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Author Topic: Famous Orthodox Christians  (Read 70734 times) Average Rating: 0
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Hadel
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« on: July 23, 2005, 11:57:24 AM »

Hi All,

I got this idea of post from another thread....for your interest found on this site:

List famous of most religions and I checked the Orthodox Site of famous below...listed below.

http://www.adherents.com/adh_fam.html

Spencer Abraham and Darrell Issa of Arab Origins....fyi.

Tom Hanks - actor, movie star
Tina Fey - Saturday Night Live TV series writer and on-screen co-host of "Weekend Update" segment
Michael Dukakis - Massachusetts governor; unsuccessful Democratic nominee for President (1988)
Olympia Dukakis - Academy Award-winning actress
Cyril Lucaris / Cyril I - became Patriarch of Constantinople as Cyril I in 17th Century, first great leader of Church since since fall of Constantinople in 1453
Spencer Abraham - U.S. Secretary of Energy for Pres. George W. Bush
George Stephanopoulos - communication director for Pres. Clinton; news show host
Darrell Issa - U.S. Representative from California; wealthy businessman; personally financed 2003 recall election that ended Gov. Gray Davis's term early
George Tenet - CIA director from 1997 to 2004
Paul Weyrich - powerful conservative American activist; founder of the Heritage Foundation
Terry Mattingly - nationally prominent syndicated religion journalist

Rod Blagojevich - governor of Illinois
Paul Sarbanes - U.S. Senator from Maryland
Olympia Snowe - U.S. Senator from Maine
Michael Huffington - U.S. Representative from California
Melissa Bean - U.S. Representative from Illinois
Michael Bilirakis - U.S. Representative from Florida
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2005, 12:06:48 PM »

Here is another (from the Coptic Orthodox Church):

Boutros Boutros Ghali--Former UN Secretary General

How About:

Feodor Dostoyevsky--Renowned Russian Novelist
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2005, 12:12:23 PM »

I would most certainly add these Orthodox to that list:

Jesus of Nazareth
St. James
St. Peter
St. Andrew
St. John Theologian
St. Phillip
St. Thomas
St. Juda the brother of Jesus
St. Bartholomew
St. Matthew
St. Thaddeus
St. Simon
St. Mathias
St. Paul
St. Mark
St. Luke
and all the others..
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2005, 01:24:23 PM »

I've seen Hadel's list before and it's kind of embarrassing.  Almost everyone is Greek or in the case of Tom Hanks, married to a Greek.  The Greek politicians are all pro-choice. 

I think it's kind of funny that every Orthodox person knows that Tom Hanks is Orthodox and that Prince Charles is supposedly Orthodox in secret.  I think that shows how few of us there are.  Roman Catholics and members of other huge religions don't talk things like this. 

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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2005, 01:51:49 PM »

Quote
The Greek politicians are all pro-choice.

Even the Republican Greeks, like Olympia Snowe. And you're right, it is very embarrassing, especially when the Ecumenical Patriarch and other GOA hierarchs fawn all over pro-abortion politicians.

Here is another celebrity to add to the list: Kennedy, the former vee-jay from MTV, is Eastern Orthodox.
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2005, 09:56:39 AM »

Natalie Wood was Orthodox.  My mom remembers that when she was a kid in LA Natalie Wood would come to church pretty often.

Currently though, I would say that most of those political people are Orthodox in name only, and just use it as a being able to say "I'm ______-American, I'm not a WASP, vote for me." 
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2005, 11:12:25 AM »

Here is another celebrity to add to the list: Kennedy, the former vee-jay from MTV, is Eastern Orthodox.

I was not aware of that.  (Btw, was that a quote from some movie?)
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2005, 11:21:43 AM »

Who could forget the famous writer and NPR personality, Frederica Mathews-Green???
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2005, 11:58:00 AM »

Isn't Jennifer Aniston Orthodox?  I know that her family is Greek, so ergo . .
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2005, 12:34:03 PM »

Paul Weyrich - powerful conservative American activist; founder of the Heritage Foundation

No, he is a Uniate (Melkite-Greek Roman Catholic) "deacon".
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2005, 12:35:56 PM »

Michael Huffington - U.S. Representative from California

Really?  An admitted homosexual?

