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« on: December 22, 2013, 09:17:44 AM »

I need some help and guidance, I have been going to a Greek Parish for a bit but I decided to visit the Russian parish. I really enjoyed it there, though the service was in Church Slavonic as the parish priest was away and they had priests who could not speak English. The choir was nice and it has a very reverent atmosphere. I have decided to stick to the Russian parish because I much prefer it there. However, after a couple of services, I am becoming more and more troubled by some issues, i.e. most of the people there look unfriendly, they don't smile, I'm unable to understand the services as most of it is in Church Slavonic. Though what the parish priest said to me made sense, just because you can't understand the language doesn't mean that you can't pray. Though I must add that all of the people I tried to talk to were warm and really nice to me. But there is a certain sense of not fitting into the parish. That's why I decided to post this in the convert issues as I would like to know how other converts dealt with such issues as I'm sure that I'm not the only one who faces such an issue.
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 09:45:25 AM »

my experiences in Rocor parishes with many new immigrants was the same, a wise priest said it was a leftover from the days of communism when a stranger was probably KGB. He said reach out and I would find them warm and welcoming. When I did they received me with open arms.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 09:58:07 AM »

I would keep going to the services until I got the hang of it. Like the priest said you go there to pray ... Even if you can't understand Slavonic you'll still have the benefit of church attendance.
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 10:23:28 AM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years, my first impressions was that the people were unfriendly. After I got to know them I found that it was just a cultural difference. It wasn't the norm to say hi to strangers there as it is in the US, or at least where I'm from. All that to say not to take it as if they're unfriendly. Take some time at coffee hour to introduce yourself and get to know them.
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 12:24:21 PM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years

Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 01:18:32 PM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years

Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.
How do they breed then ? Is inbreeding common?
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 01:20:37 PM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years

Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.
How do they breed then ? Is inbreeding common?

That's why we invented text messages and internet dating. No talk required.
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 01:25:05 PM »

I need some help and guidance, I have been going to a Greek Parish for a bit but I decided to visit the Russian parish. I really enjoyed it there, though the service was in Church Slavonic as the parish priest was away and they had priests who could not speak English. The choir was nice and it has a very reverent atmosphere. I have decided to stick to the Russian parish because I much prefer it there. However, after a couple of services, I am becoming more and more troubled by some issues, i.e. most of the people there look unfriendly, they don't smile, I'm unable to understand the services as most of it is in Church Slavonic. Though what the parish priest said to me made sense, just because you can't understand the language doesn't mean that you can't pray. Though I must add that all of the people I tried to talk to were warm and really nice to me. But there is a certain sense of not fitting into the parish. That's why I decided to post this in the convert issues as I would like to know how other converts dealt with such issues as I'm sure that I'm not the only one who faces such an issue.

I have had the same experience even at English-speaking convert parishes for the first few months of my going there. It is hard to become part of a new community when everyone already knows everyone else. But I think things will become easier for you if you are able to make some friends and establish some relationships. I don't know what your personal situation is like. You might consider inviting people your own age from church to your home or out to dinner after church. Or you might want to ask the priest if he could  make introductions.  If you are not yet Orthodox, maybe there are some people you can meet in catechism--perhaps at that parish or at other parishes. If the people at the Russian church are really nice to you when you talk with them, talk with them more. Get to know them. As for appearing smiley and such when they're not engaged with others, that is not a Russian thing. Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 01:26:25 PM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years

Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.

A whole nation of silent Finns. Or do they talk to themselves?
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 01:27:23 PM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years

Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.
How do they breed then ? Is inbreeding common?

I'm sure one can say a lot with the eyes. Talking is unnecessary for breeding. This is Finland, not Arkansas after all. Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 01:51:57 PM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years, my first impressions was that the people were unfriendly. After I got to know them I found that it was just a cultural difference. It wasn't the norm to say hi to strangers there as it is in the US, or at least where I'm from. All that to say not to take it as if they're unfriendly. Take some time at coffee hour to introduce yourself and get to know them.

 +1

 When I was dating a Romanian gal, she explained that Eastern Europeans typically don't smile.  She couldn't explain why, but I think it was addressed in an earlier post re; KGB.  When her cousin came to visit, she thought Americans were strange on account we smile for pictures and talk to strangers.  Seems like it's just a cultural thing, I reckon.  But after attending for awhile and you still aren't comfy, by all means change churches.  But don't just hop around because it's not what you expected; remember, the Church is a hospital and it could be that Christ is trying to heal a specific part of you. 
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 01:56:39 PM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years

Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.

A whole nation of silent Finns. Or do they talk to themselves?

