OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 20, 2014, 10:07:54 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Why has the Orthodox Church done so little evangelism?  (Read 4152 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
icecreamsandwich
Likely perpetual neophyte
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 144



« on: March 14, 2013, 07:56:13 PM »

I will preface this by simply saying that I do not wish to cause anger or annoyance with anyone. I would simply like someone to explain this to me, because I have not been able to find an answer on my own.

The problem is, I don't honestly get this. Having read John Binn's "An Introduction to the Christian Orthodox Churches", I was interested in what he would say when it came to "missions", and if it'd expand on the bits I knew of the subject. However, he mentioned Cyril and Methodius' work in the Slavic areas, how Christianity was exported to the Russians, and how it was also in Japan and Ethiopia and some of the Middle Eastern countries, at least before they became Muslim... Yeah, that's about it as far as I can recall. Metropolitan Ware mentioned Kenya and Uganda I think, in "The Orthodox Church", as well. I can get that the ex-Byzantines weren't really in a position to evangelise, neither were the Russians during the time of the Soviets, etc, but that doesn't really help the main point: what is it that's being done to bring out Orthodoxy to different parts of the globe in different areas, in the modern age (1900-now)?

Compare this



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodoxy_by_country

With this



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_by_country

I'm fully aware of the disparity of this, and I'm fully aware of the fact that Catholicism spread by ship and by colonists to wherever they went. However, it simply proves my point. The situation is the same when it comes to Protestant branches (at least the older ones) - they're more widespread, and easy to get hold of, just as an example.

I am struggling to get over the impression that the Church seems to be, more often than not, a collection of Eastern European cultural entities and rituals, rather than something more ambivalent and neutral - after all that is how most of the various churches are referred to (Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, etc).  As relates to the US, Where did they come in? Alaska, and slowly down to California, and also somehwere on the East Coast and seemingly grinding to a halt from there. As it is there seems to be very little presence outside of the Alaska / DC/ Northeast area, and even there I may be mistaken.

I don't get it. May someone please explain it, perhaps?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 07:57:10 PM by icecreamsandwich » Logged

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm still learning as I go along.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,841



« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 08:00:41 PM »

Prepare to be kicked and spat upon for bringing up a legit concern.
Logged

"No man gives the same exegesis twice: for he is not the same man, and it is not the same text." - St. Heraclitus
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,970


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 08:14:00 PM »

There are certain intervening circumstances which meant that Orthodox missions were not as far-spread as Roman Catholic missions. Certainly, this should be historically obvious. For one. there was the lack of political authority. Being under the thumb of Mohammedanism for almost 1500 years in many places is a significant challenge when you are forbidden from preaching openly and any converts you make may be killed. Orthodox powers such as there were were not colonial powers to the extent of Spain and France--so you can't really fault the Orthodox Church for not converting Africa and the Americas.

Besides that, it's not like we've been sitting on our hands for 2,000 years. Even today, there are many missionaries. The Patriarchate of Alexandria in the last 50 years has received tens of thousands into the Church.

There is plenty more to do, but to me it seems the OP is upset because of ignorance. Research the Orthodox Christian Mission Center and learn what the Moscow Patriarchate is doing and has done for centuries. Read about Bishop Nektarios of Madagascar (memory eternal!) who went to Madagascar and found there was just one Orthodox Christian and, by the time of his too-soon death, there were more than 10,000. There is also a growing Orthodox mission in Haiti and many thousands have come into the Church in Latin America.

Now, if you really want to compare to Roman Catholicism, there are many parts of Latin America where they no longer have hegemony. They face some of the same problems we do--secularism and the attraction of sects.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
Shiny
Site Supporter
Moderated
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 08:17:53 PM »

Definitely valid concerns. Once the jurisdictional mess is cleaned up in America and we have our own identity as American Orthodox, there will be much potential to evangilize effectively.

What Fr. Hopko said about there being a lot nominalism and parishes being nothing more than "ethnic clubs" is one of my chief criticisms.

I have been told that a more uniform American Orthodox Church is going to happen sooner than later for sustainability reasons. However I am skeptical on how soon.

The faithful need to decide are they serving their ethnicity or God.

EDIT: Seeing as you are a catechumen in OCA, I just talked about America only. Don't know much about the rest of the world, but I hear in Latin and South Ameica there has been a larger Orthodox presence.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 08:21:05 PM by Achronos » Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
Cantor Krishnich
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Pan-Orthodox Christianity
Posts: 545


Mar Ahmed the Daftadar


« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 08:35:00 PM »

Believe it or not, in many ways the Orthodox Church is making very good progress in missionary efforts. The church does not practice open proselytism as Protestant and Catholic groups but have been making many missionary efforts.

The Orthodox Church is growing especially in all of the continents:

In Europe, Orthodoxy is slowly growing. In addition to the Orthodox revival that has taken place in former Communist countries in Eastern Europe, there are quite a few missionary efforts being made by many different churches mainly taking place in Finland, the UK, Albania, and France.

In Africa, there are huge missions that are growing all over Sub-Saharan Africa especially in Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Ghana, South Africa and Uganda, under the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria.

In Asia, the Orthodox Church is growing under the Ecumenical Patriarchate and ROCOR. There are great missionary efforts in Japan, Pakistan, China, Korea, and other countries.

In the Americas, the Church is greatly growing in the US, Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.   

There's even a Russian Church in Antarctica!

If you ask me, the church is making great strides of progress in missionary work although there are some opportunities that aren't always taken advantage of. 
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 08:35:56 PM by Cantor Krishnich » Logged

Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy Upon Me a Sinner!
mike
Stratopedarches
**************
Offline Offline

Posts: 21,467


WWW
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2013, 08:37:41 PM »

Growing in Europe? What?! CIS countries are dying. How can the amount of believers rise? Same for Asia. Where did you get your data from?

I agree it may grom in North America, and Africa. Not so sure about South America, since most of them are cradles there.
Logged

Byzantinism
no longer posting here
icecreamsandwich
Likely perpetual neophyte
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 144



« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2013, 08:38:01 PM »

Prepare to be kicked and spat upon for bringing up a legit concern.

Well, if that's the case then so be it. I don't want to cause problems, though and would hope that someone can explain it.

There are certain intervening circumstances which meant that Orthodox missions were not as far-spread as Roman Catholic missions. Certainly, this should be historically obvious. For one. there was the lack of political authority. Being under the thumb of Mohammedanism for almost 1500 years in many places is a significant challenge when you are forbidden from preaching openly and any converts you make may be killed. Orthodox powers such as there were were not colonial powers to the extent of Spain and France--so you can't really fault the Orthodox Church for not converting Africa and the Americas.

Besides that, it's not like we've been sitting on our hands for 2,000 years. Even today, there are many missionaries. The Patriarchate of Alexandria in the last 50 years has received tens of thousands into the Church.

There is plenty more to do, but to me it seems the OP is upset because of ignorance. Research the Orthodox Christian Mission Center and learn what the Moscow Patriarchate is doing and has done for centuries. Read about Bishop Nektarios of Madagascar (memory eternal!) who went to Madagascar and found there was just one Orthodox Christian and, by the time of his too-soon death, there were more than 10,000. There is also a growing Orthodox mission in Haiti and many thousands have come into the Church in Latin America.

Now, if you really want to compare to Roman Catholicism, there are many parts of Latin America where they no longer have hegemony. They face some of the same problems we do--secularism and the attraction of sects.

I understand that, and thank you for responding Smiley.

However, look at it this way. The Russians (though not officially) took on the mantle of "new Rome", and evangelised to Alaska, fine. Yes, I can understand they had the Communist presence, as did most of Eastern Europe (who also coincidentally are mostly Orthodox), but what of the Ethiopians, for example? They've been Orthodox for a LONG time, probably longer than most, and it's a majority Orthodox country - why did they not do much? What of the times when the Russians weren't being persecuted?

