at the citation for this statement (footnote 5) you would discover it was from the Russian Orthodox Church in America (ROCIA) which exists at two locations, Roswell New Mexico and a mission in Hayward California. I know Hayward fairly well and I never heard of this mission.  They are an old calendarist church (according to them), I do not know who they are in communion with (Irish Melkite may know about this), and their motto is "Freedom From Phyletism". They also make sure that they have an overwhelming internet presence.

I think it is safe to assume that they did not commission some statistical study on the topic your are citing.



I have no idea. But I do know I can take a look through religious forums and the blogosphers and find comments after comments sounding like this...

I love the Orthodox Church dearly in many ways, but endless fighting, the ethnocentric bigotry and the nonstop power struggles, plus the people's managing to drive away a very holy priest, has me fed up.

I do not now belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I am not culturally Eastern, and I am unwilling and unable to live my life as a pretend Russian, or a pretend Greek.

Once, when I inquired of an Eastern Orthodox friend of mine why he did not go to just any Orthodox church, he replied matter-of-factly that “We go where the Russians go” (for he is Russian).


So there must be some problem at least.
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« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2012, 02:20:12 AM »



There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Except for that whole immigration thing that happened in the United States.




How is that a good reason?

 Shocked

Forget Orthodox people who have immigrated, rather just focus on people in general who have immigrated over the last 100-200 years and you will see why that is a good explanation.  Whether or not its existence is still a good thing is up for debate, but this at least explains things.
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« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2012, 02:28:33 AM »


I have no idea. But I do know I can take a look through religious forums and the blogosphers and find comments after comments sounding like this...

I love the Orthodox Church dearly in many ways, but endless fighting, the ethnocentric bigotry and the nonstop power struggles, plus the people's managing to drive away a very holy priest, has me fed up.
 

This is from a person’s particular view point of something that happened and how they saw things.  It is not indicative of how the overall Orthodox Church operates and clearly, not everyone will be happy with how things turn out, regardless of which church they belong.  I know of very little fighting and power struggles within Orthodoxy.  Without the entire and full context, this is little more than an underhanded attempt to discredit the Church.

I do not now belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I am not culturally Eastern, and I am unwilling and unable to live my life as a pretend Russian, or a pretend Greek.
I am not culturally Eastern, but I am Orthodox.  I do not pretend to be Greek because I go to a Greek Orthodox Church.  I do appreciate the historical value it brings and enjoy learning new things as I would at a Russian Church.  To say this reveals a person is not willing to put in what is needed to get out what they want from that specific Church.  Again, a personal view point, nothing more.

Once, when I inquired of an Eastern Orthodox friend of mine why he did not go to just any Orthodox church, he replied matter-of-factly that “We go where the Russians go” (for he is Russian). [/b]

So there must be some problem at least.
Personal preference.  I fail to see where the problem is in all of this.

Now, if you want to talk about Latin mass when no one speaks Latin, we can, but I don't see a problem with that either.
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« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2012, 02:30:50 AM »

Where are you going to go to not be in an "ethnic" environment, Choy? Where in the world do people not have an ethnic/cultural background?

Sorry I did not put more context into that.  But I must say I'm surprised this would come from you, given our extended discussion on the matter you would already know where I am coming from.

Let me clarify, what I mean by my statement is that ethnic ghettoes within Churches is a problem.  If you are in North America and the parish is of a foreign ethnicity, it is a problem for everyone.  Those who belong to that ethnic group, it is hard for them to get other people in their parish.  If you are not, then it is hard for you to go that parish and feel like a part of it.

There are places here in Canada which are commercial areas but heavily ethnic.  Same thing, people who frequent those places are also people of that ethnic group.  Currently it is not a problem for them because normally it is Asian (ie. Chinese) Malls and there are lots of Asians in the big cities here.  But same as Churches, once the demographic changes, either there is less of that ethnic group or that fresh immigrants who has a strong affinity to the motherland dwindle, and the succeeding generations are more local, then the patronage would go down.  And then what?  If businesses shut down, it may not be a big deal.  Hopefully the owner had a good run and overall made money.  But churches, no matter how you look at it, it is a disaster for a church to close down.
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« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2012, 03:16:38 AM »

Not to mention all of South America where Orthodoxy is almost non existant.

Does it ever get tiring being wrong all the time?

Quote
I have Mormans, Jehovahs Witness, Roman Catholic, Evangelicals of every flavor. uh...Jewish, Seventh-day Adventist, etc., from all ethnicity in easy 10-15 minutes.  One Orthodox Church at least 3 hours away and it is with the specific immigrants. The Catholic and Universal church? Does that sound like the Catholic and Universal church to you?


Yes, it does, because it preserves the apostolic faith that is CATHOLIC (lit. "according to the whole").

Quote
Maybe it is not all those Japanese, Europeans and South Americans who have some sort of spiritual problem. Maybe, just maybe it is you who have some sort of problem. Maybe like nationalism and ethnocentrism. Something that might be considered.

And maybe you're a troll with an unhealthy fixation on the terribly ethnic Orthodox Church, at the expense of your spiritual life. As I've pointed out before on this board, Pentecost must've been terribly ethnic as well, with each person (you might say, each person from every nation) hearing the Word being preached in their own language and everything. I guess the Holy Spirit is ethnocentric, too.

Troll.
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« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2012, 03:36:53 AM »

Not to mention all of South America where Orthodoxy is almost non existant.

Does it ever get tiring being wrong all the time?

Quote
I have Mormans, Jehovahs Witness, Roman Catholic, Evangelicals of every flavor. uh...Jewish, Seventh-day Adventist, etc., from all ethnicity in easy 10-15 minutes.  One Orthodox Church at least 3 hours away and it is with the specific immigrants. The Catholic and Universal church? Does that sound like the Catholic and Universal church to you?


Yes, it does, because it preserves the apostolic faith that is CATHOLIC (lit. "according to the whole").

Quote
Maybe it is not all those Japanese, Europeans and South Americans who have some sort of spiritual problem. Maybe, just maybe it is you who have some sort of problem. Maybe like nationalism and ethnocentrism. Something that might be considered.

And maybe you're a troll with an unhealthy fixation on the terribly ethnic Orthodox Church, at the expense of your spiritual life. As I've pointed out before on this board, Pentecost must've been terribly ethnic as well, with each person (you might say, each person from every nation) hearing the Word being preached in their own language and everything. I guess the Holy Spirit is ethnocentric, too.

Troll.

Quote
Does it ever get tiring being wrong all the time?

I am from South America. I live in South America. I travel in South America. I can tell you Orthodoxy is virtually unheard-of in South America. A couple of videos on youtube does not change this. Besides one of those videos you linked had all of ¨2¨ views.  Roll Eyes 

Quote
Troll.

Calling someone a name is the least graceful way of admitting you have lost an argument.
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« Reply #48 on: October 21, 2012, 03:41:43 AM »


I have no idea. But I do know I can take a look through religious forums and the blogosphers and find comments after comments sounding like this...

I love the Orthodox Church dearly in many ways, but endless fighting, the ethnocentric bigotry and the nonstop power struggles, plus the people's managing to drive away a very holy priest, has me fed up.
 

This is from a person’s particular view point of something that happened and how they saw things.  It is not indicative of how the overall Orthodox Church operates and clearly, not everyone will be happy with how things turn out, regardless of which church they belong.  I know of very little fighting and power struggles within Orthodoxy.  Without the entire and full context, this is little more than an underhanded attempt to discredit the Church.

I do not now belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I am not culturally Eastern, and I am unwilling and unable to live my life as a pretend Russian, or a pretend Greek.
I am not culturally Eastern, but I am Orthodox.  I do not pretend to be Greek because I go to a Greek Orthodox Church.  I do appreciate the historical value it brings and enjoy learning new things as I would at a Russian Church.  To say this reveals a person is not willing to put in what is needed to get out what they want from that specific Church.  Again, a personal view point, nothing more.

Once, when I inquired of an Eastern Orthodox friend of mine why he did not go to just any Orthodox church, he replied matter-of-factly that “We go where the Russians go” (for he is Russian). [/b]

So there must be some problem at least.
Personal preference.  I fail to see where the problem is in all of this.

Now, if you want to talk about Latin mass when no one speaks Latin, we can, but I don't see a problem with that either.


Everything is a point of view. You are giving your point of view. These people are giving their points of view. What is striking is the number of people expressing very similiar points of view in regards to the ethnocentrism in orthodoxy. Even Choy is saying this exist here on this very thread.
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« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2012, 03:42:28 AM »

What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?
"And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 'But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance."
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« Reply #50 on: October 21, 2012, 03:45:17 AM »


I have no idea. But I do know I can take a look through religious forums and the blogosphers and find comments after comments sounding like this...

I love the Orthodox Church dearly in many ways, but endless fighting, the ethnocentric bigotry and the nonstop power struggles, plus the people's managing to drive away a very holy priest, has me fed up.
 

This is from a person’s particular view point of something that happened and how they saw things.  It is not indicative of how the overall Orthodox Church operates and clearly, not everyone will be happy with how things turn out, regardless of which church they belong.  I know of very little fighting and power struggles within Orthodoxy.  Without the entire and full context, this is little more than an underhanded attempt to discredit the Church.

I do not now belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I am not culturally Eastern, and I am unwilling and unable to live my life as a pretend Russian, or a pretend Greek.
I am not culturally Eastern, but I am Orthodox.  I do not pretend to be Greek because I go to a Greek Orthodox Church.  I do appreciate the historical value it brings and enjoy learning new things as I would at a Russian Church.  To say this reveals a person is not willing to put in what is needed to get out what they want from that specific Church.  Again, a personal view point, nothing more.

Once, when I inquired of an Eastern Orthodox friend of mine why he did not go to just any Orthodox church, he replied matter-of-factly that “We go where the Russians go” (for he is Russian). [/b]

So there must be some problem at least.
Personal preference.  I fail to see where the problem is in all of this.

Now, if you want to talk about Latin mass when no one speaks Latin, we can, but I don't see a problem with that either.


Everything is a point of view. You are giving your point of view. These people are giving their points of view. What is striking is the number of people expressing very similiar points of view in regards to the ethnocentrism in orthodoxy. Even Choy is saying this exist here on this very thread.
I suppose the only solution is we all become Roman Catholic.
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« Reply #51 on: October 21, 2012, 03:49:04 AM »


I have no idea. But I do know I can take a look through religious forums and the blogosphers and find comments after comments sounding like this...

I love the Orthodox Church dearly in many ways, but endless fighting, the ethnocentric bigotry and the nonstop power struggles, plus the people's managing to drive away a very holy priest, has me fed up.
 

This is from a person’s particular view point of something that happened and how they saw things.  It is not indicative of how the overall Orthodox Church operates and clearly, not everyone will be happy with how things turn out, regardless of which church they belong.  I know of very little fighting and power struggles within Orthodoxy.  Without the entire and full context, this is little more than an underhanded attempt to discredit the Church.

I do not now belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I am not culturally Eastern, and I am unwilling and unable to live my life as a pretend Russian, or a pretend Greek.
I am not culturally Eastern, but I am Orthodox.  I do not pretend to be Greek because I go to a Greek Orthodox Church.  I do appreciate the historical value it brings and enjoy learning new things as I would at a Russian Church.  To say this reveals a person is not willing to put in what is needed to get out what they want from that specific Church.  Again, a personal view point, nothing more.

Once, when I inquired of an Eastern Orthodox friend of mine why he did not go to just any Orthodox church, he replied matter-of-factly that “We go where the Russians go” (for he is Russian). [/b]

So there must be some problem at least.
Personal preference.  I fail to see where the problem is in all of this.

Now, if you want to talk about Latin mass when no one speaks Latin, we can, but I don't see a problem with that either.


Everything is a point of view. You are giving your point of view. These people are giving their points of view. What is striking is the number of people expressing very similiar points of view in regards to the ethnocentrism in orthodoxy. Even Choy is saying this exist here on this very thread.
I suppose the only solution is we all become Roman Catholic.

