Where is the "much interest into traditional forms of Christianity" comig from?
There is much interest into traditional forms of Christianity.
Huh? I've been told that the whole Brazil is converting to Pentecostalism or something to that effect.
100 people is statistically irrelevant. There are over 200 million people here. The numbers of converts to pentecostalism are far more dramatic.
From enquirers and deffectors. The utter, obstinate, systematic, committed disregard of hierarchs for conversions, their attitude of never offending Rome with "seeking converts" which could disrupt "ecumenical relations", to the point of abandoning priests, local converts and even craddle Orthodox specially the ones not in wealthy families, the burgeois commodism of both clergy and laity satisfied with high middle class to rich families supporting parishes that are little less than cerimony halls, the acceptance of priests who are a just socially maladjusted when not frankly ill-intentioned people or defrocked Roman priests, or deffectors from Roman schisms, or radical ecumenists who promptly start to Romanize their churches in name of "inculturation", none of which have an Orthodox monastic or theological education, the acceptance of priests from Orthodox countries who were just exiled for bad behavior, when not for something even more serious, all in the name of "lack of priests", this all leads to a very high number of people who come seeking to learn, know more and are told to remain with Rome because they are "sister churches" or simply find out they have to learn everything by themselves *despite* the clergy, the hierarchy and the laity, not with them.
Never, ever, anyone built a monastery here. Never ever even a theological crash summer course, much less a theological school or seminary. No books translated. The "best" sources to learn about Orthodoxy are not-overtly-aggressive Roman or Uniate books which at best avoid a patronizing tone against the "oriental brothers" a term where they put both Orthodox and Non-Chalcedoneans in order to play down the unity of the Orthodox church. No single official translation of Liturgical materials. No where local to learn systematically how to serve a Liturgy, only through observation, which means basically stand there watch - which is the worst possible way for people who did not grow in an Orthodox culture. No schools or charities. Churches are literally chapels built attached to the ethnic association clubs and used mainly for baptisms and weddings, and by the way the "ekonomia" toward accepting divorced people has earned the Orthodox Church to be known in Brazil as "that church that marries divorced people", because just about anybody is accepted, usually being told they need to receive a "blessing" first that just happens to be Chrismation, but "it doesn't matter because we all worship the same God and the differences between the Churches are just misunderstandings caused by political greed". And of course, with a reasonable fee that varies from about 80 dollars to even above 1000 (and yes, in some cases it *is* charged in dollars).
The trouble with Orthodoxy in Brazil at least is that many in the laity, many in the clergy and even among high hierarchs will one day hear from the Lord: "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye enter not in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering in to enter." St. Mat 23:13
Today we are just part of the 0.2% classified as "Other religions". I am not saying that people would convert in waves like they do to Protestantism, but Orthodoxy and even non-Chalcedoneans could together account for 1 to 2% of the population (that's 2 to 4 million souls!), but there should have nothing short of a conversion of hearts among those who can do something. We need first to reeducate the current Orthodox. They have to understand that Orthodoxy is not just their parents exotic form of Roman Catholicism, that they are *not* the same church separated just by the grumpiness of dead political hawks, not only that there are significant differences, but that these differences *matter* in our spiritual lives and that the Orthodox Church and only her is the Church of Christ. That is one of the things evangelicals are not afraid of saying: here is Christ, He is not there. If you stay there, you will miss Him, so come and be with Him. The Orthodox Church, in Brazil, simply cannot bring itself to say that, even in fraternal, diplomatic ways. And, in the end of the day, that's why people are converting to Protestantism here, because they see Roman hierarchs (and that happens among the Orthodox too) trying to promote an institution, afraid of being polemical, afraid of the opinion of the public. Who can truly love Christ and even *bother* about what the public will say? Orthodox is dying in Brazil. Bishops are afraid there will be no churches here in less than a generation. We lost 8 members of the clergy just in the first quarter and there are not 30 clergy members in the country. But they are clueless about the causes. It's dying of Ecumenism, of trying to be just the "sister church" of Rome. And honestly, if the current trend needs to go to its awful end to finish off that infirmity and Orthodoxy may be reborn in a later generation knowing who we are, respectfully disagreeing with our fellow Christians, but firmly affirming that salvation is *here* and not there, and then it will grow from a healthy seed, so be it.