My main reason for being frustrated (and I do admit I am) is that you have to be in church in order to grow. This is not something that really can be done long-distance, or "whenever I can attend": not if you are trying to be wholly committed and serious. The problem is there seems to be a lack of churches, and it simply raises the question, that you're basically stuck if you can't attend a service. What are you supposed to do then? Like, where I grew up, there is no Orthodoxy, whatsoever. I don't necessarily agree with the Catholics, but fact is fact: they have a Cathedral, a Bishop, and a diocese. It's not just them: the Lutherans

For being the second largest (cohesive) Christian entity, how can so much of the globe be so "empty" on that map? What's the answer to someone who can't attend a service (not a Matins / Vespers, mind you, but a Sunday Liturgy) regularly because they're too far from Church? Do you have more examples of missionary work, or a counterpoint to this paragraph, or the one above it?

Definitely valid concerns. Once the jurisdictional mess is cleaned up in America and we have our own identity as American Orthodox, there will be much potential to evangilize effectively.

What Fr. Hopko said about there being a lot nominalism and parishes being nothing more than "ethnic clubs" is one of my chief criticisms.

I have been told that a more uniform American Orthodox Church is going to happen sooner than later for sustainability reasons. However I am skeptical on how soon.

The faithful need to decide are they serving their ethnicity or God.

EDIT: Seeing as you are a catechumen in OCA, I just talked about America only. Don't know much about the rest of the world, but I hear in Latin and South Ameica there has been a larger Orthodox presence.

Thanks Smiley.

Yeah, that's my point. Like, St. Herman came to the US (Alaska) in 1793 (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Herman_of_Alaska), and there are, IIRC, 3 OCA-affiliated seminaries at this point in time (http://oca.org/directories/seminaries). Just 3, two of which were founded in 1938 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Tikhon's_Orthodox_Theological_Seminary and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Vladimir's_Orthodox_Theological_Seminary). Bear in mind Wikipedia is unclear as to when the school that predates St. Herman's was founded. Contrast that with the Roman Catholics, who, while seemingly failing to establish seminaries until 1791 (http://www.stmarys.edu/sot/sot_first_seminary.htm), were already setting up universities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgetown_university) (by the way, Orthodox have only 2 of those in the US that I know of (one in California, and the other being Hellenic College)) before then. Yes, they had a headstart, and yes they seem to have squandered some of it, but look at their presence now. And of course the various older Protestant denominations follow in these footsteps. Would it not be good if there was some other country besides traditionally Orthodox homelands which could say the same?

(edited to add sources)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 08:41:41 PM by icecreamsandwich » Logged

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm still learning as I go along.
mike
Stratopedarches
**************
Offline Offline

Posts: 21,467


WWW
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 08:43:53 PM »

What of the times when the Russians weren't being persecuted?

Everything between Ural and the Pacific.

Quote
What's the answer to someone who can't attend a service (not a Matins / Vespers, mind you, but a Sunday Liturgy) regularly because they're too far from Church?

Can you give some specific examples?

Quote
Do you have more examples of missionary work, or a counterpoint to this paragraph, or the one above it?

Google, forum search...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 08:44:20 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

Byzantinism
no longer posting here
NightOwl
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 596



« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 09:00:38 PM »

Growing in Europe? What?! CIS countries are dying. How can the amount of believers rise? Same for Asia. Where did you get your data from?

I agree it may grom in North America, and Africa. Not so sure about South America, since most of them are cradles there.

Practically everyone I've spoken with from Eastern Europe tells me that Orthodoxy has been exploding in the post-Soviet countries for the past 20 years.

http://russianreport.wordpress.com/religion-in-russia/orthodoxy-in-russia-today/
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 09:01:13 PM by NightOwl » Logged
Cantor Krishnich
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Pan-Orthodox Christianity
Posts: 545


Mar Ahmed the Daftadar


« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 09:04:00 PM »

Growing in Europe? What?! CIS countries are dying. How can the amount of believers rise? Same for Asia. Where did you get your data from?

I agree it may grom in North America, and Africa. Not so sure about South America, since most of them are cradles there.

The Church may not be growing so vastly in Europe but it is growing nonetheless. The Church is growing in the UK, France, Finland, and Albania. I do agree that there are many unseized opportunities.

The church is growing very rapidly in Japan, Pakistan, Korea and China.  

The church is greatly growing in Latin America especially in Guatemala. Many of the Orthodox Christians in South America are Arab cradles but there are still many converts in those churches, especially in Brazil.  
Logged

Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy Upon Me a Sinner!
icecreamsandwich
Likely perpetual neophyte
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 144



« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 09:12:14 PM »

Believe it or not, in many ways the Orthodox Church is making very good progress in missionary efforts. The church does not practice open proselytism as Protestant and Catholic groups but have been making many missionary efforts.

The Orthodox Church is growing especially in all of the continents:

In Europe, Orthodoxy is slowly growing. In addition to the Orthodox revival that has taken place in former Communist countries in Eastern Europe, there are quite a few missionary efforts being made by many different churches mainly taking place in Finland, the UK, Albania, and France.

In Africa, there are huge missions that are growing all over Sub-Saharan Africa especially in Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Ghana, South Africa and Uganda, under the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria.

In Asia, the Orthodox Church is growing under the Ecumenical Patriarchate and ROCOR. There are great missionary efforts in Japan, Pakistan, China, Korea, and other countries.

In the Americas, the Church is greatly growing in the US, Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.   

There's even a Russian Church in Antarctica!

If you ask me, the church is making great strides of progress in missionary work although there are some opportunities that aren't always taken advantage of. 

Thank you for your examples Smiley.

Note that Albania, though, borders Greece, and Serbia, both majority Orthodox, and it falls within the traditional domain of the Byzantine Empire. Similarly, Finland borders Russia and despite this, Orthodoxy is very much a minority, holding just over a percent of the country's population (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Orthodox_Church).

What of the times when the Russians weren't being persecuted?

Everything between Ural and the Pacific.

Quote
What's the answer to someone who can't attend a service (not a Matins / Vespers, mind you, but a Sunday Liturgy) regularly because they're too far from Church?

Can you give some specific examples?

Quote
Do you have more examples of missionary work, or a counterpoint to this paragraph, or the one above it?

Google, forum search...

Thank you Smiley.

1 And the majority of that area either remains Russian, or lacks a significant Orthodox presence to this day.

2 EG, deployed in the military to a non-Orthodox country, or simply living in a place where there is no church? Several members of our parish attend, but live an hour or more from Church and are thus, unable to always make it to service, for example, and this cannot be an uncommon occurrence, if the Orthodox Directory (http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php) is to be believed, and for example, there are ~7 churches within the state of Montana, 4 in North Dakota, and ~5 in Idaho.

3 The googling I've done has yielded the countries I've listed above (original post). I have also not found a counterpoint to being unable to attend Liturgy and properly replacing it, unless it's via a reader's service, or a "replacement prayer" as is found in the All Saints of Alaska prayerbook (http://www.allsaintsofalaska.ca/images/stories/files/Pages%20from%20prayerbook%20-%202-rev%20complete.pdf) neither of which would help you to take Communion, for example, or confess. And note this is exacerbated by there not being something like a "book of common prayer" that outlines all the services in one spot which, while not as good as attending the service itself, would you help follow the rules and practices of the Church more accurately.
Logged

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm still learning as I go along.
mike
Stratopedarches
**************
Offline Offline

Posts: 21,467


WWW
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 09:17:14 PM »

Practically everyone I've spoken with from Eastern Europe tells me that Orthodoxy has been exploding in the post-Soviet countries for the past 20 years.

Yeah. Check the birthrates.