I would not go that far.  Grin

Instead of saying ¨The Russian Orthodox Church.¨, They might try...¨The Orthodox Church in Russia.¨, ¨The Orthodox Church in France¨ and so on.
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« Reply #52 on: October 21, 2012, 04:04:49 AM »

But I must say I'm surprised this would come from you, given our extended discussion on the matter you would already know where I am coming from.

Well, I certainly understand (and even share) your frustration -- to a point.

Quote
Let me clarify, what I mean by my statement is that ethnic ghettoes within Churches is a problem. If you are in North America and the parish is of a foreign ethnicity, it is a problem for everyone.

This may be one of the ways in which the USA and Canada differ, but it doesn't really make sense to talk about "foreign ethnicity" in a country composed almost entirely of immigrants.

Quote
Those who belong to that ethnic group, it is hard for them to get other people in their parish.  If you are not, then it is hard for you to go that parish and feel like a part of it.

Who is "you" in this situation -- me or you? Because this is something that people at my parish ask me on a fairly regular basis: "Are you really okay with everybody speaking Arabic around you, when you can't speak very much?" I always answer that I wouldn't expect Egyptians to speak anything else among themselves, and if I want to know something that isn't directed at me, I can always ask what everyone is talking about. Sure, I miss being able to speak English with fluent speakers (we lost that when the nice young Ethiopian woman who used to attend moved to California back in December), but that's secondary to the liturgy, which is the reason we're all together in the first place, and is almost entirely in English. I do feel like a part of the parish because nobody expects me to be Egyptian (in fact, last time one of the more strident people in the congregation got on my case for not dressing as he himself would, another man who actually barely speaks English stepped in to tell me "don't listen to him -- you do whatever you want; it's your church, too"). That would just be ridiculous. I will admit that it is more difficult to be the only non-Arabphone, but you know, if the Church is really not about ethnicity, then it's not about my ethnicity, either. I do not make the people at my church pray in English or Spanish, just because those are in my own background. But of course we celebrate the liturgy mostly in English because we do recognize that this is the majority and de facto national language of this country, so it makes sense to do it in this language.

Quote
There are places here in Canada which are commercial areas but heavily ethnic.  Same thing, people who frequent those places are also people of that ethnic group.  Currently it is not a problem for them because normally it is Asian (ie. Chinese) Malls and there are lots of Asians in the big cities here.  But same as Churches, once the demographic changes, either there is less of that ethnic group or that fresh immigrants who has a strong affinity to the motherland dwindle, and the succeeding generations are more local, then the patronage would go down.  And then what?  If businesses shut down, it may not be a big deal.  Hopefully the owner had a good run and overall made money.  But churches, no matter how you look at it, it is a disaster for a church to close down.

I agree. The Church will not survive if it is identified exclusively with one ethnic group. But at least for the OO (and I would assume with good reason also for the EO), that has never been the case. Romans, Egyptians, Syrians, Armenians, etc. have enriched (and even founded) the monasteries of the Egyptian desert, as well as in Turkey (Deir-ul-Zafaran), and on to today in America (ex., St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey in Texas attracts not only Egyptians to its ranks, but also Latinos like Fr. Daniel).
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« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2012, 04:22:57 AM »

I am from South America. I live in South America. I travel in South America. I can tell you Orthodoxy is virtually unheard-of in South America. A couple of videos on youtube does not change this. Besides one of those videos you linked had all of ¨2¨ views.  Roll Eyes

You had written that it is virtually non-existent. Clearly, if there are churches in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, etc., it is not "virtually non-existent". It is in fact present in the majority of countries in Latinoamerica. At the church in which I was baptized, a presentation was given by three young people who had been to the Church in Bolivia (see here) and reported that somewhere north of 400 native Bolivians attend in La Paz every week, and there is also a very beloved and supported orphanage outside of the city at which many people from the church volunteer, and they report that many more in the countryside who have been neglected by local priests have come to Orthodoxy.

There is a vast difference, of course, between "the average person on the street doesn't know the church", and "the church does not exist in my country/continent". The average person in the United States wouldn't know about the Orthodox Church, either, but there are around 2,000 parishes and perhaps 2-3 million Orthodox in this country (and this number only counts Eastern Orthodox, not Oriental Orthodox; there are roughly 1 million Copts in the United States, plus how many Armenians, Syriacs, Tewahedo, etc). So this is not a very good way to measure such things. If there are churches, and they are being used, then the church exists in a given place.

Quote
Calling someone a name is the least graceful way of admitting you have lost an argument.

When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply because you believe in it even though you have no practical experience with the topic at hand (since Orthodoxy doesn't exist where you live, remember?), it is textbook trolling. If you don't like it, stop doing it.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 04:25:46 AM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: October 21, 2012, 04:58:45 AM »

I wish the EO or OO would evangelise my city. There are around 120.000 inhabitants in my town so it should merit at least one parish  Sad
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 04:59:39 AM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: October 21, 2012, 04:59:35 AM »


I have no idea. But I do know I can take a look through religious forums and the blogosphers and find comments after comments sounding like this...

I love the Orthodox Church dearly in many ways, but endless fighting, the ethnocentric bigotry and the nonstop power struggles, plus the people's managing to drive away a very holy priest, has me fed up.
 

This is from a person’s particular view point of something that happened and how they saw things.  It is not indicative of how the overall Orthodox Church operates and clearly, not everyone will be happy with how things turn out, regardless of which church they belong.  I know of very little fighting and power struggles within Orthodoxy.  Without the entire and full context, this is little more than an underhanded attempt to discredit the Church.

I do not now belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I am not culturally Eastern, and I am unwilling and unable to live my life as a pretend Russian, or a pretend Greek.
I am not culturally Eastern, but I am Orthodox.  I do not pretend to be Greek because I go to a Greek Orthodox Church.  I do appreciate the historical value it brings and enjoy learning new things as I would at a Russian Church.  To say this reveals a person is not willing to put in what is needed to get out what they want from that specific Church.  Again, a personal view point, nothing more.

Once, when I inquired of an Eastern Orthodox friend of mine why he did not go to just any Orthodox church, he replied matter-of-factly that “We go where the Russians go” (for he is Russian). [/b]

So there must be some problem at least.
Personal preference.  I fail to see where the problem is in all of this.

Now, if you want to talk about Latin mass when no one speaks Latin, we can, but I don't see a problem with that either.


Everything is a point of view. You are giving your point of view. These people are giving their points of view. What is striking is the number of people expressing very similiar points of view in regards to the ethnocentrism in orthodoxy. Even Choy is saying this exist here on this very thread.
I suppose the only solution is we all become Roman Catholic.

I would not go that far.  Grin

Instead of saying ¨The Russian Orthodox Church.¨, They might try...¨The Orthodox Church in Russia.¨, ¨The Orthodox Church in France¨ and so on.
Or, we can understand this is the same thing, only worded differently.  Orthodox being the key word, not the nation.  

Also, understand this distinction only exists in the United States, I believe, because we are so culturally diverse.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 05:05:59 AM by Kerdy » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: October 21, 2012, 05:04:32 AM »

I can understand a person disagreeing with the teachings of the Orthodox Church, disagreeing with certain viewpoints on history, etc., but to say the Orthodox Church is wrong because of ethnical influence is silliness in the best of circumstances. 
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« Reply #57 on: October 21, 2012, 06:44:05 AM »

I am from South America. I live in South America. I travel in South America. I can tell you Orthodoxy is virtually unheard-of in South America. A couple of videos on youtube does not change this. Besides one of those videos you linked had all of ¨2¨ views.  Roll Eyes

You had written that it is virtually non-existent. Clearly, if there are churches in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, etc., it is not "virtually non-existent". It is in fact present in the majority of countries in Latinoamerica. At the church in which I was baptized, a presentation was given by three young people who had been to the Church in Bolivia (see here) and reported that somewhere north of 400 native Bolivians attend in La Paz every week, and there is also a very beloved and supported orphanage outside of the city at which many people from the church volunteer, and they report that many more in the countryside who have been neglected by local priests have come to Orthodoxy.

There is a vast difference, of course, between "the average person on the street doesn't know the church", and "the church does not exist in my country/continent". The average person in the United States wouldn't know about the Orthodox Church, either, but there are around 2,000 parishes and perhaps 2-3 million Orthodox in this country (and this number only counts Eastern Orthodox, not Oriental Orthodox; there are roughly 1 million Copts in the United States, plus how many Armenians, Syriacs, Tewahedo, etc). So this is not a very good way to measure such things. If there are churches, and they are being used, then the church exists in a given place.

Quote
Calling someone a name is the least graceful way of admitting you have lost an argument.

When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply because you believe in it even though you have no practical experience with the topic at hand (since Orthodoxy doesn't exist where you live, remember?), it is textbook trolling. If you don't like it, stop doing it.


There are 11 million people in Bolivia. How many are Orthodox?

virtually

non

existent


That 400 you are talking about is probably about the total in the entire country.


Brazil has a population of almost 200 million people. The Orthodox population in Brazil is what...30,000? That is not even a single percentage point of the population. Not even close to being a single percentage point. Not even half of a percent. Not even a quarter of a percent.   

virtually

non

existent


And they that do exist are 99.999% Greek, Russian, etc. immigrants. We could go down the list of Latin American countries but it is about the same everywhere. So yes. It is very fair and very accurate to say Orthodoxy in Latin America is virtually non existent. I did not say ¨non existent.¨ I said ¨virtually non existent.¨ as in, practically, almost, nearly, in effect, in essence, as good as, to all intents and purposes and so on.

Quote
When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply..

You are arguing from a very emotionaly charged position and it is effecting your judgement. I am just giving you the facts. 

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« Reply #58 on: October 21, 2012, 06:50:04 AM »

I can understand a person disagreeing with the teachings of the Orthodox Church, disagreeing with certain viewpoints on history, etc., but to say the Orthodox Church is wrong because of ethnical influence is silliness in the best of circumstances. 

I have not said Orthodoxy is wrong. I would not say Orthodoxy is wrong. I think Orthodoxy is practically right. I am just answering the posters question.. ¨What hinders Orthodox Church to preach gosepl to all nations?¨

What do you think hinders the Orthodox Church to preach gosepl to all nations?
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« Reply #59 on: October 21, 2012, 07:25:36 AM »

I am from South America. I live in South America. I travel in South America. I can tell you Orthodoxy is virtually unheard-of in South America. A couple of videos on youtube does not change this. Besides one of those videos you linked had all of ¨2¨ views.  Roll Eyes

You had written that it is virtually non-existent. Clearly, if there are churches in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, etc., it is not "virtually non-existent". It is in fact present in the majority of countries in Latinoamerica. At the church in which I was baptized, a presentation was given by three young people who had been to the Church in Bolivia (see here) and reported that somewhere north of 400 native Bolivians attend in La Paz every week, and there is also a very beloved and supported orphanage outside of the city at which many people from the church volunteer, and they report that many more in the countryside who have been neglected by local priests have come to Orthodoxy.

There is a vast difference, of course, between "the average person on the street doesn't know the church", and "the church does not exist in my country/continent". The average person in the United States wouldn't know about the Orthodox Church, either, but there are around 2,000 parishes and perhaps 2-3 million Orthodox in this country (and this number only counts Eastern Orthodox, not Oriental Orthodox; there are roughly 1 million Copts in the United States, plus how many Armenians, Syriacs, Tewahedo, etc). So this is not a very good way to measure such things. If there are churches, and they are being used, then the church exists in a given place.

Quote
Calling someone a name is the least graceful way of admitting you have lost an argument.

When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply because you believe in it even though you have no practical experience with the topic at hand (since Orthodoxy doesn't exist where you live, remember?), it is textbook trolling. If you don't like it, stop doing it.


There are 11 million people in Bolivia. How many are Orthodox?

virtually

non

existent


That 400 you are talking about is probably about the total in the entire country.