IIRC I've seen some instruction manual for immigrants which said something like "The fact that people won't talk to you in a bus doesn't mean they dislike you. Generally speaking we just don't talk to anyone."
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 02:17:14 PM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years, my first impressions was that the people were unfriendly. After I got to know them I found that it was just a cultural difference. It wasn't the norm to say hi to strangers there as it is in the US, or at least where I'm from. All that to say not to take it as if they're unfriendly. Take some time at coffee hour to introduce yourself and get to know them.

 +1

 When I was dating a Romanian gal, she explained that Eastern Europeans typically don't smile.  She couldn't explain why, but I think it was addressed in an earlier post re; KGB.  When her cousin came to visit, she thought Americans were strange on account we smile for pictures and talk to strangers.  Seems like it's just a cultural thing, I reckon.  But after attending for awhile and you still aren't comfy, by all means change churches.  But don't just hop around because it's not what you expected; remember, the Church is a hospital and it could be that Christ is trying to heal a specific part of you. 

Yeah, KGB is responsible for everything...
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2013, 02:28:04 PM »



Is cultural... It has been said to me that smiling in public or to strangers is an American habit. Smiling in some cultures is reserved for people you are very close with. It doesn't mean they are not friendly.... mostly.

There are also lots of Russian style parishes that use English if the Slavonic gets too challenging.
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2013, 02:32:27 PM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years, my first impressions was that the people were unfriendly. After I got to know them I found that it was just a cultural difference. It wasn't the norm to say hi to strangers there as it is in the US, or at least where I'm from. All that to say not to take it as if they're unfriendly. Take some time at coffee hour to introduce yourself and get to know them.

 +1

 When I was dating a Romanian gal, she explained that Eastern Europeans typically don't smile.  She couldn't explain why, but I think it was addressed in an earlier post re; KGB.  When her cousin came to visit, she thought Americans were strange on account we smile for pictures and talk to strangers.  Seems like it's just a cultural thing, I reckon.  But after attending for awhile and you still aren't comfy, by all means change churches.  But don't just hop around because it's not what you expected; remember, the Church is a hospital and it could be that Christ is trying to heal a specific part of you. 

Yeah, KGB is responsible for everything...
My thought exactly. I think it's the Okhrana though.
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2013, 03:04:43 PM »

Quote
Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.

I was in Fulda, Germany
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2013, 03:57:36 AM »

Quote
Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.

I was in Fulda, Germany

Interesting. I have a Finnish friend who lived some time in Austria and who got tired of Austrians because were way too sociable. Too much smiling and talking. But then again I guess not all German-speaking areas are not alike.
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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2013, 04:54:48 AM »

Quote
Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.

I was in Fulda, Germany

Interesting. I have a Finnish friend who lived some time in Austria and who got tired of Austrians because were way too sociable. Too much smiling and talking. But then again I guess not all German-speaking areas are not alike.

From what I've been told it changes with latitude. Scandinavians are more reserved than Poles or Germans who are more reserved than Czechs whore are more reserved than Serbians... And Mediterraneans are only twice more reserved than Americans or so.
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« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2013, 09:06:07 AM »

My first visit to an Orthodox DL was at an OCA parish.  They had greeters at the door that introduced themselves.  A kind lady took me by the arm and let me know what was going on throughout the service.  Then at coffe hour, I was introduced to so many people and got to sit down and talk with the priest.  It was overwhelming, because I had never been to any church in my life where people were so kind and genuine.  They knew was just inquiring, but they treated me like family.

My first visit to a GOA parish, no one talked to me.  Then again, it was during the week.  Only elderly folks were in attendance.  I chalk it up to them simply not knowing who the heck this random non-Greek young guy was.  The priest was very nice.

My first visit to a ROCOR parish was on a weekday feast day, so there was a nice mix of young and old.  No one talked to me.  The service was maybe half-half Slavonic/English.  It wasn't until I was out of the nave that a lady and her husband (the subdeacon, I think) introduced themselves and I sat with them during coffee hour.  I was introduced to some other people (most were Russians and Georgians) and they were very friendly.  I met the priest, also Russian, and he gave me big hug, like I was his brother.

The only thing I can advise is if there is an English-speaking parish nearby that you can visit once in a while (since you prefer the Russian parish), do so.
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2013, 09:48:23 AM »

When I was stationed in Europe for three years

Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.
How do they breed then ? Is inbreeding common?