The Church may not be growing so vastly in Europe but it is growing nonetheless. The Church is growing in the UK, France, Finland, and Albania. I do agree that there are many unseized opportunities.

The church is growing very rapidly in Japan, Pakistan, Korea and China.   

The church is greatly growing in Latin America especially in Guatemala. Many of the Orthodox Christians in South America are Arab cradles but there are still many converts in those churches, especially in Brazil. 

Numbers... Give some numbers.

And I know nothing about organised missions in China. And nothing about "many converts" in South America (Brazil or elsewhere), Japan or wherever apart from Guatemala.

1 And the majority of that area either remains Russian, or lacks a significant Orthodox presence to this day.

Really?

Logged

Byzantinism
no longer posting here
icecreamsandwich
Likely perpetual neophyte
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 144



« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2013, 09:27:00 PM »

Growing in Europe? What?! CIS countries are dying. How can the amount of believers rise? Same for Asia. Where did you get your data from?

I agree it may grom in North America, and Africa. Not so sure about South America, since most of them are cradles there.

Practically everyone I've spoken with from Eastern Europe tells me that Orthodoxy has been exploding in the post-Soviet countries for the past 20 years.

http://russianreport.wordpress.com/religion-in-russia/orthodoxy-in-russia-today/

That's Eastern Europe, though. Don't get me wrong - it's good that churches are reopening/being rebuilt etc in Russia, and other nearby countries, but it is simply reclaiming territory that is already native or was native not very long ago. 

Growing in Europe? What?! CIS countries are dying. How can the amount of believers rise? Same for Asia. Where did you get your data from?

I agree it may grom in North America, and Africa. Not so sure about South America, since most of them are cradles there.

The Church may not be growing so vastly in Europe but it is growing nonetheless. The Church is growing in the UK, France, Finland, and Albania. I do agree that there are many unseized opportunities.

The church is growing very rapidly in Japan, Pakistan, Korea and China.   

The church is greatly growing in Latin America especially in Guatemala. Many of the Orthodox Christians in South America are Arab cradles but there are still many converts in those churches, especially in Brazil. 

Guatemala I'd heard about. That sounds like good news...

Practically everyone I've spoken with from Eastern Europe tells me that Orthodoxy has been exploding in the post-Soviet countries for the past 20 years.

Yeah. Check the birthrates.

The Church may not be growing so vastly in Europe but it is growing nonetheless. The Church is growing in the UK, France, Finland, and Albania. I do agree that there are many unseized opportunities.

The church is growing very rapidly in Japan, Pakistan, Korea and China.   

The church is greatly growing in Latin America especially in Guatemala. Many of the Orthodox Christians in South America are Arab cradles but there are still many converts in those churches, especially in Brazil. 

Numbers... Give some numbers.

And I know nothing about organised missions in China. And nothing about "many converts" in South America (Brazil or elsewhere), Japan or wherever apart from Guatemala.

1 And the majority of that area either remains Russian, or lacks a significant Orthodox presence to this day.

Really?



I apologize for being unclear. By "Russian" I mean the country, and the territory it holds, not the people/people groups.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 09:27:29 PM by icecreamsandwich » Logged

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm still learning as I go along.
livefreeordie
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 750


« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 09:33:35 PM »

"I am struggling to get over the impression that the Church seems to be, more often than not, a collection of Eastern European cultural entities and rituals, rather than something more ambivalent and neutral - after all that is how most of the various churches are referred to (Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, etc). "

You nailed it. Many of our churches are ethnic clubs and they like it that way. Also, I've noticed over the years that a lot of converts seem to like it small, almost like they get off being in the "elite" of religion.  Both are sickening.

We won't grow until the Church in America get's so sick it has to band together more than it has.  And even then it won't be able to truly evangelize until leadership festers out the ethnic clubs and allows it to truly be an American church.
Logged
Sinful Hypocrite
Everyday I am critical of others. Every day I make similar mistakes. Every day I am a hypocrite.
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware: "We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."
Posts: 1,690


Great googly moogly!


« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2013, 09:37:22 PM »

Our Greek Orthodox Church(a small one outside Chicago) has had many visiting Orthodox missionaries who came and spoke to our parishioners and they have supported many such endeavors . I would say there is more going on under your radar than you realize
Logged

The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

"A Christian is someone who follows and worships a perfectly good God who revealed his true face through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.“
Cantor Krishnich
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Pan-Orthodox Christianity
Posts: 545


Mar Ahmed the Daftadar


« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2013, 09:39:22 PM »

One thing I do agree with Michal is that the birth rates of ethnic Russians and other cradles in Russia is vastly receding. In Russia, there are missionary efforts among groups Muslim and Pagan ethnic groups but it is not as great as it could be. I've heard that with in the last few years, there are huge numbers of converts from Muslim ethnic groups in Russia that prefer to publicly and legally remain Muslim while practicing the Orthodox Christian faith. There are many missionary opportunities in Former Soviet Central Asia that are not taken advantage of.
Logged

Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy Upon Me a Sinner!
Sinful Hypocrite
Everyday I am critical of others. Every day I make similar mistakes. Every day I am a hypocrite.
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware: "We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."
Posts: 1,690


Great googly moogly!


« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2013, 09:42:43 PM »

"I am struggling to get over the impression that the Church seems to be, more often than not, a collection of Eastern European cultural entities and rituals, rather than something more ambivalent and neutral - after all that is how most of the various churches are referred to (Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, etc). "

You nailed it. Many of our churches are ethnic clubs and they like it that way. Also, I've noticed over the years that a lot of converts seem to like it small, almost like they get off being in the "elite" of religion.  Both are sickening.

We won't grow until the Church in America get's so sick it has to band together more than it has.  And even then it won't be able to truly evangelize until leadership festers out the ethnic clubs and allows it to truly be an American church.

My Greek orthodox church works with all other local Orthodox churches in various ways, also the preists go to the churches together and have services on certain days .

It may be said that when looking from a worldview you are right, but when you spend even as little as I do at a local level you see mucg goodwill between them.

Also speaking out about ethnicity is not the way to make these churches work closer. IMHO There are better ways , but you have to start at the local level before you can go global.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 09:50:12 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

"A Christian is someone who follows and worships a perfectly good God who revealed his true face through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.“
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,629


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2013, 09:48:52 PM »

Well, if America had a unified Church, we'd be more than capable with our great wealth and options to fund and do missionaries all across the globe...
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2013, 09:56:28 PM »

I will preface this by simply saying that I do not wish to cause anger or annoyance with anyone. I would simply like someone to explain this to me, because I have not been able to find an answer on my own.

The problem is, I don't honestly get this. Having read John Binn's "An Introduction to the Christian Orthodox Churches", I was interested in what he would say when it came to "missions", and if it'd expand on the bits I knew of the subject. However, he mentioned Cyril and Methodius' work in the Slavic areas, how Christianity was exported to the Russians, and how it was also in Japan and Ethiopia and some of the Middle Eastern countries, at least before they became Muslim... Yeah, that's about it as far as I can recall. Metropolitan Ware mentioned Kenya and Uganda I think, in "The Orthodox Church", as well. I can get that the ex-Byzantines weren't really in a position to evangelise, neither were the Russians during the time of the Soviets, etc, but that doesn't really help the main point: what is it that's being done to bring out Orthodoxy to different parts of the globe in different areas, in the modern age (1900-now)?

Compare this



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodoxy_by_country

With this



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_by_country

I'm fully aware of the disparity of this, and I'm fully aware of the fact that Catholicism spread by ship and by colonists to wherever they went. However, it simply proves my point. The situation is the same when it comes to Protestant branches (at least the older ones) - they're more widespread, and easy to get hold of, just as an example.