Brazil has a population of almost 200 million people. The Orthodox population in Brazil is what...30,000? That is not even a single percentage point of the population. Not even close to being a single percentage point. Not even half of a percent. Not even a quarter of a percent.   

virtually

non

existent


And they that do exist are 99.999% Greek, Russian, etc. immigrants. We could go down the list of Latin American countries but it is about the same everywhere. So yes. It is very fair and very accurate to say Orthodoxy in Latin America is virtually non existent. I did not say ¨non existent.¨ I said ¨virtually non existent.¨ as in, practically, almost, nearly, in effect, in essence, as good as, to all intents and purposes and so on.

Quote
When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply..

You are arguing from a very emotionaly charged position and it is effecting your judgement. I am just giving you the facts. 


I think you need to read this.
http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2012/08/27/the-most-orthodox-country-in-the-western-hemisphere/

Also, you seems to completely ignore the succes, the Church has experienced in other parts of the World. Both in Africa and Asia, the Prthpdpx Church has been bale to incorporate local customs and traditions into the life of the Church.

You criticise the Church for being almost non-present. In Denmark, there are 40.405 roman catholics, that's 0,72 % of the entire population. Of those 40.405 people, 78 % are above 18 years old and many of them are immigrants. 
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« Reply #60 on: October 21, 2012, 08:10:55 AM »

I am from South America. I live in South America. I travel in South America. I can tell you Orthodoxy is virtually unheard-of in South America. A couple of videos on youtube does not change this. Besides one of those videos you linked had all of ¨2¨ views.  Roll Eyes

You had written that it is virtually non-existent. Clearly, if there are churches in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, etc., it is not "virtually non-existent". It is in fact present in the majority of countries in Latinoamerica. At the church in which I was baptized, a presentation was given by three young people who had been to the Church in Bolivia (see here) and reported that somewhere north of 400 native Bolivians attend in La Paz every week, and there is also a very beloved and supported orphanage outside of the city at which many people from the church volunteer, and they report that many more in the countryside who have been neglected by local priests have come to Orthodoxy.

There is a vast difference, of course, between "the average person on the street doesn't know the church", and "the church does not exist in my country/continent". The average person in the United States wouldn't know about the Orthodox Church, either, but there are around 2,000 parishes and perhaps 2-3 million Orthodox in this country (and this number only counts Eastern Orthodox, not Oriental Orthodox; there are roughly 1 million Copts in the United States, plus how many Armenians, Syriacs, Tewahedo, etc). So this is not a very good way to measure such things. If there are churches, and they are being used, then the church exists in a given place.

Quote
Calling someone a name is the least graceful way of admitting you have lost an argument.

When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply because you believe in it even though you have no practical experience with the topic at hand (since Orthodoxy doesn't exist where you live, remember?), it is textbook trolling. If you don't like it, stop doing it.


There are 11 million people in Bolivia. How many are Orthodox?

virtually

non

existent


That 400 you are talking about is probably about the total in the entire country.


Brazil has a population of almost 200 million people. The Orthodox population in Brazil is what...30,000? That is not even a single percentage point of the population. Not even close to being a single percentage point. Not even half of a percent. Not even a quarter of a percent.   

virtually

non

existent


And they that do exist are 99.999% Greek, Russian, etc. immigrants. We could go down the list of Latin American countries but it is about the same everywhere. So yes. It is very fair and very accurate to say Orthodoxy in Latin America is virtually non existent. I did not say ¨non existent.¨ I said ¨virtually non existent.¨ as in, practically, almost, nearly, in effect, in essence, as good as, to all intents and purposes and so on.

Quote
When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply..

You are arguing from a very emotionaly charged position and it is effecting your judgement. I am just giving you the facts. 


I think you need to read this.
http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2012/08/27/the-most-orthodox-country-in-the-western-hemisphere/

Also, you seems to completely ignore the succes, the Church has experienced in other parts of the World. Both in Africa and Asia, the Prthpdpx Church has been bale to incorporate local customs and traditions into the life of the Church.

You criticise the Church for being almost non-present. In Denmark, there are 40.405 roman catholics, that's 0,72 % of the entire population. Of those 40.405 people, 78 % are above 18 years old and many of them are immigrants. 

You really believe 200,000 Guatemalans have joined the Orthodox church in the last several years?  Grin

I know a ¨villero¨ who wants to watch your car friend.
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« Reply #61 on: October 21, 2012, 08:20:27 AM »

I am from South America. I live in South America. I travel in South America. I can tell you Orthodoxy is virtually unheard-of in South America. A couple of videos on youtube does not change this. Besides one of those videos you linked had all of ¨2¨ views.  Roll Eyes

You had written that it is virtually non-existent. Clearly, if there are churches in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, etc., it is not "virtually non-existent". It is in fact present in the majority of countries in Latinoamerica. At the church in which I was baptized, a presentation was given by three young people who had been to the Church in Bolivia (see here) and reported that somewhere north of 400 native Bolivians attend in La Paz every week, and there is also a very beloved and supported orphanage outside of the city at which many people from the church volunteer, and they report that many more in the countryside who have been neglected by local priests have come to Orthodoxy.

There is a vast difference, of course, between "the average person on the street doesn't know the church", and "the church does not exist in my country/continent". The average person in the United States wouldn't know about the Orthodox Church, either, but there are around 2,000 parishes and perhaps 2-3 million Orthodox in this country (and this number only counts Eastern Orthodox, not Oriental Orthodox; there are roughly 1 million Copts in the United States, plus how many Armenians, Syriacs, Tewahedo, etc). So this is not a very good way to measure such things. If there are churches, and they are being used, then the church exists in a given place.

Quote
Calling someone a name is the least graceful way of admitting you have lost an argument.

When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply because you believe in it even though you have no practical experience with the topic at hand (since Orthodoxy doesn't exist where you live, remember?), it is textbook trolling. If you don't like it, stop doing it.


There are 11 million people in Bolivia. How many are Orthodox?

virtually

non

existent


That 400 you are talking about is probably about the total in the entire country.


Brazil has a population of almost 200 million people. The Orthodox population in Brazil is what...30,000? That is not even a single percentage point of the population. Not even close to being a single percentage point. Not even half of a percent. Not even a quarter of a percent.  

virtually

non

existent


And they that do exist are 99.999% Greek, Russian, etc. immigrants. We could go down the list of Latin American countries but it is about the same everywhere. So yes. It is very fair and very accurate to say Orthodoxy in Latin America is virtually non existent. I did not say ¨non existent.¨ I said ¨virtually non existent.¨ as in, practically, almost, nearly, in effect, in essence, as good as, to all intents and purposes and so on.

Quote
When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply..

You are arguing from a very emotionaly charged position and it is effecting your judgement. I am just giving you the facts.  


I think you need to read this.
http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2012/08/27/the-most-orthodox-country-in-the-western-hemisphere/

Also, you seems to completely ignore the succes, the Church has experienced in other parts of the World. Both in Africa and Asia, the Prthpdpx Church has been bale to incorporate local customs and traditions into the life of the Church.

You criticise the Church for being almost non-present. In Denmark, there are 40.405 roman catholics, that's 0,72 % of the entire population. Of those 40.405 people, 78 % are above 18 years old and many of them are immigrants.  

You really believe 200,000 Guatemalans have joined the Orthodox church in the last several years?  Grin

I know a ¨villero¨ who wants to watch your car friend.
On what basis do you doubt it?

I won't say that 200.000 is the correct number but it is clear that a very large number of people (mainly natives) have converted or seek to be accepted into the Orthodox Church. If you are able to find the precise nuber of converts, I hope that you will share it with us.

It has been discussed here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28288.45.html
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 08:24:46 AM by Ansgar » Logged

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-St Silouan the athonite
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« Reply #62 on: October 21, 2012, 08:51:29 AM »

I can understand a person disagreeing with the teachings of the Orthodox Church, disagreeing with certain viewpoints on history, etc., but to say the Orthodox Church is wrong because of ethnical influence is silliness in the best of circumstances. 

I have not said Orthodoxy is wrong. I would not say Orthodoxy is wrong. I think Orthodoxy is practically right. I am just answering the posters question.. ¨What hinders Orthodox Church to preach gosepl to all nations?¨

What do you think hinders the Orthodox Church to preach gosepl to all nations?
Nothing.  I feel confident it has.  Whether or not people choose it or not is an entirely different question.
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« Reply #63 on: October 21, 2012, 09:58:02 AM »

I am from South America. I live in South America. I travel in South America. I can tell you Orthodoxy is virtually unheard-of in South America. A couple of videos on youtube does not change this. Besides one of those videos you linked had all of ¨2¨ views.  Roll Eyes

You had written that it is virtually non-existent. Clearly, if there are churches in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, etc., it is not "virtually non-existent". It is in fact present in the majority of countries in Latinoamerica. At the church in which I was baptized, a presentation was given by three young people who had been to the Church in Bolivia (see here) and reported that somewhere north of 400 native Bolivians attend in La Paz every week, and there is also a very beloved and supported orphanage outside of the city at which many people from the church volunteer, and they report that many more in the countryside who have been neglected by local priests have come to Orthodoxy.

There is a vast difference, of course, between "the average person on the street doesn't know the church", and "the church does not exist in my country/continent". The average person in the United States wouldn't know about the Orthodox Church, either, but there are around 2,000 parishes and perhaps 2-3 million Orthodox in this country (and this number only counts Eastern Orthodox, not Oriental Orthodox; there are roughly 1 million Copts in the United States, plus how many Armenians, Syriacs, Tewahedo, etc). So this is not a very good way to measure such things. If there are churches, and they are being used, then the church exists in a given place.

Quote
Calling someone a name is the least graceful way of admitting you have lost an argument.

When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply because you believe in it even though you have no practical experience with the topic at hand (since Orthodoxy doesn't exist where you live, remember?), it is textbook trolling. If you don't like it, stop doing it.


There are 11 million people in Bolivia. How many are Orthodox?

virtually

non

existent


That 400 you are talking about is probably about the total in the entire country.


Brazil has a population of almost 200 million people. The Orthodox population in Brazil is what...30,000? That is not even a single percentage point of the population. Not even close to being a single percentage point. Not even half of a percent. Not even a quarter of a percent.  

virtually

non

existent


And they that do exist are 99.999% Greek, Russian, etc. immigrants. We could go down the list of Latin American countries but it is about the same everywhere. So yes. It is very fair and very accurate to say Orthodoxy in Latin America is virtually non existent. I did not say ¨non existent.¨ I said ¨virtually non existent.¨ as in, practically, almost, nearly, in effect, in essence, as good as, to all intents and purposes and so on.

Quote
When you post things that demonstrably false and take your own uninformed view to be the truth simply..

You are arguing from a very emotionaly charged position and it is effecting your judgement. I am just giving you the facts.  


I think you need to read this.
http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2012/08/27/the-most-orthodox-country-in-the-western-hemisphere/

Also, you seems to completely ignore the succes, the Church has experienced in other parts of the World. Both in Africa and Asia, the Prthpdpx Church has been bale to incorporate local customs and traditions into the life of the Church.

You criticise the Church for being almost non-present. In Denmark, there are 40.405 roman catholics, that's 0,72 % of the entire population. Of those 40.405 people, 78 % are above 18 years old and many of them are immigrants.  

You really believe 200,000 Guatemalans have joined the Orthodox church in the last several years?  Grin

I know a ¨villero¨ who wants to watch your car friend.
On what basis do you doubt it?

I won't say that 200.000 is the correct number but it is clear that a very large number of people (mainly natives) have converted or seek to be accepted into the Orthodox Church. If you are able to find the precise nuber of converts, I hope that you will share it with us.

It has been discussed here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28288.45.html

I have read 100,000, 200,000, all the way up to 600,000. I saw a protestant group claiming 400,000! I am not sure if these are part of the same indigenous people or a different group. You might have some competition. But anyways, there are economic and social realities you need to look at here.

What percentage of these ¨converts¨ have even a basic education? What percentage of these ¨converts¨ can even read? I think you need to look at some things like this. What some take for granted can not always be taken for granted. Look here...