I'm sure one can say a lot with the eyes. Talking is unnecessary for breeding. This is Finland, not Arkansas after all. Smiley
laugh
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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2013, 04:54:48 PM »

I've felt similar at certain Churches. Currently I'm attending an OCA, and everyone is very nice but it is obvious I'm the new guy and everyone else knows everyone. I can chalk that up to giving it time. At the GOC, again like someone else said, it seems to be overrun with old people who don't do so well in English and didn't talk to me. Perhaps Sunday DL is different.

I'm all for going where you feel spiritual comfort. If something draws you to the ROCOR and you feel good there, then go. The people will come around in time.
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« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2013, 12:13:13 AM »

Quote
Out of curiosity, where? Finns don't talk to strangers (or anyone else for that matter) but I thought we were fairly unique in this respect.

I was in Fulda, Germany

Interesting. I have a Finnish friend who lived some time in Austria and who got tired of Austrians because were way too sociable. Too much smiling and talking. But then again I guess not all German-speaking areas are not alike.

Indeed. I'm given to understand that Austrians and Germans say goodbye in very different manners.
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« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2013, 02:41:05 AM »

I am finishing up a book right now RUSSIA BECOMES YOU written by a parishioner from our Church. He is an American. Jeffery Wilgus spent about 10 years in Russia, I think. He truly understands Russia and its mentality. So he writes, "I haven't experienced an act of hostility or rudeness of any kind. It simply isn't the nature of these people. They have more things to do with their lives; they are not an angry, hostile population." 

Said that, I would like to encourage you to approach a few people that you feel comfortable with during a coffee hour. It is not hard to become friends with one or two people. Sincerity and "real conversations" (not "fake smiles") is the best way to approach Russian people. Obviously we all feel more welcome in a group of smiling people. However, in Church people come for confession, prayer, communion.... It is a serious matter: talking to God. Jesus was not "all smiles" either Smiley One American told me, "I wish Jesus cracked more jokes". Smiley) This is so American!   Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2013, 01:22:00 PM »

But there is a certain sense of not fitting into the parish.

I attend a Greek parish, and the 1st Sunday I attended the Divine Liturgy, only 2 converts and the priest and his wife spoke to me.  I've been going for 7 months.  It took about 6 months before I got my first hug from anyone.  Interestingly, when I was chrismated this past Sunday, all kinds of people who don't normally speak to me were calling me by name and hugging me, so I guess I'm "in" for real now.  lol

It can definitely be a slow process, so just keep showing up for things and hanging around those who seem the most friendly.
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2013, 05:52:47 PM »

many years, Christina and 1,000 congratulations! (as we say in arabic)
may God guide u and the other posters here.

unfortunately (!) the church is full of people like us, and they are not always as welcoming as they should be.
maybe they had a really hard week, or maybe they are a bit shy.
try saying 'hello' instead of just smiling in order to open the conversation.
in many cultures, the first approach is a non smiling, 'hello, how are you?' so give it a go.
(and then smile)
 Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2013, 06:53:35 PM »

Thank you!   Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2014, 07:19:27 PM »

I go to a parish that is all in Church Slavonic and people ask me all the time "You don't speak Russian, you don't understand Slavonic, there are English speaking parishes in town, so why do you come here?" I simply tell them, "I come here because God is here." A visiting nun showed me that even though it's in Slavonic I can still follow the service in English. If you own one of these Jordanville Orthodox Prayer Book's

There is the Divine Liturgy printed in it and I've found that our service follows it word for word (feast days and the commemoration of the day's saints wont be in there but for the most part it covers the basics). I've also found if you follow the Liturgy in the book you'll be focusing on the words and you wont be looking around at other people and letting your mind wonder. Jordanville also sells Divine Litugry and All Night Vigil (for sat night) books online for laity to follow the service.

Hope this helps in any way, and remember to try and guard yourself from judgement of others and go to Church to meet our Lord and don't not go because the devil is feeding you all these random and needless thoughts about people standing next to you. Just because you are in God's house doesn't mean there aren't temptations lurking around every corner. (In fact I've heard a story from my priest about a little old woman who use to go to Church and stand behind a pillar, facing the pillar so it was the only thing she could see. When asked why she did this, she said it was to keep her focus on God and help her not to look at others because she was worried she would judge them.) I use to have the same problem, it was one of the reasons I use to stand in front of everyone, so I couldn't see them behind me. God must of known I struggle with this because later on the sub-deacon asked me to be an altar server and behind that iconstand I can't see anyone. Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2014, 02:28:42 AM »

Thanks, peacemaker. It's all fine now! I ordered the Jordanville prayer book a while back but it has not yet arrived. Sad But I did see the service books for the All-night vigil and DL by Jordanville at the parish too.
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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2014, 03:19:06 AM »

my experiences in Rocor parishes with many new immigrants was the same, a wise priest said it was a leftover from the days of communism when a stranger was many priests and some congregants were probably KGB.