I am struggling to get over the impression that the Church seems to be, more often than not, a collection of Eastern European cultural entities and rituals, rather than something more ambivalent and neutral - after all that is how most of the various churches are referred to (Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, etc).  As relates to the US, Where did they come in? Alaska, and slowly down to California, and also somehwere on the East Coast and seemingly grinding to a halt from there. As it is there seems to be very little presence outside of the Alaska / DC/ Northeast area, and even there I may be mistaken.

I don't get it. May someone please explain it, perhaps?

Unfortunately, these maps are not exactly comparable.  On the RC map, the RC's have the whole world as blue because they have a "0-10%" range.  The Orthodox map would also have blue throughout the world if it was same coloration standards, since "0-10%" qualifies as blue on the other map, and is blocked by 10's rather than by quarters.  But yes, Africa, Guatamala, and even India has active missionary presence. 
Logged
icecreamsandwich
Likely perpetual neophyte
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 144



« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2013, 10:23:41 PM »

My Greek orthodox church works with all other local Orthodox churches in various ways, also the preists go to the churches together and have services on certain days .

It may be said that when looking from a worldview you are right, but when you spend even as little as I do at a local level you see mucg goodwill between them.

Also speaking out about ethnicity is not the way to make these churches work closer. IMHO There are better ways , but you have to start at the local level before you can go global.

I can attest to this. I've heard of several instances in which a metropolitan of one jurisdiction has either met with another, or celebrated / been hosted by another jurisdiction's church. The churches do seem to work together quite closely...

I will preface this by simply saying that I do not wish to cause anger or annoyance with anyone. I would simply like someone to explain this to me, because I have not been able to find an answer on my own.

The problem is, I don't honestly get this. Having read John Binn's "An Introduction to the Christian Orthodox Churches", I was interested in what he would say when it came to "missions", and if it'd expand on the bits I knew of the subject. However, he mentioned Cyril and Methodius' work in the Slavic areas, how Christianity was exported to the Russians, and how it was also in Japan and Ethiopia and some of the Middle Eastern countries, at least before they became Muslim... Yeah, that's about it as far as I can recall. Metropolitan Ware mentioned Kenya and Uganda I think, in "The Orthodox Church", as well. I can get that the ex-Byzantines weren't really in a position to evangelise, neither were the Russians during the time of the Soviets, etc, but that doesn't really help the main point: what is it that's being done to bring out Orthodoxy to different parts of the globe in different areas, in the modern age (1900-now)?

Compare this



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodoxy_by_country

With this



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_by_country

I'm fully aware of the disparity of this, and I'm fully aware of the fact that Catholicism spread by ship and by colonists to wherever they went. However, it simply proves my point. The situation is the same when it comes to Protestant branches (at least the older ones) - they're more widespread, and easy to get hold of, just as an example.

I am struggling to get over the impression that the Church seems to be, more often than not, a collection of Eastern European cultural entities and rituals, rather than something more ambivalent and neutral - after all that is how most of the various churches are referred to (Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, etc).  As relates to the US, Where did they come in? Alaska, and slowly down to California, and also somehwere on the East Coast and seemingly grinding to a halt from there. As it is there seems to be very little presence outside of the Alaska / DC/ Northeast area, and even there I may be mistaken.

I don't get it. May someone please explain it, perhaps?

Unfortunately, these maps are not exactly comparable.  On the RC map, the RC's have the whole world as blue because they have a "0-10%" range.  The Orthodox map would also have blue throughout the world if it was same coloration standards, since "0-10%" qualifies as blue on the other map, and is blocked by 10's rather than by quarters.  But yes, Africa, Guatamala, and even India has active missionary presence. 

Thank you Father Smiley.

That does not detract from the point that the maps make, though. The majority of the majority Orthodox (Oriental or Eastern) countries, are within their traditional homelands or in places long ago evangelized to (ie, Eastern Europe, Russia, snippets in Western European countries). That is compared to the map showing Roman Catholicism, whose influence is admittedly, as you say, more accurately represented by the "10%"s, but shows signs of consistent and significant evangelism (eg most of South America, Angola and its surrounding areas, Australia, etc). The comparison starts to break down a little as the different Protestant branches themselves do, but continues to be relatively consistent as long as the size of the branch does not shrink too much. For example, Lutherans supposedly are majority in Namibia (ex-German colony), and the Philippines, and if you look here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutheranism_by_region#Countries_with_more_than_500.2C000_Lutherans) you can see that the countries in which they are largely present is much more geographically diverse than the countries in which Orthodox are present. This, despite Lutherans supposedly numbering about 75 million worldwide. Does that make sense?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 10:28:48 PM by icecreamsandwich » Logged

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm still learning as I go along.
Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,042



« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2013, 12:50:03 AM »

Only by the Grace of God, did the church survive the scourges of the suppression of the Moslem religion (500 years) and Communism (73, 44 years).  Both World Wars hurt the church substantially, too.  It's still digging itself out from both scourges, rebuilding; the Ancient Patriarchates, the Balkan and the Russian Churches, and, Red China-continuing today). The Holy Orthodox Churches were devastated by these horrors. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), while founded in the U.S., was established to serve as the social welfare outreach of the Holy Orthodox Churches which did not have the assets to fulfill these responsibilities.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 01:00:35 AM by Basil 320 » Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
jmbejdl
Count-Palatine James the Spurious of Giggleswick on the Naze
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Church of Romania
Posts: 1,480


Great Martyr St. John the New of Suceava


« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2013, 04:26:45 AM »

My Greek orthodox church works with all other local Orthodox churches in various ways, also the preists go to the churches together and have services on certain days .

It may be said that when looking from a worldview you are right, but when you spend even as little as I do at a local level you see mucg goodwill between them.

Also speaking out about ethnicity is not the way to make these churches work closer. IMHO There are better ways , but you have to start at the local level before you can go global.

I can attest to this. I've heard of several instances in which a metropolitan of one jurisdiction has either met with another, or celebrated / been hosted by another jurisdiction's church. The churches do seem to work together quite closely...

I will preface this by simply saying that I do not wish to cause anger or annoyance with anyone. I would simply like someone to explain this to me, because I have not been able to find an answer on my own.

The problem is, I don't honestly get this. Having read John Binn's "An Introduction to the Christian Orthodox Churches", I was interested in what he would say when it came to "missions", and if it'd expand on the bits I knew of the subject. However, he mentioned Cyril and Methodius' work in the Slavic areas, how Christianity was exported to the Russians, and how it was also in Japan and Ethiopia and some of the Middle Eastern countries, at least before they became Muslim... Yeah, that's about it as far as I can recall. Metropolitan Ware mentioned Kenya and Uganda I think, in "The Orthodox Church", as well. I can get that the ex-Byzantines weren't really in a position to evangelise, neither were the Russians during the time of the Soviets, etc, but that doesn't really help the main point: what is it that's being done to bring out Orthodoxy to different parts of the globe in different areas, in the modern age (1900-now)?

Compare this



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodoxy_by_country

With this



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_by_country

I'm fully aware of the disparity of this, and I'm fully aware of the fact that Catholicism spread by ship and by colonists to wherever they went. However, it simply proves my point. The situation is the same when it comes to Protestant branches (at least the older ones) - they're more widespread, and easy to get hold of, just as an example.

I am struggling to get over the impression that the Church seems to be, more often than not, a collection of Eastern European cultural entities and rituals, rather than something more ambivalent and neutral - after all that is how most of the various churches are referred to (Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, etc).  As relates to the US, Where did they come in? Alaska, and slowly down to California, and also somehwere on the East Coast and seemingly grinding to a halt from there. As it is there seems to be very little presence outside of the Alaska / DC/ Northeast area, and even there I may be mistaken.

I don't get it. May someone please explain it, perhaps?