¨Former criminals protect Orthodox monastery in Guatemala

The Grand Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity in Guatemala is protected by a high fence and controlled by the security service armed with pump rifles and automatic pistols. Local residents say that security service consists of former criminals. Once, Guatemala criminal groups had asked a fee from Sister Ines "for protection" of her monastery, but eventually they volunteered to protect the church and its surrounding territory.¨


This is a different reality than I think you may understand.

Look, I have no doubt the Orthodox church is doing a good thing. I have no doubt the place they are working in is dangerous. The people involved in this are to be commended. I think this is a good thing and I wish them success. This is what Christians are supposed to do. I do think some people maybe were a little too excited announcing 100,000- 600,000 ¨converts¨

I wish them well though.
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« Reply #64 on: October 21, 2012, 10:12:03 AM »

Quote
I have read 100,000, 200,000, all the way up to 600,000.
It is true that there has been some uncertainty concerning the exact number, however, there are eyewitness account about many thousands of converts.
http://www.svots.edu/headlines/seminarian-jesse-brandow-gives-first-hand-account-explosion-orthodox-christianity-guatemal
http://www.theonewaytolive.com/
http://thewordfromguatemala.blogspot.dk/

Quote
What percentage of these ¨converts¨ have even a basic education? What percentage of these ¨converts¨ can even read? I think you need to look at some things like this. What some take for granted can not always be taken for granted. Look here...
What does that has to do with anything?

Quote
Look, I have no doubt the Orthodox church is doing a good thing. I have no doubt the place they are working in is dangerous. The people involved in this are to be commended. I think this is a good thing and I wish them success.
Thank you.
The only thing I am trying to do is to disprove your claim that the Church has failed in spreading Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #65 on: October 21, 2012, 12:02:39 PM »

That is a whitewash.  

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language.  

This statement seemed so untrue that I decided to look up its source. Of course you did not make it easy because you did not provide the source at wikipedia for this statement. It sounded like it was from some kind of study and it was nothing of the sort. If you bothered to look at the citation for this statement (footnote 5) you would discover it was from the Russian Orthodox Church in America (ROCIA) which exists at two locations, Roswell New Mexico and a mission in Hayward California. I know Hayward fairly well and I never heard of this mission.  They are an old calendarist church (according to them), I do not know who they are in communion with (Irish Melkite may know about this), and their motto is "Freedom From Phyletism". They also make sure that they have an overwhelming internet presence.

I think it is safe to assume that they did not commission some statistical study on the topic your are citing.



I have no idea. But I do know I can take a look through religious forums and the blogosphers and find comments after comments sounding like this...

I love the Orthodox Church dearly in many ways, but endless fighting, the ethnocentric bigotry and the nonstop power struggles, plus the people's managing to drive away a very holy priest, has me fed up.

I do not now belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I am not culturally Eastern, and I am unwilling and unable to live my life as a pretend Russian, or a pretend Greek.

Once, when I inquired of an Eastern Orthodox friend of mine why he did not go to just any Orthodox church, he replied matter-of-factly that “We go where the Russians go” (for he is Russian).

So there must be some problem at least.


I was pointing out that you are an incautious poster. There are some problems here and there from what I have read but I have never seen it myself. Like ROCIA, we will just have to see if you can continue to thrive on misconceptions and misdirections.

Otherwise, Kerdy's answer to your post was fine with me. I went to bed after posting.
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« Reply #66 on: October 21, 2012, 12:35:36 PM »

That 400 you are talking about is probably about the total in the entire country.

No. That's in La Paz, as I wrote. And that's from people who have actually been there and served in that church, not from Wikipedia or whatever. This is what I mean when I wrote that you dismiss the truth in favor of your own viewpoint which is wrong and ill-informed. Have you spoken to people of the Orthodox Church in Bolivia, or even people who have been there? I doubt it, or you wouldn't be posting such things.

Quote
And they that do exist are 99.999% Greek, Russian, etc. immigrants. We could go down the list of Latin American countries but it is about the same everywhere.


How many Egyptians do you see here, besides the priest? How much Arabic are they using vs. how much Spanish?

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You are arguing from a very emotionaly charged position and it is effecting your judgement. I am just giving you the facts. 


Hardly. Rather, you're dismissing the facts when they don't fit your preconceived view.
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« Reply #67 on: October 21, 2012, 01:27:02 PM »

There are 11 million people in Bolivia. How many are Orthodox?

...Brazil has a population of almost 200 million people.

...
..
.

See my post(s) above.
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« Reply #68 on: October 21, 2012, 02:42:25 PM »

I wish the EO or OO would evangelise my city. There are around 120.000 inhabitants in my town so it should merit at least one parish  Sad

That is your calling.
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« Reply #69 on: October 21, 2012, 02:43:36 PM »

Where are you going to go to not be in an "ethnic" environment, Choy? Where in the world do people not have an ethnic/cultural background?

A lot of white Americans have little to no connection with any single ethnicity, being blends of several different ones. That's probably the reason for the bias against ethnicity. It's cultural.
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« Reply #70 on: October 21, 2012, 02:44:37 PM »

the churches are ethnic because they represent the soul of these ethnicities.

every ethnicity has their distinctions.

one should not feel alienated in any (other) Orthodox Church if he is one with the Church and shares the same soul, even in diversity.. when Orthodox meet they are one.. the Church has culturalized the culture of this ethnicities (that is why they are mostly pretty much the same) and this ethnicities have adopted the culture of the Church in their culture and to their culture..
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« Reply #71 on: October 21, 2012, 03:02:47 PM »

Where are you going to go to not be in an "ethnic" environment, Choy? Where in the world do people not have an ethnic/cultural background?

A lot of white Americans have little to no connection with any single ethnicity, being blends of several different ones. That's probably the reason for the bias against ethnicity. It's cultural.

True enough, but that itself is a cultural distinctive, which does not hold across the country. Where I live, "whites" are officially a minority at 42.2% of the population, while Hispanics including "white" make up 46.7%. So what is the ethnicity that the Church should reflect here? We do things in English because it's the majority language of the country, but if we were to suddenly have an influx of Navajo or other native people, we'd have to find some way to do that (thank God the local university teaches Navajo; I hope we'll need it someday). Either situation would alienate some people.

Just because "American" does not conjure up any immediate ethnic association doesn't mean that the worship wouldn't be done in a certain way that is unique to the people of that particular church. The problem is figuring out just what that means in a particular place, because that varies so much. At any rate, you can't have a church that is made for people who have no culture, because such people don't exist. Saying "I'm n-th generation" is not the same as saying "I do not have a particular way of understanding the world that has been shaped by the society I live in", which is really what culture is in the first place.
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« Reply #72 on: October 21, 2012, 03:04:52 PM »


Well, I certainly understand (and even share) your frustration -- to a point.

This may be one of the ways in which the USA and Canada differ, but it doesn't really make sense to talk about "foreign ethnicity" in a country composed almost entirely of immigrants.

I think it may be less of a problem in the US than in Canada.  The US is a melting pot whereas in Canada you are encouraged to retain your ethnic identity.  So people tend to Americanize faster and see each other as Americans.  In Canada people tend to retain their ethnic identity and tend to form ghettoes.  Some people here are still on virtual ethnic islands 2 or 3 generations after.  The thing is, if you're to strong on one culture, you alienate everyone else.

Who is "you" in this situation -- me or you? Because this is something that people at my parish ask me on a fairly regular basis: "Are you really okay with everybody speaking Arabic around you, when you can't speak very much?" I always answer that I wouldn't expect Egyptians to speak anything else among themselves, and if I want to know something that isn't directed at me, I can always ask what everyone is talking about. Sure, I miss being able to speak English with fluent speakers (we lost that when the nice young Ethiopian woman who used to attend moved to California back in December), but that's secondary to the liturgy, which is the reason we're all together in the first place, and is almost entirely in English. I do feel like a part of the parish because nobody expects me to be Egyptian (in fact, last time one of the more strident people in the congregation got on my case for not dressing as he himself would, another man who actually barely speaks English stepped in to tell me "don't listen to him -- you do whatever you want; it's your church, too"). That would just be ridiculous. I will admit that it is more difficult to be the only non-Arabphone, but you know, if the Church is really not about ethnicity, then it's not about my ethnicity, either. I do not make the people at my church pray in English or Spanish, just because those are in my own background. But of course we celebrate the liturgy mostly in English because we do recognize that this is the majority and de facto national language of this country, so it makes sense to do it in this language.

See, in my parish no one asks me that.  They expect me and my family to suck it up if I want to attend their parish.  They don't care if bilingual Liturgies are 70% or more Ukrainian.  I'm surprised some non-Ukrainians still come back after Summer.  Then everything else outside of Liturgy is about Ukrainian culture.  Even people try to speak to me in Ukrainian.  I'm not caucasian so I don't know where they get this idea that I speak Ukrainian.  Or maybe that is the expectation, that I have to be culturally Ukrainian to be part of their Church.  And this issue is not unique to us, I hear the same complaints about the ethnic Orthodox parishes in our area.

I agree. The Church will not survive if it is identified exclusively with one ethnic group. But at least for the OO (and I would assume with good reason also for the EO), that has never been the case. Romans, Egyptians, Syrians, Armenians, etc. have enriched (and even founded) the monasteries of the Egyptian desert, as well as in Turkey (Deir-ul-Zafaran), and on to today in America (ex., St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey in Texas attracts not only Egyptians to its ranks, but also Latinos like Fr. Daniel).

Monasteries are another thing.  The place is spiritual and thus it is easy to overcome the ethnic boundaries.  As I told people, I think I would have felt better if our parish is as much spiritual as it is ethnic.  But perrogy making gets better attendance than Divine Liturgy.  Parents bring their kids to Catechism only because there is a Ukrainian Language class before Catechism.  And their kids participate in cultural concerts where they get to put on traditional ethnic costumes.  Funny I was reminded by the priest this weekend my greatest frustration on this set-up.  He asked me what we did for First Communion Preparation last year (we still have remnants of Latinization, our kids older than 3 did not receive Communion at baptism and thus will be prepared for First Communion as before.  But the babies now receive Communion so hopefully in about 4-5 years we would not have to worry about First Communion for our kids catechism).  I told him we didn't really prepare because our classes were cancelled many times because the kids had to practice their singing and dancing for this concert they are participating in.  Its from the works of this Ukrainian poet, completely secular.  Think a Ukrainian Shakespeare.

If you are in a parish like this, it is really hard to be there.
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« Reply #73 on: October 21, 2012, 03:05:47 PM »

the churches are ethnic because they represent the soul of these ethnicities.

every ethnicity has their distinctions.

one should not feel alienated in any (other) Orthodox Church if he is one with the Church and shares the same soul, even in diversity.. when Orthodox meet they are one.. the Church has culturalized the culture of this ethnicities (that is why they are mostly pretty much the same) and this ethnicities have adopted the culture of the Church in their culture and to their culture..

The problem with ethnic parishes is that they tend to be Cultural Centers that just happen to have Liturgy every Sunday.
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« Reply #74 on: October 21, 2012, 03:31:18 PM »

I think it may be less of a problem in the US than in Canada.  The US is a melting pot whereas in Canada you are encouraged to retain your ethnic identity.  So people tend to Americanize faster and see each other as Americans.  In Canada people tend to retain their ethnic identity and tend to form ghettoes.  Some people here are still on virtual ethnic islands 2 or 3 generations after.  The thing is, if you're to strong on one culture, you alienate everyone else.

I thought this might be the case. I have a Canadian friend who is Syriac Orthodox, and when her parents immigrated there from Iraq in the 1980s, they settled among other Middle Easterners (primarily Arabs) because they share more culture with them than with other Canadians, so it made the transition a bit easier. But her mother already spoke French before immigrating, and she herself was raised speaking French and English, not Arabic or Neo-Aramaic, so she has not had trouble integrating as much as some others might.

Quote
See, in my parish no one asks me that.  They expect me and my family to suck it up if I want to attend their parish.  They don't care if bilingual Liturgies are 70% or more Ukrainian.
 

This sounds like something you need to bring up to people in charge at your particular parish, then. I do not think that Orthodoxy needs to be or should be this way.