To the OP, that was largely my experience as well.  I didn't and don't mind it so much though.  The unfriendliness, real or perceived, can be a bit off-putting though.

Stick at it.  They're probably not as bad as they seem. Or if they are... still stick at it.
Edit: Glad to read that things are working out.



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« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2014, 04:42:53 AM »

When I was dating a Romanian gal, she explained that Eastern Europeans typically don't smile.

I have an incredibly friendly Romanian professor/priest, and he smiles as much if not more than most Americans I know.
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« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2014, 09:48:18 AM »

We currently go to an OCA parish not too far from home.  The first time I went they greeted me and were very friendly.  There were also a few kids there which was nice.  And tomorrow we are speaking to the priest to begin discussions on next steps towards possibly converting.  But my wife visited the other OCA church nearby and it was almost the opposite.  Nobody approached her and there were no children at all there.  May have just been the day or weather but it was very different.  So it really does depend church by church.
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« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2014, 11:36:37 PM »

my experiences in Rocor parishes with many new immigrants was the same, a wise priest said it was a leftover from the days of communism when a stranger was many priests and some congregants were probably KGB.

To the OP, that was largely my experience as well.  I didn't and don't mind it so much though.  The unfriendliness, real or perceived, can be a bit off-putting though.  Stick at it.  They're probably not as bad as they seem. Or if they are... still stick at it. Edit: Glad to read that things are working out.

What does it mean if your Priest is a member of the KGB? 
Is that some type of elite religious organization like Holy Name, Opus Dei, or the Jesuits?
Someone said the Patriarchs belonged to the KGB with special code names and stuff.
Are you required to be a member of the KGB to rise to the top of the clergy in the Orthodox Church?

Well, if the Patriarch is in the KGB then I guess it's a good thing right?
One time a priest said some personally revealing things to me, which were a bit shocking in detail.
I asked a priest in another parish about it, and he said the first priest sounded like a member of the NKVD.
I guess this NKVD is a special elite religious order, where the priests all have clairvoyance and know all about you.
Is the KGB anything like the NKVD?  Are these all elite Orthodox Religious Organizations?

Should I ask my priest if he is a member of the KGB or the NKVD?  Is that allowed?
Will they tell me if they are and what it is all about, or is it a secret organization of some type?
If I convert to Orthodoxy and follow all the rules and become pious, can I qualify to join the KGB someday?
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« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2014, 01:11:48 AM »

The KGB is not special in the church, it is a branch of police in Russia
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« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2014, 01:38:18 AM »



Is cultural... It has been said to me that smiling in public or to strangers is an American habit. Smiling in some cultures is reserved for people you are very close with. It doesn't mean they are not friendly.... mostly.

There are also lots of Russian style parishes that use English if the Slavonic gets too challenging.

Culturally Slavs only smile for close friends and famikies so I have been told
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« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2014, 01:42:55 AM »

my experiences in Rocor parishes with many new immigrants was the same, a wise priest said it was a leftover from the days of communism when a stranger was many priests and some congregants were probably KGB.

To the OP, that was largely my experience as well.  I didn't and don't mind it so much though.  The unfriendliness, real or perceived, can be a bit off-putting though.  Stick at it.  They're probably not as bad as they seem. Or if they are... still stick at it. Edit: Glad to read that things are working out.

What does it mean if your Priest is a member of the KGB?  
Is that some type of elite religious organization like Holy Name, Opus Dei, or the Jesuits?
Someone said the Patriarchs belonged to the KGB with special code names and stuff.
Are you required to be a member of the KGB to rise to the top of the clergy in the Orthodox Church?

Well, if the Patriarch is in the KGB then I guess it's a good thing right?
One time a priest said some personally revealing things to me, which were a bit shocking in detail.
I asked a priest in another parish about it, and he said the first priest sounded like a member of the NKVD.
I guess this NKVD is a special elite religious order, where the priests all have clairvoyance and know all about you.
Is the KGB anything like the NKVD?  Are these all elite Orthodox Religious Organizations?

Should I ask my priest if he is a member of the KGB or the NKVD?  Is that allowed?
Will they tell me if they are and what it is all about, or is it a secret organization of some type?
If I convert to Orthodoxy and follow all the rules and become pious, can I qualify to join the KGB someday?