Unfortunately, these maps are not exactly comparable.  On the RC map, the RC's have the whole world as blue because they have a "0-10%" range.  The Orthodox map would also have blue throughout the world if it was same coloration standards, since "0-10%" qualifies as blue on the other map, and is blocked by 10's rather than by quarters.  But yes, Africa, Guatamala, and even India has active missionary presence. 

Thank you Father Smiley.

That does not detract from the point that the maps make, though. The majority of the majority Orthodox (Oriental or Eastern) countries, are within their traditional homelands or in places long ago evangelized to (ie, Eastern Europe, Russia, snippets in Western European countries). That is compared to the map showing Roman Catholicism, whose influence is admittedly, as you say, more accurately represented by the "10%"s, but shows signs of consistent and significant evangelism (eg most of South America, Angola and its surrounding areas, Australia, etc). The comparison starts to break down a little as the different Protestant branches themselves do, but continues to be relatively consistent as long as the size of the branch does not shrink too much. For example, Lutherans supposedly are majority in Namibia (ex-German colony), and the Philippines, and if you look here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutheranism_by_region#Countries_with_more_than_500.2C000_Lutherans) you can see that the countries in which they are largely present is much more geographically diverse than the countries in which Orthodox are present. This, despite Lutherans supposedly numbering about 75 million worldwide. Does that make sense?

The same is true for the Roman Catholics as is for the Orthodox (and also for the Lutherans, Anglicans etc.). Other than the ancient homelands, the vast majority of evangelism is in the old colonies. The difference is that, with the exception of Russia spreading across Asia and into North America, there really are no old Orthodox colonies. The reason there are so many Roman Catholics in South America is far more down to colonisation than anything else.

I'm not saying we don't need to do more (we certainly do), but looking at the geographical spread of the churches without considering the history is bound to be misleading. Here, in the UK, I see very little Orthodox missionary work but I do see some. As an example, we have a friend from our old parish who was recently ordained a priest specifically to start an English language mission parish. Never in my life have I seen anything that would fairly be described as Roman Catholic missionary work here. If you live in the west we must look like a tiny minority because we are, but we're a tiny minority that is growing (not fast enough, in my opinion). For a church to be growing here is amazing in itself. Of course we'd grow faster if we dropped the ethnic aspects and simply became Orthodox, worshipped in English, etc. but as most parishes here are reasonably recent and immigrant in nature, this won't happen over night - most do seem to be moving in the right direction, however.

James
Logged

We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
Ansgar
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: More than an inquirer, less than a catechumen
Jurisdiction: Exarchate of orthodox churches of russian tradition in western Europe
Posts: 2,969


Keep your mind in hell and do not despair


« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2013, 08:09:02 AM »

One country I often wonder about is China.
Now, I can easily understand that the chinese government isn't the easiest to work with and certainly, the Russian Church has made some progress, but it seems like, at least to me, that where the protestants and the catholics are willing to do missionary work without the approval of the authorities, the russians seem reluctant to take that step.  
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 08:11:06 AM by Ansgar » Logged

Do not be cast down over the struggle - the Lord loves a brave warrior. The Lord loves the soul that is valiant.

-St Silouan the athonite
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,009


"My god is greater."


« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2013, 08:24:11 AM »

One country I often wonder about is China.
Now, I can easily understand that the chinese government isn't the easiest to work with and certainly, the Russian Church has made some progress, but it seems like, at least to me, that where the protestants and the catholics are willing to do missionary work without the approval of the authorities, the russians seem reluctant to take that step.  

Missionary work is being done by Orthodox in China (not necessarily by Russians) but it is small and low-key. A major reason that the PRC does not recognize Orthodoxy is that they fear it would be a tool of Russian state influence. In light of that, it might be better that clergy of other jurisdictions are doing the work, even if it is canonically indefensible.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,641



« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2013, 08:39:06 AM »

Only by the Grace of God, did the church survive the scourges of the suppression of the Moslem religion (500 years)
500 years? 1376 years. And counting.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,042



« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2013, 09:36:55 AM »

True.
Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,291



« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2013, 10:18:51 AM »

Only by the Grace of God, did the church survive the scourges of the suppression of the Moslem religion (500 years) and Communism (73, 44 years).  Both World Wars hurt the church substantially, too.  It's still digging itself out from both scourges, rebuilding; the Ancient Patriarchates, the Balkan and the Russian Churches, and, Red China-continuing today). The Holy Orthodox Churches were devastated by these horrors.

And there you have it. The miracle is that the Orthodox Church survived at all!

Look up the statistics on how many priests, monks and nuns were killed by the Communists in Russia, and how many churches and monasteries were destroyed or desecrated before being critical of a lack of evangelism.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,787



« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2013, 10:44:10 AM »

Icecreamsandwich is saying what many Orthodox have been saying for decades. It is a fact that many of our jurisdictions are not missionary minded, even though at least lip service is given to evangelization by all jurisdictions. That said, everything that everybody has posted is also true. I think we are at a crossroads and I have a feeling that missionary zeal will indeed increase in the fairly near future. The true turning point will occur when we all believe, as my priest pointed out in his homily on the Sunday of the Canaanite Woman, that we are to be missionaries as the Lord and His Holy Apostles were, that to be an Orthodox Christian is to be a missionary.
Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,291



« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2013, 10:53:59 AM »

Icecreamsandwich is saying what many Orthodox have been saying for decades. It is a fact that many of our jurisdictions are not missionary minded, even though at least lip service is given to evangelization by all jurisdictions. That said, everything that everybody has posted is also true. I think we are at a crossroads and I have a feeling that missionary zeal will indeed increase in the fairly near future. The true turning point will occur when we all believe, as my priest pointed out in his homily on the Sunday of the Canaanite Woman, that we are to be missionaries as the Lord and His Holy Apostles were, that to be an Orthodox Christian is to be a missionary.

And we don't have to wait for our Bishop or a church department to engage in evangelism.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
icecreamsandwich
Likely perpetual neophyte
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 144



« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2013, 11:14:27 AM »

Only by the Grace of God, did the church survive the scourges of the suppression of the Moslem religion (500 years) and Communism (73, 44 years).  Both World Wars hurt the church substantially, too.  It's still digging itself out from both scourges, rebuilding; the Ancient Patriarchates, the Balkan and the Russian Churches, and, Red China-continuing today). The Holy Orthodox Churches were devastated by these horrors. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), while founded in the U.S., was established to serve as the social welfare outreach of the Holy Orthodox Churches which did not have the assets to fulfill these responsibilities.

If one premises Christianity to have started in 100AD (I know it didn't: this is for the sake of argument) - that leaves just over 500 years for Christianity to have grown and spread, and yet for the most part apart from where the Apostles seem to have gone first (Ethopia, India, the Roman Empire, and the surrounding area, it seems to have not grown very much outside that area.

Don't get me wrong: I understand that Communism did a lot of damage to the Church, as has being under Muslim occupation, but that's missing the point I make. Not every place was under Muslim occupation, neither was every place under Communist occupation. There are other churches that have been left relatively untouched, again, Ethiopia being an example, and so there is a position from there where missionary work could have been done instead of leaving it up until now.

Why is Orthodoxy so under-prevalent in the Western US despite it having been a base for the Church and the next logical step for growth?

The same is true for the Roman Catholics as is for the Orthodox (and also for the Lutherans, Anglicans etc.). Other than the ancient homelands, the vast majority of evangelism is in the old colonies. The difference is that, with the exception of Russia spreading across Asia and into North America, there really are no old Orthodox colonies. The reason there are so many Roman Catholics in South America is far more down to colonisation than anything else.