Quote
I'm surprised some non-Ukrainians still come back after Summer.  Then everything else outside of Liturgy is about Ukrainian culture.  Even people try to speak to me in Ukrainian.  I'm not caucasian so I don't know where they get this idea that I speak Ukrainian.
 

I am not Egyptian, but still sometimes people try to speak to me in Arabic. I took it as a sign that I was becoming more integrated into the parish, as they'd really only do that if they'd forgotten that I'm not one of them. Smiley So it was not alienating for me, but I could see how it could be if they insisted on speaking to me in Arabic despite knowing that I can't speak it very well.

Quote
Or maybe that is the expectation, that I have to be culturally Ukrainian to be part of their Church.  And this issue is not unique to us, I hear the same complaints about the ethnic Orthodox parishes in our area.

Well then their expectation is wrong. I mean, let's not confuse actual Orthodoxy for everyone's expectation of what Orthodoxy is. That's the whole problem with certain posts in this thread. Granted, reality is often much more disappointing than the ideal, but that doesn't mean that we stop working towards it. If the Ukrainian Church is only for Ukrainians, or the Egyptian Church for Egyptians, or the Romanian Church only for Romanians, etc., then the people who want it to be that way will get their wish, but probably also find it quite disappointing, as there is not actually an inexhaustible supply of people of X ethnicity to shore up the Church. So time and natural language attrition patterns are on the side of de-ethnicizing what now might seem like very insular churches. (And the ethnic ghettos that you mention are a transitory phenomenon, even if they don't seem like it; examples are made of Hispanics in the USA who "won't learn English", but I know from tutoring the children of these immigrants that, so long as they are in school, they will eventually learn it, however imperfectly.)

Quote
Monasteries are another thing.  The place is spiritual and thus it is easy to overcome the ethnic boundaries.
 

I'm not so sure that this is clearly the case. Witness, for instance, the fights between the Copts and the Ethiopians in the Holy Land (Lord have mercy!) over Deir el-Sultan. Rather, my point was that our history is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, and that is shown clearly in the monasteries, and our churches and their practices are heavily influenced/shaped by that monastic spirituality. So whether it's receiving individuals at the monastery in Texas, or larger groups of people in missionary churches far away from traditional Orthodox territories, the impulse is essentially the same -- to integrate Orthodox Christianity among every people, regardless of language, culture, homeland, etc.

Quote
As I told people, I think I would have felt better if our parish is as much spiritual as it is ethnic.  But perrogy making gets better attendance than Divine Liturgy.  Parents bring their kids to Catechism only because there is a Ukrainian Language class before Catechism.  And their kids participate in cultural concerts where they get to put on traditional ethnic costumes.  Funny I was reminded by the priest this weekend my greatest frustration on this set-up.  He asked me what we did for First Communion Preparation last year (we still have remnants of Latinization, our kids older than 3 did not receive Communion at baptism and thus will be prepared for First Communion as before.  But the babies now receive Communion so hopefully in about 4-5 years we would not have to worry about First Communion for our kids catechism).  I told him we didn't really prepare because our classes were cancelled many times because the kids had to practice their singing and dancing for this concert they are participating in.  Its from the works of this Ukrainian poet, completely secular.  Think a Ukrainian Shakespeare.

This seems like an issue with your particular parish, which may also reflect similar issues in other parishes, but is not essential to the character of Orthodoxy in any way.

Quote
If you are in a parish like this, it is really hard to be there.

Oh, indeed! Even just reading about it, it sounds really tough. My sympathies are with you. Perhaps it is time to find a more welcoming community.
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« Reply #75 on: October 22, 2012, 09:35:38 AM »

Quote
I have read 100,000, 200,000, all the way up to 600,000.
It is true that there has been some uncertainty concerning the exact number, however, there are eyewitness account about many thousands of converts.
http://www.svots.edu/headlines/seminarian-jesse-brandow-gives-first-hand-account-explosion-orthodox-christianity-guatemal
http://www.theonewaytolive.com/
http://thewordfromguatemala.blogspot.dk/

Quote
What percentage of these ¨converts¨ have even a basic education? What percentage of these ¨converts¨ can even read? I think you need to look at some things like this. What some take for granted can not always be taken for granted. Look here...
What does that has to do with anything?

Quote
Look, I have no doubt the Orthodox church is doing a good thing. I have no doubt the place they are working in is dangerous. The people involved in this are to be commended. I think this is a good thing and I wish them success.
Thank you.
The only thing I am trying to do is to disprove your claim that the Church has failed in spreading Orthodoxy.

The Church has failed in spreading Orthodoxy at least in Latin America.  Unless you consider less than a single percentage points in every Latin American country a success.

And as far as your 100,000, 200,000, 600,000, 800,000 or whatever number you pull out of the sky for Mayans you are claiming have converted to Orthodoxy. I do not think so. At all. I think some people are confusing poor, uneducated and destitute indigenous people looking for a bag of rice as religious converts.

All religious denominations have been going into these communities for decades claiming thousands of converts that never amounted to anything more than a hope for help from poverty. Then they would quietly slip away after the big story.

Join reality. 82% child malnutrition. 20% literacy. Wages are on average 2$ a day. Little if any health care. Little if any public services. Are you getting a picture here? They could care less about felioque , econemical councils, if the priest faces the church or not and what language you have liturgy. If you do not believe me get on a plane to Guatemala and go up in the mountains and find out.

Of course you will probably be robbed of everything you have before you even get there if you do not go in a protected group of foreigners.         
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« Reply #76 on: October 22, 2012, 10:02:55 AM »

Please consider this map. Thank you.


Nonsense.

This map shows Ukraine as not having a dominant religion.  Really?

The majority of Ukrainians are Orthodox.  Granted they are divided among various Churches - MP, KP, UAOC, etc....however, you cannot deny that they are Orthodox.

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« Reply #77 on: October 22, 2012, 10:04:47 AM »

Apparently some here confuse converting and proselytizing. They are not synonyms. 
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« Reply #78 on: October 22, 2012, 10:10:57 AM »

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?

We....We, Orthodox Christians, are the hindrance.

The "Church" relies on her faithful to do the "work"....but, do we? 

No.  We are too self-centered to bother.

Every day we have multiple opportunities to be missionaries to hundreds of people we come in to contact each day....at work, at the store, at the schools, etc.

We need to "live" our Faith, and be examples to others....and when that golden moment hits,....that someone expresses and interest....then we need to be prepared to preac our Faith, to explain what we believe and why.

Plus, we need to get over our desire and need to "fit in".  This desire mutes us, and our missionary work.  When difficult questions arise in a conversation, etc...we need to not shrink back because we don't want to be ridiculed, labeled, ostracized, etc....we need to stand up for the tenants of our Faith.

When there's a charitable event in our communities - perhaps a city wide bake sale, are our churches represented? 

If the call goes out for people to volunteer at the local soup kitchen, do we go?  Or do we think that we'd rather not dirty our hands....besides there's a good game on TV tonight.

How many opportunities have we already missed this morning, in spreading the good Word?
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« Reply #79 on: October 22, 2012, 10:58:54 AM »

I thought this might be the case. I have a Canadian friend who is Syriac Orthodox, and when her parents immigrated there from Iraq in the 1980s, they settled among other Middle Easterners (primarily Arabs) because they share more culture with them than with other Canadians, so it made the transition a bit easier. But her mother already spoke French before immigrating, and she herself was raised speaking French and English, not Arabic or Neo-Aramaic, so she has not had trouble integrating as much as some others might.

People still tend to group with people of the same race/ethnicity.  I've been here 5 years and most of my friends are Filipinos.  I've made friends who are not Filipinos but we don't "hang out" as much because they also go with people of their race/ethnicity.

This sounds like something you need to bring up to people in charge at your particular parish, then. I do not think that Orthodoxy needs to be or should be this way.

I've heard it is the same in some of the Orthodox parishes in my area.  And this came from other Orthodox.

I am not Egyptian, but still sometimes people try to speak to me in Arabic. I took it as a sign that I was becoming more integrated into the parish, as they'd really only do that if they'd forgotten that I'm not one of them. Smiley So it was not alienating for me, but I could see how it could be if they insisted on speaking to me in Arabic despite knowing that I can't speak it very well.

Perhaps, but I'm far from being "white", or maybe they just forget.  I mean, these are little things.  Maybe I notice them too much right now because of where I am.

Well then their expectation is wrong. I mean, let's not confuse actual Orthodoxy for everyone's expectation of what Orthodoxy is. That's the whole problem with certain posts in this thread. Granted, reality is often much more disappointing than the ideal, but that doesn't mean that we stop working towards it. If the Ukrainian Church is only for Ukrainians, or the Egyptian Church for Egyptians, or the Romanian Church only for Romanians, etc., then the people who want it to be that way will get their wish, but probably also find it quite disappointing, as there is not actually an inexhaustible supply of people of X ethnicity to shore up the Church. So time and natural language attrition patterns are on the side of de-ethnicizing what now might seem like very insular churches. (And the ethnic ghettos that you mention are a transitory phenomenon, even if they don't seem like it; examples are made of Hispanics in the USA who "won't learn English", but I know from tutoring the children of these immigrants that, so long as they are in school, they will eventually learn it, however imperfectly.)

Of course it is not an expectation of what Orthodoxy is.  But that is the problem why Orthodoxy is slow to spread to other people.  Even in the Philippines, Orthodox only really started 10 years ago because the parish started moving away from being too Greek and became more welcoming to the locals.  And then finally they started having local clergy which made it a bigger draw.  I believe Orthodoxy there will grow, they are in the right direction.

I'm not so sure that this is clearly the case. Witness, for instance, the fights between the Copts and the Ethiopians in the Holy Land (Lord have mercy!) over Deir el-Sultan. Rather, my point was that our history is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, and that is shown clearly in the monasteries, and our churches and their practices are heavily influenced/shaped by that monastic spirituality. So whether it's receiving individuals at the monastery in Texas, or larger groups of people in missionary churches far away from traditional Orthodox territories, the impulse is essentially the same -- to integrate Orthodox Christianity among every people, regardless of language, culture, homeland, etc.

That is right.  Like I said, monasteries are places of spirituality.  Ethnicity really isn't important there.  But in parishes, it is the lay people who make up the identity of the parish, that is why it normally ends up ethnic.

This seems like an issue with your particular parish, which may also reflect similar issues in other parishes, but is not essential to the character of Orthodoxy in any way.

It is the tendency of Orthodox parishes in North America.  Mainly because the parishes here are established by immigrants.  Its not any different with ethnic Roman Catholic parishes.  Although with RC parishes, you can easily find another one (provided you are in a big city) that isn't ethnic.  Not the same with Orthodoxy.  In the other city I lived here, there was a nearby Greek Orthodox parish.  Then 10-15 minutes away there is a Serbian Orthodox parish.  About 20 mins in the other direction is a Russian parish.

Oh, indeed! Even just reading about it, it sounds really tough. My sympathies are with you. Perhaps it is time to find a more welcoming community.

Already did.  Just figuring out how to make the jump Wink
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« Reply #80 on: October 22, 2012, 02:34:38 PM »

Perhaps, but I'm far from being "white", or maybe they just forget.  I mean, these are little things.  Maybe I notice them too much right now because of where I am.

Perhaps.

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Of course it is not an expectation of what Orthodoxy is.  But that is the problem why Orthodoxy is slow to spread to other people.  Even in the Philippines, Orthodox only really started 10 years ago because the parish started moving away from being too Greek and became more welcoming to the locals.  And then finally they started having local clergy which made it a bigger draw.  I believe Orthodoxy there will grow, they are in the right direction.