A good start for some basic history to answer your questions is: A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 01:43:47 AM by Velsigne » Logged
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« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2014, 01:48:04 AM »

I need some help and guidance, I have been going to a Greek Parish for a bit but I decided to visit the Russian parish. I really enjoyed it there, though the service was in Church Slavonic as the parish priest was away and they had priests who could not speak English. The choir was nice and it has a very reverent atmosphere. I have decided to stick to the Russian parish because I much prefer it there. However, after a couple of services, I am becoming more and more troubled by some issues, i.e. most of the people there look unfriendly, they don't smile, I'm unable to understand the services as most of it is in Church Slavonic. Though what the parish priest said to me made sense, just because you can't understand the language doesn't mean that you can't pray. Though I must add that all of the people I tried to talk to were warm and really nice to me. But there is a certain sense of not fitting into the parish. That's why I decided to post this in the convert issues as I would like to know how other converts dealt with such issues as I'm sure that I'm not the only one who faces such an issue.
Eastern Europeans take church seriously, it's nothing personal if they seem distant. Have you talked to them at coffee hour? Usually someone will translate for you and tell you what people are saying. You will find they will welcome you if you give each other a chance. The Russians at the local parish sit together at coffee hour. It took a few times but they broke the ice with me and when I visit I enjiy sitting with them.
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« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2014, 02:44:54 AM »

my experiences in Rocor parishes with many new immigrants was the same, a wise priest said it was a leftover from the days of communism when a stranger was probably KGB. He said reach out and I would find them warm and welcoming. When I did they received me with open arms.

Note to all Convert issues Forum Poster, DO NOT change the wording of a poster's quote without clearing it with the poster. In doing so you may turn a poster's message or make it untrue to the poster's original intent or experience. The above is my original post and only it should be quoted under my name. Changing it in anyway makes it not my post. Moderators may change a post if a violation of language or profanity is used, but you will be notified by pm if that occurs usually.

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« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 11:00:22 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2014, 02:46:59 AM »

[edit]
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 02:47:33 AM by Asteriktos » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2014, 12:31:51 PM »

my experiences in Rocor parishes with many new immigrants was the same, a wise priest said it was a leftover from the days of communism when a stranger was many priests and some congregants were probably KGB.

To the OP, that was largely my experience as well.  I didn't and don't mind it so much though.  The unfriendliness, real or perceived, can be a bit off-putting though.  Stick at it.  They're probably not as bad as they seem. Or if they are... still stick at it. Edit: Glad to read that things are working out.

What does it mean if your Priest is a member of the KGB? 
Is that some type of elite religious organization like Holy Name, Opus Dei, or the Jesuits?
Someone said the Patriarchs belonged to the KGB with special code names and stuff.
Are you required to be a member of the KGB to rise to the top of the clergy in the Orthodox Church?

Well, if the Patriarch is in the KGB then I guess it's a good thing right?
One time a priest said some personally revealing things to me, which were a bit shocking in detail.
I asked a priest in another parish about it, and he said the first priest sounded like a member of the NKVD.
I guess this NKVD is a special elite religious order, where the priests all have clairvoyance and know all about you.
Is the KGB anything like the NKVD?  Are these all elite Orthodox Religious Organizations?

Should I ask my priest if he is a member of the KGB or the NKVD?  Is that allowed?
Will they tell me if they are and what it is all about, or is it a secret organization of some type?
If I convert to Orthodoxy and follow all the rules and become pious, can I qualify to join the KGB someday?

This post is full of win
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« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2014, 12:36:07 PM »

What does it mean if your Priest is a member of the KGB? 
Is that some type of elite religious organization like Holy Name, Opus Dei, or the Jesuits?
Someone said the Patriarchs belonged to the KGB with special code names and stuff.
Are you required to be a member of the KGB to rise to the top of the clergy in the Orthodox Church?

Well, if the Patriarch is in the KGB then I guess it's a good thing right?
One time a priest said some personally revealing things to me, which were a bit shocking in detail.
I asked a priest in another parish about it, and he said the first priest sounded like a member of the NKVD.
I guess this NKVD is a special elite religious order, where the priests all have clairvoyance and know all about you.
Is the KGB anything like the NKVD?  Are these all elite Orthodox Religious Organizations?

Should I ask my priest if he is a member of the KGB or the NKVD?  Is that allowed?
Will they tell me if they are and what it is all about, or is it a secret organization of some type?
If I convert to Orthodoxy and follow all the rules and become pious, can I qualify to join the KGB someday?

Not getting your sense of humour.

The KGB is not special in the church, it is a branch of police in Russia

LOL

KGB was Soviet equivalent of FBI, CIA, NSA, and USSS. In Russia it's now named FSB. IIRC, only Belarus retained the Soviet name.
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