I'm not saying we don't need to do more (we certainly do), but looking at the geographical spread of the churches without considering the history is bound to be misleading. Here, in the UK, I see very little Orthodox missionary work but I do see some. As an example, we have a friend from our old parish who was recently ordained a priest specifically to start an English language mission parish. Never in my life have I seen anything that would fairly be described as Roman Catholic missionary work here. If you live in the west we must look like a tiny minority because we are, but we're a tiny minority that is growing (not fast enough, in my opinion). For a church to be growing here is amazing in itself. Of course we'd grow faster if we dropped the ethnic aspects and simply became Orthodox, worshipped in English, etc. but as most parishes here are reasonably recent and immigrant in nature, this won't happen over night - most do seem to be moving in the right direction, however.

James

On the map, though, you can see what they did. Yes, it spread via colonialization, but it spread nevertheless, instead of being mostly in just the area it was founded. It's the same with Islam - you can see they spread relatively far given where their homeland is.

Only by the Grace of God, did the church survive the scourges of the suppression of the Moslem religion (500 years) and Communism (73, 44 years).  Both World Wars hurt the church substantially, too.  It's still digging itself out from both scourges, rebuilding; the Ancient Patriarchates, the Balkan and the Russian Churches, and, Red China-continuing today). The Holy Orthodox Churches were devastated by these horrors.

And there you have it. The miracle is that the Orthodox Church survived at all!

Look up the statistics on how many priests, monks and nuns were killed by the Communists in Russia, and how many churches and monasteries were destroyed or desecrated before being critical of a lack of evangelism.

However, probably all older branches of Christianity have been under persecution at some point in time, or been the persecutors, yet the more Western ones have still managed to thrive.

I may be being critical of the lack of evangelism, yes, but it's highlighting a point, and IMHO it's a legitimate point. How can one be expected to convert to a Church that is rather different to the Western ones, if the Church cannot make the information be shown in a manner that is applicable and relevant to the people (inquirers or otherwise) who are coming in? I thought that that was the point of Orthodox missionary work, and one shining example of it: packaging the teachings of the Gospel in the culture of the surrounding area, and what was done in Alaska and the Slavic countries. 

I'd also like to point out that you're bringing up Russia, which is a valid example. However, I've never been to Russia. I don't know all that much about Russia. I don't understand very many of their customs, or their language, or alphabet. Yet, I'm attending a Russian-descent parish which seemingly follows some of the traditions of the Russian Church. What is my point? That example works well for those who are Russian, or were in a Communist country, as they know the realities of it. Russia is not going to be quite as relevant to me, though, as an example that is closer to my heart. That's the same thing with Serbia, or Bulgaria, or Romania - they're countries that are not in my experience, and the example loses a lot of its relevance, and perhaps power to me. And before someone accuses me of insulting these countries I've been fortunate to meet several Serbians and enjoy their company, and my best friend is a Bulgarian, so this is nothing against the countries being listed.

How does this feed into evangelism? Converts need to attend Church regularly and be in contact with their priest. For a liturgy they likely need to go to a parish. To have a parish you have to have establishment, and that means evangelism.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 11:15:53 AM by icecreamsandwich » Logged

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm still learning as I go along.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,641



« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2013, 11:42:48 AM »

Don't get me wrong: I understand that Communism did a lot of damage to the Church, as has being under Muslim occupation, but that's missing the point I make. Not every place was under Muslim occupation, neither was every place under Communist occupation. There are other churches that have been left relatively untouched, again, Ethiopia being an example, and so there is a position from there where missionary work could have been done instead of leaving it up until now.
?
Ethiopia is just coming out of decades of communist rule, and having been surrounded by Muslim powers (and even briefly having a Muslim Emperor) since the birth of Islam.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,291



« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2013, 12:14:19 PM »

Not every place was under Muslim occupation, neither was every place under Communist occupation. .

I fear that you are laboring under a misunderstanding of history. Could you provide some examples of places that you believe could have sent out Orthodox missionaries that were not under Muslim or Communist occupation?


(oh, and just btw, I'm not Russian (Irish and German, in fact). You don't have to be a particular ethnicity to recognize injustice and oppression and appreciate its effect on the Orthodox Church and its faithful.)

« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 12:16:20 PM by katherineofdixie » Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
icecreamsandwich
Likely perpetual neophyte
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 144



« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2013, 04:51:55 PM »

Don't get me wrong: I understand that Communism did a lot of damage to the Church, as has being under Muslim occupation, but that's missing the point I make. Not every place was under Muslim occupation, neither was every place under Communist occupation. There are other churches that have been left relatively untouched, again, Ethiopia being an example, and so there is a position from there where missionary work could have been done instead of leaving it up until now.
?
Ethiopia is just coming out of decades of communist rule, and having been surrounded by Muslim powers (and even briefly having a Muslim Emperor) since the birth of Islam.

I wasn't aware that they had been Communist recently - my mistake. That was from 1974 until recently, so for the greater part of the time between 1900 and now that has not applied. Why I bring this up, is that neighboring Kenya, while having been Arab-influenced, was first introduced to Christianity by the Portuguese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Kenya) and today holds a 23.4% Catholic presence, as well as a relatively significant LDS presence (both of those comments are shown in that same Wikipedia link). How can that be explained off?

Not every place was under Muslim occupation, neither was every place under Communist occupation. .

I fear that you are laboring under a misunderstanding of history. Could you provide some examples of places that you believe could have sent out Orthodox missionaries that were not under Muslim or Communist occupation?

(oh, and just btw, I'm not Russian (Irish and German, in fact). You don't have to be a particular ethnicity to recognize injustice and oppression and appreciate its effect on the Orthodox Church and its faithful.)

Some examples would be, west of Russia (especially west of Finland, before the Protestant Reformation), and the traditional Byzantine areas after the split, and before the Communists came in. That applies (but south as well) to Ethiopia, before the time of their occupation. Another example would be south and east of Alaska, through Canada and western parts of the US (Washington State, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, etc) before the Communists came, and even then, afterwards. I mean, the Church didn't fall apart once the Byzantines did - they kept the faith, and others did too while spreading it - just like what happened with Rome after the Western Roman Empire fell. It's a natural conclusion to say that things would've been different if the Russians hadn't become Orthodox as a result of visiting Constantinople, right?

I agree completely with your last paragraph. Just to be clear, I do not endorse, or support such injustices, and believe firmly that one should be allowed to worship freely, whatever their religious beliefs (if any).

« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 04:57:33 PM by icecreamsandwich » Logged

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm still learning as I go along.
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,291



« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2013, 05:03:07 PM »

Some examples would be, west of Russia (especially west of Finland, before the Protestant Reformation), and the traditional Byzantine areas after the split, and before the Communists came in. That applies (but south as well) to Ethiopia, before the time of their occupation. Another example would be south and east of Alaska, through Canada and western parts of the US (Washington State, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, etc) before the Communists came, and even then, afterwards. I mean, the Church didn't fall apart once the Byzantines did - they kept the faith, and others did too while spreading it - just like what happened with Rome after the Western Roman Empire fell. It's a natural conclusion to say that things would've been different if the Russians hadn't become Orthodox as a result of visiting Constantinople, right?

I'm not sure, but I think you're slightly missing the point. After the fall of Byzantium and during the Muslim occupation, what part of the Orthodox Church (and where, come to that?) would have been able to send missionaries?
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2013, 07:37:43 PM »

Regarding USA and Canada I do not see "ethnic churches" (Serbian, Russian, Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, etc) as the reason why Orthodoxy it has not spread as quickly as one would like. Even though there is a unity among them, I still believe that their relationship could be better (perhaps priests serving at each others churches during the biggest feast of that parish, organizing events in which Orthodox believers from different parishioners attend together, etc...there numerous possibilites).  Having sad that, I repeat that those ethnic churches are not the obstacle to missionary but are instead the reason why Orthodoxy has spread in North America at all...If it wasn't for all the immigrants who "brought" Orthodoxy, then Orthodoxy would still remain unknown to many.  There is an "American" Orthodox Church (OCA) as it should be the case in every country, but that should not mean that other parishes should join their jurisdiction...because those parishes are not simply churches but are instead church-school congregations and preserve ones root...Nobody is preventing OCA of being more  missionary, neither is anyone preventing Serbian (and other "ethnic") Church from doing the same...they are not (nor could they ever be) in each other's way...That is why (at least) on the Week of Orthodoxy I am very happy to see clergy from different juridictions come together and praise the God in the same church...It is a beautiful sight...