It can take, as I'm sure you know, quite some time to get your life settled after coming to a new country. A great many immigrants, particularly if they are escaping threatening or traumatic situations in their homeland, will see the church as an oasis of familiarity and comfort in a foreign land and cling to it as a result. This does not absolve anyone, of course, from reaching out to others who are not of the expected cultural background, but it does explain why they can be rather slow to do so. For instance, here in Albuquerque at our little Coptic church we have only within the past 3 or 4 months been successfully negotiating to get a building in which we can hold services (we've tried several times in the past, but never gotten very far due to a lack of funds). The community has been having liturgy for 16 years now, but always in a private home, which understandably limits our evangelistic opportunities (it doesn't look like a church, so people don't know to go there, and we don't have a website/information cards/etc). There are only about 40 of us in total, and I'm the only fluent English-speaker. I'm also really new to the faith, so my responsibilities are limited, in consideration of that fact. We would all love to do large-scale evangelism (Lord knows there are enough other kinds of churches here, so people are very hungry for God), but all of these things require time to be dealt with. Again, it's not an excuse, it's a challenge. I'm always looking for an opportunity to invite people to come to our liturgies, but have not had much success since I am also a transplant to this area, so I don't really know many people outside of church in the first place.

That is right.  Like I said, monasteries are places of spirituality.  Ethnicity really isn't important there.  But in parishes, it is the lay people who make up the identity of the parish, that is why it normally ends up ethnic.

Indeed. Ukrainians don't magically become non-Ukrainian (nor Egyptians non-Egyptian, Romanians non-Romanian, etc.) every time a non-Ukrainian walks through the door. It is a natural function of the makeup of the parish.

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It is the tendency of Orthodox parishes in North America.  Mainly because the parishes here are established by immigrants.
 

Well, yeah...they can't very well be started by non-immigrants who haven't heard of Orthodoxy! Wink That's the whole issue...

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Although with RC parishes, you can easily find another one (provided you are in a big city) that isn't ethnic.
 

I don't believe that's actually so. In my RC days, when I went to an Anglo parish, I was very aware that I was in an Anglo parish (or an Anglo mass v. Hispanic mass, etc). I think this is all a matter of perspective, but having been to Anglo, Hispanic, and Ukranian (well, Ruthenian) parishes in my time in the RCC, I felt that they all had their own cultures, even if they didn't always perfectly correspond to different ethnicities (e.g., there were Africans at the Anglo-Latin parish I went to in Oregon, for instance). It seems that there is still an assumption in your reply that it is possible to have a non-ethnic parish. I do not think that is true. I think it is better to say that it is possible to have a parish that matches the demographics of the wider community, which may be rather diluted in the sense of being nth generation something white (they've forgotten by now) and W.A.S.P.y (yes, also among Catholics), or may be Hispanic, or may be Haitian, or may be just about anything. But that doesn't make one "not ethnic", and the rest "ethnic". Baloney sandwich and Ovaltine white people are not the standard by which all other Catholicisms or Orthodoxies will be judged. The majority of the Catholic Church is decidedly brown/black and funny talkin'. Y a la chingada con lo demas. Cheesy (Not so sure about the EO cos I'm not one, but I think that also holds for the OO, as its largest particular church is in East Africa.)

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Not the same with Orthodoxy.  In the other city I lived here, there was a nearby Greek Orthodox parish. Then 10-15 minutes away there is a Serbian Orthodox parish.  About 20 mins in the other direction is a Russian parish.

And you could've gone to any of them. Smiley Really, I don't mean to downplay your struggle, because I'm an extreme minority in my own church too, it's just...well, I'm not going to wait around for a church that looks and talks like me. If it took 16 years to just get a church building, how many more will it be before we're all speaking English over the Agape meal? It is better to work with whatever there is, and let time take its course in nativizing the church (the young children, aged 3 to 11, of the parishioners, do not speak much or any Arabic). If people need to realize that you're having trouble with their expectation that you "suck it up" to be a part of their parish, then maybe you need to talk to those people to explain why that's a taller order than they probably realize. Remember, they haven't had to conform to expectations of what the Ukrainian Church is or should be. For them, it's natural that the ethnicity and the church go together, because they always have throughout their history. For everything else, the faith (the important thing) is Orthodox. That is why we put up with being cultural outsiders. I'd rather learn new Arabic over the Agape meal than learn new (wrong) doctrine in the liturgy.

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Already did.  Just figuring out how to make the jump Wink

May God bless you and be with you in your journey. Smiley
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« Reply #81 on: October 22, 2012, 04:09:27 PM »

Well, yeah...they can't very well be started by non-immigrants who haven't heard of Orthodoxy! Wink That's the whole issue...

Sorry, what I meant was to contrast the difference between lay immigrants and missionaries.  Missionaires look to establish the faith in the locale, they bring the faith, not their culture.  That is why Sts. Cyril and Methodius studied the Slavic languages and came up with Slavonic.  They didn't make the Slavs into Greeks, they made the faith Slavic.  Immigrants aren't really looking to be missionaries, they just want to be able to worship the same way they did back home.  The parish is not for the locals, it is for themselves.  I think also that is what is lacking in many ethnic parishes, the missionary spirit.  You'll hear more about their cultural festivals than their faith.

Of course the other way to convert people of a foreign land is by Inquisition, as the Spanish model have shown, heheheh  Tongue  but hey, it worked for the Philippines and South America.  We are Christians and hispanic.

I don't believe that's actually so. In my RC days, when I went to an Anglo parish, I was very aware that I was in an Anglo parish (or an Anglo mass v. Hispanic mass, etc). I think this is all a matter of perspective, but having been to Anglo, Hispanic, and Ukranian (well, Ruthenian) parishes in my time in the RCC, I felt that they all had their own cultures, even if they didn't always perfectly correspond to different ethnicities (e.g., there were Africans at the Anglo-Latin parish I went to in Oregon, for instance). It seems that there is still an assumption in your reply that it is possible to have a non-ethnic parish. I do not think that is true. I think it is better to say that it is possible to have a parish that matches the demographics of the wider community, which may be rather diluted in the sense of being nth generation something white (they've forgotten by now) and W.A.S.P.y (yes, also among Catholics), or may be Hispanic, or may be Haitian, or may be just about anything. But that doesn't make one "not ethnic", and the rest "ethnic". Baloney sandwich and Ovaltine white people are not the standard by which all other Catholicisms or Orthodoxies will be judged. The majority of the Catholic Church is decidedly brown/black and funny talkin'. Y a la chingada con lo demas. Cheesy (Not so sure about the EO cos I'm not one, but I think that also holds for the OO, as its largest particular church is in East Africa.)

Well, North American Roman Catholicism is bland.  You want to see incultured Roman Catholicism, go to Mexico or South America or the Philippines.  But yes, there are cultural groups in Roman Catholicism.  But it is not as tough as Orthodoxy.  I guess in a way you can slip in and out of an RC parish without notice.  Can't do that in Orthodoxy.  Also the sheer numbers of Roman Catholics, it is easy to find people of other backgrounds in any parish.

And you could've gone to any of them. Smiley Really, I don't mean to downplay your struggle, because I'm an extreme minority in my own church too, it's just...well, I'm not going to wait around for a church that looks and talks like me. If it took 16 years to just get a church building, how many more will it be before we're all speaking English over the Agape meal? It is better to work with whatever there is, and let time take its course in nativizing the church (the young children, aged 3 to 11, of the parishioners, do not speak much or any Arabic). If people need to realize that you're having trouble with their expectation that you "suck it up" to be a part of their parish, then maybe you need to talk to those people to explain why that's a taller order than they probably realize. Remember, they haven't had to conform to expectations of what the Ukrainian Church is or should be. For them, it's natural that the ethnicity and the church go together, because they always have throughout their history. For everything else, the faith (the important thing) is Orthodox. That is why we put up with being cultural outsiders. I'd rather learn new Arabic over the Agape meal than learn new (wrong) doctrine in the liturgy.

May God bless you and be with you in your journey. Smiley

I've heard complaints about them even from other Orthodox.  I do pray for their success and hopefully they don't have to shut down.  But I've heard of the same sad stories as I experienced in some of our UGCC parishes.  That is, an aging population and thinly attended church.  One told me of a story of a Ukrainian Orthodox parish which the person told me he thinks the youngest in attendace was like 80.  And there are only a few people there.  Yet they don't want to stop having Liturgy in Slavonic/Ukrainian.  And it is tough for people to get in such churches without that massively high first hurdle.
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« Reply #82 on: October 22, 2012, 04:24:00 PM »

Sorry, what I meant was to contrast the difference between lay immigrants and missionaries.  Missionaires look to establish the faith in the locale, they bring the faith, not their culture.  That is why Sts. Cyril and Methodius studied the Slavic languages and came up with Slavonic.  They didn't make the Slavs into Greeks, they made the faith Slavic.  Immigrants aren't really looking to be missionaries, they just want to be able to worship the same way they did back home.

Some appear to be looking to do both, but in a way that is responsive to their current circumstance. Smiley

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Well, North American Roman Catholicism is bland.
 

Nope. Anglo parishes are bland. That's as cultural as anything else, hence my examples of going to Anglo, Hispanic, and Ruthenian masses. They're all three quite different. One is not "not ethnic" and the other two "ethnic".

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You want to see incultured Roman Catholicism, go to Mexico or South America or the Philippines.
 

Already been (Mexico), that's why I think as I do. Wink Catholicism in Mexico is a lot closer to my experience of Orthodoxy in America than my experience of Anglo-Catholicism (read: not Anglicanism) in America was, in terms of its pastoral, community-based character.

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But yes, there are cultural groups in Roman Catholicism.  But it is not as tough as Orthodoxy.
 

I'm not sure that this is the case. It's easy for you to say that as a Filipino when most of your people are Catholic, but if you came from a culture where most people aren't, what do you think your reaction would be? You ever try taking a hardcore baptist to a high mass?  Wink (And really that's not even fair since they're both forms of Western Christianity; it would be more appropriate to compare, say...I don't know...taking a Calivinist to a Tewahedo Qedase or something...I'd pay to see that.)

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I guess in a way you can slip in and out of an RC parish without notice.  Can't do that in Orthodoxy.

And praise the Lord for that!

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I've heard complaints about them even from other Orthodox.  I do pray for their success and hopefully they don't have to shut down.  But I've heard of the same sad stories as I experienced in some of our UGCC parishes.  That is, an aging population and thinly attended church.  One told me of a story of a Ukrainian Orthodox parish which the person told me he thinks the youngest in attendace was like 80.  And there are only a few people there.  Yet they don't want to stop having Liturgy in Slavonic/Ukrainian.  And it is tough for people to get in such churches without that massively high first hurdle.

Amen. That's a tragedy, but as I already agreed to earlier, that's what happens when you focus on one particular group exclusively, as though there is an inexhaustible supply of new Ukrainians or whatever so that they don't actually have to do evangelism. Sad.
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« Reply #83 on: October 22, 2012, 04:53:21 PM »

Nope. Anglo parishes are bland. That's as cultural as anything else, hence my examples of going to Anglo, Hispanic, and Ruthenian masses. They're all three quite different. One is not "not ethnic" and the other two "ethnic".

I guess the problem really is that American (or even Canadian) culture isn't as defined as the cultures of other places which has been there for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  I guess that is the result of forcing something by rejecting the past (rejection of being British) unlike in the past that culture is developed, or by forced assimilation through conquests of more powerful nations.

Already been (Mexico), that's why I think as I do. Wink Catholicism in Mexico is a lot closer to my experience of Orthodoxy in America than my experience of Anglo-Catholicism (read: not Anglicanism) in America was, in terms of its pastoral, community-based character.

Yes, although I was never really close to a priest before and I was the type who'd go to a different parish every week.  I guess not I realize the value on having a good relationship with your pastor.  But the problem also is the current RC practice of moving priests around in a diocese every 5 years or so.

I'm not sure that this is the case. It's easy for you to say that as a Filipino when most of your people are Catholic, but if you came from a culture where most people aren't, what do you think your reaction would be? You ever try taking a hardcore baptist to a high mass?  Wink (And really that's not even fair since they're both forms of Western Christianity; it would be more appropriate to compare, say...I don't know...taking a Calivinist to a Tewahedo Qedase or something...I'd pay to see that.)

I mean, I can easily go into a parish that is predominantly Chinese (did that once since my place of work is in the part of town where most of the Chinese immigrants settle) and don't feel too out of place.