Looking at the bigger picture, Orthodoxy was spread willingly...it did not come as a result of occupations and imperialism...even those who attempted have failed misserably.  Serbia was fully evangelized only when Serbs accepted the Orthodoxy willingly under the leadership of St. Sava...that does not minimize the importance of Sts. Cyril and Methodius but provides a different insight on Orthodox missionary.  As a matter of fact there were numerous  Christians (Orthodox and Catholic) living in the Balkans prior to "offical  national conversions."  Same thing happened in Russia who under the leadership of St. Vladimir became Orthodox (on a national level)...even though I am sure there were Orthodox missionaries there prior to that date.  That is why there is a need to distinguish between individual and national conversion.

I do not think there will be any more national conversions...however that does not prevent Orthodox missionaries from spreading the Orthodoxy in other places...Enormous efforts have been made, but (as in life) it can always be done better...I am glad that Orthodox conversions are not taking place as an act of prozelytism but as result of individual's free will in becoming an Orthodox Christian (as it can be seen on this forum)...it makes happier to see a single person becoming Orthodox due to his-her free joice than to see tens of thousands of people becoming Orthodox by forceful methods...

Sorry for the long story...Even though I very much agree with the OP that Orthodox missionary is not as succesful (number wise), I belive that perhaps it is not meant to be that way...as in the Gospel it says "many are called but few are chosen..." (Matthew 22:14).
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 07:38:55 PM by Putnik Namernik » Logged
Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,042



« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2013, 10:38:49 PM »

I think another issue that should be considered within the context of this discussion, the "West," is primarily the diaspora of Western Christians, Roman Catholic's and various Protestant denominations.  In the early days of he Ecumenical Movement (late 1940's), there was an understanding that the Christian denominations would not "poach" fellow Christians.  The more traditional Orthodox consider this absurd, but the Holy Orthodox Churches really haven't seen the "West", Western Europe, and the Western Hemisphere, as within their territory of responsibilities.  This is compounded by the minimal number of Orthodox Christians in these regions.  Africa and the Far East, are another story...
Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
leap of faith
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Posts: 120



« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2013, 11:45:05 PM »

Icecreamsandwich is saying what many Orthodox have been saying for decades. It is a fact that many of our jurisdictions are not missionary minded, even though at least lip service is given to evangelization by all jurisdictions. That said, everything that everybody has posted is also true. I think we are at a crossroads and I have a feeling that missionary zeal will indeed increase in the fairly near future. The true turning point will occur when we all believe, as my priest pointed out in his homily on the Sunday of the Canaanite Woman, that we are to be missionaries as the Lord and His Holy Apostles were, that to be an Orthodox Christian is to be a missionary.

And we don't have to wait for our Bishop or a church department to engage in evangelism.

^^This^^  Please forgive my bluntness, especially since I am quite new here, but folks can sit around and look at maps and wax eloquent until they are blue in the face.  At the end of the day, all that is required is a good long look in the mirror.  It is my responsibility.  It is the responsibility of each and every one of us.  My comment is directed to the US audience, in particular, because that is obviously where I live.  It is *alarming* how many Americans have never even heard of the Orthodox Church...as we all know.  I'm sorry but, shame on us! IMO, "evangelizing" is the equivalent of living the Orthodox faith.  It's living our daily lives with genuine humility and love for our neighbor...truly caring about them and seeing Christ in them.  Do this, and people will begin to ask questions.  I guarantee it. When they do, undergird the truth with love, feeding them one spoonful at a time.  Rather than mock their beliefs in public view, be in awe of their love for Christ despite not having the full deposit of Christian truth and worship that we have access to each and every day!  I will say that converts have a "leg up" in these sorts of discussions, once we are asked.  We've read the play book. If we answer well and continue to be a living example of the Orthodox Church, it may take a few years but God will slowly open their eyes and ears if they allow.  One person at a time.  That's how we "evangelize."  One person at a time.  This isn't rocket science.
Logged
mike
Stratopedarches
**************
Offline Offline

Posts: 21,467


WWW
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2013, 08:18:24 AM »

Some examples would be, west of Russia (especially west of Finland, before the Protestant Reformation), and the traditional Byzantine areas after the split, and before the Communists came in.

I find your lack of history and geography knowledge quite disturbing.

I would ask you what do you mean by "west of Russia" and how do you include in there west of Finland however I'm too afraid to hear the answer.

There were Swedes in the west of Finland. That's why.

Here you are some examples of missionary work by Russians west of Russia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russification#Poland_and_Lithuania

Quote
traditional Byzantine areas after the split, and before the Communists came in

When they were under Muslims?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 08:23:24 AM by Michał Kalina » Logged

Byzantinism
no longer posting here
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2013, 08:23:49 AM »

Money> http://www.ocmc.org/ <Mouth
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,009


"My god is greater."


« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2013, 09:50:45 AM »

I'm not sure if this point was made already, but in the olden days the most efficient method of evangelization was converting kings and then having the king, erm... invite his subjects to the new religion. (The other major way to make an impression was to get tortured and killed en masse by the authorities.) One-on-one evangelization is tough, slow business.

I think one of the reasons ancient Christianity did not spread too far into sub-Saharan Africa was that, unlike Ethiopia, most of the areas there did not have big centralized governments. That's just my hypothesis though- I don't know much about the history there.  Later pushes by Protestants and Catholics to evangelize there had the backing of colonial powers. Conversely, in the 20th century, some people involved in African national liberation movements (e.g. the Mau-Mau) became interested in Orthodoxy precisely because it was not being pushed by a colonial power. Politics is important in either case.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 09:53:33 AM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
leap of faith
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Posts: 120



« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2013, 09:59:22 AM »

Money> http://www.ocmc.org/ <Mouth

Excellent. 
Logged
JoeS2
Warned
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic by choice
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,123


St. Mark Defender of the true Faith (old CAF guy)


« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2013, 10:20:34 AM »

Some missionary work is being done by Orthodox priests in China and Indonesia.  Although we are small in numbers and that churches are really homes made into churches the missionary effort does exist there and it is growing albeit slowly.  Priests, I have heard, can not wear their cassocks or in any way be identified as priests in these areas but "word of mouth" is a good way of getting the word out.  I say there is a thriving but small "underground" church in both countries.  We are also making marked inroads in Nigeria and Tanzania Africa.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 10:22:53 AM by JoeS2 » Logged
icecreamsandwich
Likely perpetual neophyte
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 144



« Reply #42 on: March 16, 2013, 12:16:44 PM »

Regarding USA and Canada I do not see "ethnic churches" (Serbian, Russian, Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, etc) as the reason why Orthodoxy it has not spread as quickly as one would like. Even though there is a unity among them, I still believe that their relationship could be better (perhaps priests serving at each others churches during the biggest feast of that parish, organizing events in which Orthodox believers from different parishioners attend together, etc...there numerous possibilites).  Having sad that, I repeat that those ethnic churches are not the obstacle to missionary but are instead the reason why Orthodoxy has spread in North America at all...If it wasn't for all the immigrants who "brought" Orthodoxy, then Orthodoxy would still remain unknown to many.  There is an "American" Orthodox Church (OCA) as it should be the case in every country, but that should not mean that other parishes should join their jurisdiction...because those parishes are not simply churches but are instead church-school congregations and preserve ones root...Nobody is preventing OCA of being more  missionary, neither is anyone preventing Serbian (and other "ethnic") Church from doing the same...they are not (nor could they ever be) in each other's way...That is why (at least) on the Week of Orthodoxy I am very happy to see clergy from different juridictions come together and praise the God in the same church...It is a beautiful sight...

Looking at the bigger picture, Orthodoxy was spread willingly...it did not come as a result of occupations and imperialism...even those who attempted have failed misserably.  Serbia was fully evangelized only when Serbs accepted the Orthodoxy willingly under the leadership of St. Sava...that does not minimize the importance of Sts. Cyril and Methodius but provides a different insight on Orthodox missionary.  As a matter of fact there were numerous  Christians (Orthodox and Catholic) living in the Balkans prior to "offical  national conversions."  Same thing happened in Russia who under the leadership of St. Vladimir became Orthodox (on a national level)...even though I am sure there were Orthodox missionaries there prior to that date.  That is why there is a need to distinguish between individual and national conversion.

I do not think there will be any more national conversions...however that does not prevent Orthodox missionaries from spreading the Orthodoxy in other places...Enormous efforts have been made, but (as in life) it can always be done better...I am glad that Orthodox conversions are not taking place as an act of prozelytism but as result of individual's free will in becoming an Orthodox Christian (as it can be seen on this forum)...it makes happier to see a single person becoming Orthodox due to his-her free joice than to see tens of thousands of people becoming Orthodox by forceful methods...

Sorry for the long story...Even though I very much agree with the OP that Orthodox missionary is not as succesful (number wise), I belive that perhaps it is not meant to be that way...as in the Gospel it says "many are called but few are chosen..." (Matthew 22:14).


Thanks for posting - the longer the better Tongue.

I'm not sure if this point was made already, but in the olden days the most efficient method of evangelization was converting kings and then having the king, erm... invite his subjects to the new religion. (The other major way to make an impression was to get tortured and killed en masse by the authorities.) One-on-one evangelization is tough, slow business.

I think one of the reasons ancient Christianity did not spread too far into sub-Saharan Africa was that, unlike Ethiopia, most of the areas there did not have big centralized governments. That's just my hypothesis though- I don't know much about the history there.  Later pushes by Protestants and Catholics to evangelize there had the backing of colonial powers. Conversely, in the 20th century, some people involved in African national liberation movements (e.g. the Mau-Mau) became interested in Orthodoxy precisely because it was not being pushed by a colonial power. Politics is important in either case.

Ah, fair enough. Thank you Smiley.

Some examples would be, west of Russia (especially west of Finland, before the Protestant Reformation), and the traditional Byzantine areas after the split, and before the Communists came in. That applies (but south as well) to Ethiopia, before the time of their occupation. Another example would be south and east of Alaska, through Canada and western parts of the US (Washington State, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, etc) before the Communists came, and even then, afterwards. I mean, the Church didn't fall apart once the Byzantines did - they kept the faith, and others did too while spreading it - just like what happened with Rome after the Western Roman Empire fell. It's a natural conclusion to say that things would've been different if the Russians hadn't become Orthodox as a result of visiting Constantinople, right?

I'm not sure, but I think you're slightly missing the point. After the fall of Byzantium and during the Muslim occupation, what part of the Orthodox Church (and where, come to that?) would have been able to send missionaries?

The Russian Church, immediately after the fall of Constantinople, to the west (see the definition of "west" above), and the church in Ethiopia, bypassing places that were under Muslim influence and moving towards places that weren't, for example further south and east. Etc.

Some examples would be, west of Russia (especially west of Finland, before the Protestant Reformation), and the traditional Byzantine areas after the split, and before the Communists came in.

I find your lack of history and geography knowledge quite disturbing.

I would ask you what do you mean by "west of Russia" and how do you include in there west of Finland however I'm too afraid to hear the answer.

There were Swedes in the west of Finland. That's why.

Here you are some examples of missionary work by Russians west of Russia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russification#Poland_and_Lithuania

Quote
traditional Byzantine areas after the split, and before the Communists came in

When they were under Muslims?

If my historical or geographical knowledge is off, please feel free to correct it. I don't see where the geographical error is, though, and if it persists, please feel free to use a map to point it out. I'm using modern day borders to make my point, unless they are too unwieldy to use (for example, referencing the old Byzantine Empire and its borders). Modern day Russia borders modern day Finland, and by "west of Russia" I mean places that are west of Russia, for example Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland (the latter two of which, you mentioned). By west of Finland, I mean Sweden. Yes, there were Swedes in the west of Finland, but what is the significance of that? From what I can gather the Swedes had become Christianized by the 1100s, before which they were visited by a monk from France in the 800's, and then when Lutheranism came about, they became mostly Lutheran.

Whoops. My mistake and I apologize. (See my mind is running faster than I type Tongue). That should have read "...outside the traditional Byzantine areas after the split, and before the Communists came in". This area I mean, includes places like Eastern Germany (to its furthest extent), Poland (which you mentioned), Slovakia, and perhaps also northern Austria and Hungary.

I think another issue that should be considered within the context of this discussion, the "West," is primarily the diaspora of Western Christians, Roman Catholic's and various Protestant denominations.  In the early days of he Ecumenical Movement (late 1940's), there was an understanding that the Christian denominations would not "poach" fellow Christians.  The more traditional Orthodox consider this absurd, but the Holy Orthodox Churches really haven't seen the "West", Western Europe, and the Western Hemisphere, as within their territory of responsibilities.  This is compounded by the minimal number of Orthodox Christians in these regions.  Africa and the Far East, are another story...

Thank you and that starts to make a lot more sense.

Money> http://www.ocmc.org/ <Mouth

Understandable, but the thing is, that would answer to today and tomorrow. I'm asking about yesterday, and the times before then that have led to Orthodoxy being prevalent where it is at the present moment.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 12:18:15 PM by icecreamsandwich » Logged

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm still learning as I go along.
mabsoota
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 2,504


Kyrie eleison


« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2013, 01:27:56 PM »

1. we should spread the love of God more than we do.

2. my friend invited a stranger in to church today! God bless him for that.

3. Lord have mercy on those who do practice their faith where it is difficult and then suffer for it:
http://news.yahoo.com/christians-were-tortured-libya-182030253.html;_ylt=AvToWaImUnpm.sNSYNFqYfu1qHQA;_ylu=X3oDMTQ5dnY5amdiBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBXb3JsZFNGIE1pZGRsZUVhc3RTU0YEcGtnAzJhYzE1OTEzLTkzMmEtM2UxNS05MTE4LWUxOTk5Y2JhNWVmNARwb3MDMTEEc2VjA3RvcF9zdG9yeQR2ZXIDYjY2NTc3ODAtOGRiYi0xMWUyLTk3MmYtMDgzMWZhNGMxZTQy;_ylg=X3oDMTF1cDZjaTBwBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZHxtaWRkbGVlYXN0BHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3
Logged
mike
Stratopedarches
**************
Offline Offline

Posts: 21,467


WWW
« Reply #44 on: March 16, 2013, 04:29:37 PM »

Whoops. My mistake and I apologize. (See my mind is running faster than I type Tongue). That should have read "...outside the traditional Byzantine areas after the split, and before the Communists came in". This area I mean, includes places like Eastern Germany (to its furthest extent), Poland (which you mentioned), Slovakia, and perhaps also northern Austria and Hungary.

"Why did Ruthenian dutches or later Russia did not conquer RC Germany or Poland?"

They didn't have enough military power.

Are you satisfied with the answer?
Logged

Byzantinism
no longer posting here
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.209 seconds with 72 queries.