And praise the Lord for that!

Amen. That's a tragedy, but as I already agreed to earlier, that's what happens when you focus on one particular group exclusively, as though there is an inexhaustible supply of new Ukrainians or whatever so that they don't actually have to do evangelism. Sad.

Same problem with our parish.  But you have to solve that problem then.  I will find out this week, I am attending a meeting with the bishop about the "vision" for the future.  I have come to realize that the change they need to do is within themselves.  They have to make themselves more open to others and they have to make their parishes more of a spiritual place rather than being a cultural center.  If they have more cultural festivals than Bible studies or Adult catechism classes, then there is something wrong.  I don't have the answer, but hopefully I can contribute something to this weekend's discussion.  And then leave for Orthodoxy  Tongue
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« Reply #84 on: October 22, 2012, 04:57:26 PM »

I guess the problem really is that American (or even Canadian) culture isn't as defined as the cultures of other places which has been there for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  I guess that is the result of forcing something by rejecting the past (rejection of being British) unlike in the past that culture is developed, or by forced assimilation through conquests of more powerful nations.

I guess you are trying too make it special and you fail to prove that. Same for the people who say "American" is not an ethnicity.
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« Reply #85 on: October 22, 2012, 05:02:27 PM »

Well, I tried.
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« Reply #86 on: October 22, 2012, 05:07:41 PM »

Nope. Anglo parishes are bland. That's as cultural as anything else, hence my examples of going to Anglo, Hispanic, and Ruthenian masses. They're all three quite different. One is not "not ethnic" and the other two "ethnic".

I guess the problem really is that American (or even Canadian) culture isn't as defined as the cultures of other places which has been there for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  I guess that is the result of forcing something by rejecting the past (rejection of being British) unlike in the past that culture is developed, or by forced assimilation through conquests of more powerful nations.

Again, I don't know where you get your idea of what culture is, but it's not a matter of it being more or less 'defined' than some other place (I'm not sure what that means, or how to measure it even if I knew). Canada is different than the USA, which is different than Mexico, which is different than Suriname, etc. These are all different places. It's not about being or not being like the other guy. It's about being whatever it is you are. No matter what language we use at the liturgy, I'll never be Egyptian. No matter where I go, there I am. Smiley Being an American in that place.

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I mean, I can easily go into a parish that is predominantly Chinese (did that once since my place of work is in the part of town where most of the Chinese immigrants settle) and don't feel too out of place.

Okay.

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If they have more cultural festivals than Bible studies or Adult catechism classes, then there is something wrong.  I don't have the answer, but hopefully I can contribute something to this weekend's discussion.  And then leave for Orthodoxy  Tongue

Good luck. Smiley
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« Reply #87 on: October 22, 2012, 05:14:43 PM »

Quote
The Church has failed in spreading Orthodoxy at least in Latin America.  Unless you consider less than a single percentage points in every Latin American country a success.
According to this logic, the catholic church is a failure too.

Quote
And as far as your 100,000, 200,000, 600,000, 800,000 or whatever number you pull out of the sky for Mayans you are claiming have converted to Orthodoxy. I do not think so. At all. I think some people are confusing poor, uneducated and destitute indigenous people looking for a bag of rice as religious converts.

You ask for evidence concerning the growth of orthodoy and when I show you accountsfrom people who have actually witnessed a large number of people being accepted into the Church you dismiss it. Do you think that the people, the apostles converted were all rich and educated.
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« Reply #88 on: October 22, 2012, 06:06:08 PM »

Quote
The Church has failed in spreading Orthodoxy at least in Latin America.  Unless you consider less than a single percentage points in every Latin American country a success.
According to this logic, the catholic church is a failure too.

Quote
And as far as your 100,000, 200,000, 600,000, 800,000 or whatever number you pull out of the sky for Mayans you are claiming have converted to Orthodoxy. I do not think so. At all. I think some people are confusing poor, uneducated and destitute indigenous people looking for a bag of rice as religious converts.

You ask for evidence concerning the growth of orthodoy and when I show you accountsfrom people who have actually witnessed a large number of people being accepted into the Church you dismiss it. Do you think that the people, the apostles converted were all rich and educated.

Quote
According to this logic, the catholic church is a failure too.

I do not understand.

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You ask for evidence concerning the growth of orthodoy and when I show you accountsfrom people who have actually witnessed a large number of people being accepted into the Church you dismiss it.

I can show you accounts from people who claim they were abducted by aliens. They flew in their space ships and visited their planet. That does not make it true. The latest I saw was 7 Orthodox priest working in Guatamala. If your numbers are to be believed that is 1 priest for a every 100,000 converts more or less. Do you believe this? I do not.

As I told you before, if you want to find out take a plane to Guatamala and look for yourself. I think you will be very dissapointed.   Cry And before you go, just so you know what you are getting into...more people are beaten and stabbed to death in Guatemala every year than die in war zones.

When do you leave?

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« Reply #89 on: October 22, 2012, 06:14:13 PM »

How much of the answer to this question can be related to world history and simple geographic conditions?  The eastern church(es) have had a much different history/geography than the western ones (consider colonization/industrialization/conflict/communism/globalization).  I don't believe these historical/geographical factors are entirely deterministic of the prevalence of any particular Christian tradition, obviously the beliefs/practices etc also have a role to play.

I didn't want to say more yet but I thought this brief comment might nudge the dialogue along.

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« Reply #90 on: October 22, 2012, 06:19:33 PM »

Quote
The Church has failed in spreading Orthodoxy at least in Latin America.  Unless you consider less than a single percentage points in every Latin American country a success.
According to this logic, the catholic church is a failure too.

Quote
And as far as your 100,000, 200,000, 600,000, 800,000 or whatever number you pull out of the sky for Mayans you are claiming have converted to Orthodoxy. I do not think so. At all. I think some people are confusing poor, uneducated and destitute indigenous people looking for a bag of rice as religious converts.

You ask for evidence concerning the growth of orthodoy and when I show you accountsfrom people who have actually witnessed a large number of people being accepted into the Church you dismiss it. Do you think that the people, the apostles converted were all rich and educated.

Quote
According to this logic, the catholic church is a failure too.

I do not understand.

Quote
You ask for evidence concerning the growth of orthodoy and when I show you accountsfrom people who have actually witnessed a large number of people being accepted into the Church you dismiss it.

I can show you accounts from people who claim they were abducted by aliens. They flew in their space ships and visited their planet. That does not make it true. The latest I saw was 7 Orthodox priest working in Guatamala. If your numbers are to be believed that is 1 priest for a every 100,000 converts more or less. Do you believe this? I do not.

As I told you before, if you want to find out take a plane to Guatamala and look for yourself. I think you will be very dissapointed.   Cry And before you go, just so you know what you are getting into...more people are beaten and stabbed to death in Guatemala every year than die in war zones.

When do you leave?



I should make this clear. I am being sarcastic. Do not go to Guatamala by yourself.
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« Reply #91 on: October 22, 2012, 06:24:50 PM »

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According to this logic, the catholic church is a failure too.

Quote
I do not understand.


Look at reply nr. 59

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I can show you accounts from people who claim they were abducted by aliens. They flew in their space ships and visited their planet. That does not make it true.
I have a hard time seeing how these can be compared.

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The latest I saw was 7 Orthodox priest working in Guatamala. If your numbers are to be believed that is 1 priest for a every 100,000 converts more or less. Do you believe this? I do not.
Two things:
1. I didn't say 700.000

2. A small number of priest serving a huge number of people is not unheard of in areas where the Orthodox Church is still very young. Just look at Africa.

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As I told you before, if you want to find out take a plane to Guatamala and look for yourself. I think you will be very dissapointed.   And before you go, just so you know what you are getting into...more people are beaten and stabbed to death in Guatemala every year than die in war zones.

When do you leave?
Please don't give me that. Do you think you are the only person who have wtinessed poverty and cruelty? I am perfectly aware that Latin America can be gangerous place. However, the difference between you and me is, that I have my information from people who have actually been in Guatemala and have witnessed these parishes. Based on your own posts, you have barely witnessed any orthodox activity in Latin America.
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« Reply #92 on: October 22, 2012, 06:42:50 PM »

Quote
According to this logic, the catholic church is a failure too.

Quote
I do not understand.


Look at reply nr. 59

Quote
I can show you accounts from people who claim they were abducted by aliens. They flew in their space ships and visited their planet. That does not make it true.
I have a hard time seeing how these can be compared.

Quote
The latest I saw was 7 Orthodox priest working in Guatamala. If your numbers are to be believed that is 1 priest for a every 100,000 converts more or less. Do you believe this? I do not.
Two things:
1. I didn't say 700.000

2. A small number of priest serving a huge number of people is not unheard of in areas where the Orthodox Church is still very young. Just look at Africa.

Quote
As I told you before, if you want to find out take a plane to Guatamala and look for yourself. I think you will be very dissapointed.   And before you go, just so you know what you are getting into...more people are beaten and stabbed to death in Guatemala every year than die in war zones.

When do you leave?
Please don't give me that. Do you think you are the only person who have wtinessed poverty and cruelty? I am perfectly aware that Latin America can be gangerous place. However, the difference between you and me is, that I have my information from people who have actually been in Guatemala and have witnessed these parishes. Based on your own posts, you have barely witnessed any orthodox activity in Latin America.

You are right. I have barely witnessed any orthodox activity in Latin America. And neither has anyone else. Because there barely is any orthodox activity in Latin America...at all.
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« Reply #93 on: October 22, 2012, 06:46:48 PM »

You are right. I have barely witnessed any orthodox activity in Latin America. And neither has anyone else. Because there barely is any orthodox activity in Latin America...at all.

Maybe you are not looking the right place
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« Reply #94 on: October 22, 2012, 06:51:09 PM »



You are right. I have barely witnessed any orthodox activity in Latin America. And neither has anyone else. Because there barely is any orthodox activity in Latin America...at all.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28288.0.html

Are you sure?
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« Reply #95 on: October 22, 2012, 07:04:23 PM »

I think I will take a stab at answering the subject question.  I think the answer is, our attachment to the recent past (say that past 150-200 years).   When you elevate a portion of history above the eternal as well as above the continuity of the faith delivered once for all throughout all generations (which is itself the participation of each generation in the same eternal good things given "from above"), then you have a problem.  We have this problem.  This problem is neither official for the Church nor is it universal, but it is "commonplace."   
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« Reply #96 on: October 23, 2012, 01:27:27 AM »

Quote
According to this logic, the catholic church is a failure too.

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I do not understand.


Look at reply nr. 59

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I can show you accounts from people who claim they were abducted by aliens. They flew in their space ships and visited their planet. That does not make it true.
I have a hard time seeing how these can be compared.

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The latest I saw was 7 Orthodox priest working in Guatamala. If your numbers are to be believed that is 1 priest for a every 100,000 converts more or less. Do you believe this? I do not.
Two things:
1. I didn't say 700.000

2. A small number of priest serving a huge number of people is not unheard of in areas where the Orthodox Church is still very young. Just look at Africa.

Quote
As I told you before, if you want to find out take a plane to Guatamala and look for yourself. I think you will be very dissapointed.   And before you go, just so you know what you are getting into...more people are beaten and stabbed to death in Guatemala every year than die in war zones.

When do you leave?
Please don't give me that. Do you think you are the only person who have wtinessed poverty and cruelty? I am perfectly aware that Latin America can be gangerous place. However, the difference between you and me is, that I have my information from people who have actually been in Guatemala and have witnessed these parishes. Based on your own posts, you have barely witnessed any orthodox activity in Latin America.

You are right. I have barely witnessed any orthodox activity in Latin America. And neither has anyone else. Because there barely is any orthodox activity in Latin America...at all.
And who licensed you to be our chief executioner?
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« Reply #97 on: October 30, 2012, 08:58:08 AM »

Why are there more Protestants than Orthodox Christians in Japan? That one really irks me.
Probably for the same reason American fashion and music are so much more common than Russian in Japan. Japan received a mass of Western cultural imports, so it shouldn't be a big surprise that American religion found a foothold too.
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« Reply #98 on: October 30, 2012, 09:16:43 AM »

Because the Church portrays itself as just a way to educate yourself in niceness, culture, morality and love, or worse an emotional consolation, with a far-fetched supernatural story to back that and a history of excessive rigorism and oppression to contradict that, all that with a request for unjustified self-denial and obedience to clearly crooked authorities.

In face of this obvious failure some get attached to the supernatural and excessive rigorist part, others actually believe our job is just "to spread the niceness" and try to get rid of any absolute truth or discipline.

This is all a pantonime.

The Universe is broke and so are we. This is not an opinion, a 'belief' or a faith. It is a fact. We should be up to prove it.

Jesus Christ did several miracles in His life and finally resurrected. This is not an opinion, a belief or a faith. It is a fact. We should be up to prove it.

He did it to fix both the Universe and us, and transform us into something more than what we are now. This is the promise, this is the faith.

Nobody needs the Church or an intricate  supernatural story to be or desire to be a good moral person. Our insistance as Christians that this is what "it is about" is as ridiculous as trying to say that you have to be Christian to see the sky is blue. It is ridiculous because it implies only Christians can be good and you don't even need to look at history to see this is not the case. A good look at your televangelist, guru-monk or crony bishop can tell you that. It's not about morality lads, it is about salvation of our very being, either you are a well-adjusted burgeois family person, an underground punk or a half-crazy old hag.  You choose to be moral, or intellectual (or both) because this is the right thing to do, whether you're Christian or not. Christians should acknowledge that as a basic fact of life, like gravity, not as the objective of the Church.

If we start treating facts as facts, then morality informed by these facts will improve.
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« Reply #99 on: October 30, 2012, 11:07:22 AM »

Because the Church portrays itself as just a way to educate yourself in niceness, culture, morality and love, or worse an emotional consolation, with a far-fetched supernatural story to back that and a history of excessive rigorism and oppression to contradict that, all that with a request for unjustified self-denial and obedience to clearly crooked authorities.

In face of this obvious failure some get attached to the supernatural and excessive rigorist part, others actually believe our job is just "to spread the niceness" and try to get rid of any absolute truth or discipline.

This is all a pantonime.

The Universe is broke and so are we. This is not an opinion, a 'belief' or a faith. It is a fact. We should be up to prove it.

Jesus Christ did several miracles in His life and finally resurrected. This is not an opinion, a belief or a faith. It is a fact. We should be up to prove it.

He did it to fix both the Universe and us, and transform us into something more than what we are now. This is the promise, this is the faith.

Nobody needs the Church or an intricate  supernatural story to be or desire to be a good moral person. Our insistance as Christians that this is what "it is about" is as ridiculous as trying to say that you have to be Christian to see the sky is blue. It is ridiculous because it implies only Christians can be good and you don't even need to look at history to see this is not the case. A good look at your televangelist, guru-monk or crony bishop can tell you that. It's not about morality lads, it is about salvation of our very being, either you are a well-adjusted burgeois family person, an underground punk or a half-crazy old hag.  You choose to be moral, or intellectual (or both) because this is the right thing to do, whether you're Christian or not. Christians should acknowledge that as a basic fact of life, like gravity, not as the objective of the Church.

If we start treating facts as facts, then morality informed by these facts will improve.

I do not understand/comprehend this post Fabio. The way it is written leads me to disagree with you, but it is unclear enough that I am not really sure I disagree with you.

Quote
the Church portrays itself as just a way to educate yourself in niceness, culture, morality and love, or worse an emotional consolation
What do you mean by this? Are you saying that the Church does not educate? I have to do it myself? Niceness, morality, love, emotional consolation is the proof that you ask for.

Quote
a history of excessive rigorism and oppression to contradict that, all that with a request for unjustified self-denial and obedience to clearly crooked authorities
It just goes to show what havoc a few bad apples can cause. As you can probably guess, I am not clear what you are referring to here.

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others actually believe our job is just "to spread the niceness" and try to get rid of any absolute truth
Who are these others you are fighting against? If they are Christians, are you able to look into their most inner thoughts as to why they are spreading the niceness. This is another phrase that has confused me.

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Jesus Christ did several miracles in His life and finally resurrected. This is not an opinion, a belief or a faith. It is a fact. We should be up to prove it.
We do through belief and faith and selflessness.

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Nobody needs the Church or an intricate supernatural story to be or desire to be a good moral person.
Correct. The Church helps make us complete. The desire to be good and kind becomes central to our being and allows us to see God's love for us even as we suffer. I am actually unclear what you were driving at in the last paragraph. I have had no dealings with televangelists, guru-monks or crony bishops, so I cannot really comment.




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« Reply #100 on: October 30, 2012, 11:42:13 AM »

My point is: the reason Christianity was strong in the 1st millenium is because nobody really considered it a "belief" in the modern sense, it was a fact. You had faith in the promises of Christ because these had not been entirely fulfilled yet. But this faith, this trust was based on a known fact, not on a belief.

At some point in the turn to the second millennium, possibly due to the distance from the original facts, Christians stopped treating the facts of Christ’s life as such, and started treating them as something we believed that happened. Then, we had faith in things that were based on things we think that have happened. Do you want to know when “relativism” and “subjectivism” appeared? When Christians stopped treating the historical resurrection as a fact, but as a subjective belief.

And all the people who oppose this are very right. No mere belief or opinion should be privileged in informing law, society or behavior. Any certain knowledge, scientific or from mere common sense has priority over any belief.

Even faith, as defined by St. Paul, is not what Christians today call faith. He says faith is the “certainty of things unseen”. That from a hellenized Jew, who knew pretty well about philosophy and maths. Certainty of mathematics – the very basis of modern science – is certainty of something unseen: nobody has ever seen number 2 or the relations between the sides of triangles. This is faith. Applied to the things of God, Pauline faith is the experiential knowledge of God. It is difficult to share it through language, but it is not something the person “believes”, or “thinks”. It is something the person knows in experience.

When the Church accepted the label of being a community that shares a ‘belief” it was put where all such institutions should be: at the margin of society, duly scorned as any group who thinks that their opinion should be able to inform people’s behavior, laws and life. 
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« Reply #101 on: October 30, 2012, 11:51:51 AM »

So, when someone asks the question "What hinder the Orthodox Church to preach te Gospel to all nations?", my answer is:

the fact that preaching opinions and beliefs is an evil, a militant exercize in trying to dominate people's lives, whatever this opinion is. It takes half a second after hegemony for an opinion to start persecuting other different opinions.

Fatcs, on the other hand, do not impose themselves on people's lives and spread naturally. Lots of people had the opinion that the airplane or the lightbulb were impossible. No "pastoral outreach" or "missionary effort" was necessary for aerodynamics or electricity laws to be spread. *This* is what the Spirit of Truth is. We sing at Pascha "Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!" and not "I believe Christ is Risen! Yes, I do think He is Risen!". "Truly" here means "We know this as a fact". It is the same reason Pontios Pilate is mentioned in the Symbol of Faith. We marked historical periods in the past by the kings who were governing at a certain time. When the Symbol says: "he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate" what the Fathers are saying is: this is a historical *fact*. "Pistevo" *because* all this happened historically and not because "I believe" I assume this happened.

This inversion, that "Because I believe, I assume this and that supernatural fact happened" is the virus that weakens Christianity today. No. I know these things happened, that Jesus resurrected, that he made miracles. *Because* of that I have faith in His promises.
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« Reply #102 on: October 30, 2012, 04:14:10 PM »

I will never understand the simplistic and unrealistic way people attach human failure to failure in the Church.  It's as if they look for a reason to complain.

Human sin and selfishness hinders Church efforts.  Without the Church, the entire human race is screwed.  Any other conclusion is simply wrong.  Humans do not have the capacity to be what we should without what the Church provides; otherwise, Jesus would not have started the Church.  Without it, humans destroy.  With it, humans destroy much less.  Please stop church hating and understand any failure is at the hands of individual people.
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« Reply #103 on: October 31, 2012, 01:40:02 AM »

My point is: the reason Christianity was strong in the 1st millenium is because nobody really considered it a "belief" in the modern sense, it was a fact. You had faith in the promises of Christ because these had not been entirely fulfilled yet. But this faith, this trust was based on a known fact, not on a belief.

At some point in the turn to the second millennium, possibly due to the distance from the original facts, Christians stopped treating the facts of Christ’s life as such, and started treating them as something we believed that happened. Then, we had faith in things that were based on things we think that have happened. Do you want to know when “relativism” and “subjectivism” appeared? When Christians stopped treating the historical resurrection as a fact, but as a subjective belief.

And all the people who oppose this are very right. No mere belief or opinion should be privileged in informing law, society or behavior. Any certain knowledge, scientific or from mere common sense has priority over any belief.

Even faith, as defined by St. Paul, is not what Christians today call faith. He says faith is the “certainty of things unseen”. That from a hellenized Jew, who knew pretty well about philosophy and maths. Certainty of mathematics – the very basis of modern science – is certainty of something unseen: nobody has ever seen number 2 or the relations between the sides of triangles. This is faith. Applied to the things of God, Pauline faith is the experiential knowledge of God. It is difficult to share it through language, but it is not something the person “believes”, or “thinks”. It is something the person knows in experience.

When the Church accepted the label of being a community that shares a ‘belief” it was put where all such institutions should be: at the margin of society, duly scorned as any group who thinks that their opinion should be able to inform people’s behavior, laws and life. 


Thank you Fabio, I read you reply this morning at work. I do not have time to reply this evening since it is already past when I should be in bed. I recognize what you are saying, but I think it is more a difference in the changes in the degree of acceptance between now and the first millennium amongst "believers".

What I do not understand is your denigration of belief/believe/faith. These are certainties so I do not know what dictionary you are working from. There are differences in the implied mindset of the person using the term "I know" vs "I believe".   I support the latter term and I consider the former hubris.

I also do not know, nor do I know why I should know, what relativism and subjectivism is.

I will try to write tomorrow but I have a talk to prepare so I cannot guarantee I will.

Take care Fabio.
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« Reply #104 on: December 05, 2012, 09:10:53 PM »

I did not get a chance to read the whole thread but I wanted to chime in.

I am an america, grew up in the northwest and now live in the southern California area. I am not eastern, Greek or Russian. I am american.

Down here I tend a beautiful Orthodox church of Jerusalem. The members there are mostly Arabic. Most of the liturgy is Arabic. So why do I tend to a church that is so foreign. Cause I love the faith. The faith is what matters. As an orthodox christian I believe Christ founded one church 1973 years and we are that church. I do not care if a great majority of the DL is in Arabic, I know the words in english and can follow along. What is impotent to me is that I am worshiping God the way he wanted to be worshiped and loved. This church is not about me, an ethnic background or anything else. It is about Loving god and having a meaningful relationship with Christ. I love my Church, I love the Orthodox faith, and it is that love/passion for it that lights me up and helps me teach others about it. We have the true church and we should share it. We should live faith and be the shining city on the hill. It is that example of our living faith and desire to be edified before God that will draw people to our churches no matter if it spoken in greek, slavic or english.
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« Reply #105 on: December 15, 2012, 07:11:55 AM »

There's nothing wrong with having 'ethnic' churches. The church in the New Testament consisted of the churches of Ephesus, Thessalonica, Jerusalem, and so forth, all in inter-communion, and yet not all sharing the same cultural heritage or even language. The problem comes where members of any particular church allow nationalism or even racism to creep in and obscure the all-inclusive love of Christ. This does happen in Orthodoxy occasionally, but it should also to noted that the Church has always had problems, in every age, that it has had to deal with. That's why Paul wrote many of his epistle: to deal with problems that had crept in. The church is the same today, which is why I haven't been discouraged from Orthodoxy by such complaints against it. I know that ethnocentrism does not reflect Orthodoxy, even if it is one of the difficulties the church struggles with in certain regions. At any rate members of the Antiochian parish I have attended have not exhibited even the slightest bigotry. They've been very friendly towards my wife and I.      
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