You can't be gay and Orthodox.  Or so I've heard.
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2005, 12:46:20 PM »

Isn't Jennifer Aniston Orthodox?  I know that her family is Greek, so ergo . .

If she is, it must not be that important to her otherwise her wedding would have been in a Greek Orthodox church.
http://www.allstarz.org/aniston/marrynews2.htm

" As the day approached, an army of workers descended on the 5-acre Malibu property which the couple rented for the occasion from Marcy Carsey, producer of Roseanne and The Cosby Show. Tents were erected, lanterns hung, linen laid on a canopied bridal walkway. Florists from La Premiere of Beverly Hills set tables with roses, wisteria and tulips and floated lotus flowers in a specially built slate fountain ("Brad," said one worker, "wanted the Zen garden look"). Candles made from brown sugar, imported from Thailand, helped illuminate the reception tent. "Jennifer wanted tons of candles," says an insider. "We made it very romantic."..."

Her family must not be too into being GREEK....
http://members.home.nl/rody.klaassen2/STUFF/facts.html

" Jennifer Aniston's (who plays Rachel) actual last name is Anastassakis but her family changed it to Aniston when they moved to the United States. If you watch TOW Chandler and Monica's Wedding, Rachel's actual last name is used for the Greek couple having their wedding in the episode."


My feeling is they probably became Episcopalian and did everything to be "American".
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2005, 01:05:07 PM »

Interesting, but from what you say and considering that family, I wouldn't be too suprised.  However, I'd presonaly put my bets that they followed the American way and became nothing.
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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2005, 01:12:16 PM »

Quite honestly, about people changing their last names when they came to America...  I know quite a few people who have done it, Russians, Greeks, Poles...  During the Cold War it was definitely better for Russians to have "un-Russian" names in some cases. 
Greek names... well, I could think of several insulting ways to rearrange "Anastassakis."

I have a bunch of Greek friends (and currently a Greek roommate) who's names are very easy to twist around.  One of my brother's best friends gets called "Prophylactics" at school, and it's only 2 letters changed and 1 letter added.  Kids can be cruel and some people would rather their kids not be teased. 

So, in defense of Jennifer Aniston's parents... perhaps they were doing what they thought best for their kid(s).
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2005, 01:15:45 PM »

Quote
I would most certainly add these Orthodox to that list:

Jesus of Nazareth
St. James
St. Peter
St. Andrew
St. John Theologian
St. Phillip
St. Thomas
St. Juda the brother of Jesus
St. Bartholomew
St. Matthew
St. Thaddeus
St. Simon
St. Mathias
St. Paul
St. Mark
St. Luke
and all the others..

I like that one!
Smiley

Jennifer Aniston's mother is not Orthodox.....not sure what nationality though.
Jennifer's Godfather was Kojak.....Telly Savalas
Also Hank Azaria...Greek
John Stamos....
Billy Zane..
And Paris Hilton's fiance.......Paris something?

Oh, Tommy Lee/born in Greece.......But I dont think he is a practising Orthodox..

Sorry for naming only Greeks.....

And all of the Old Testament Prophets.......Elijah and Enoch for sure!
They will come in the end of times to preach the truth .....

IX
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2005, 01:26:36 PM »

Quote
I would most certainly add these Orthodox to that list: Jesus of Nazareth

Unfortunately, in America this is not a sure thing anymore. In his movie Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock (sp?) showed kids pictures of famous people, and asked them who they were. The kids got Ronald McDonald right. They didn't get Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2005, 02:00:47 PM »

Quite honestly, about people changing their last names when they came to America...  I know quite a few people who have done it, Russians, Greeks, Poles...  During the Cold War it was definitely better for Russians to have "un-Russian" names in some cases. 
Greek names... well, I could think of several insulting ways to rearrange "Anastassakis."

I have a bunch of Greek friends (and currently a Greek roommate) who's names are very easy to twist around.  One of my brother's best friends gets called "Prophylactics" at school, and it's only 2 letters changed and 1 letter added.  Kids can be cruel and some people would rather their kids not be teased. 

So, in defense of Jennifer Aniston's parents... perhaps they were doing what they thought best for their kid(s).

Yes, during WWII, my family started dropping the "e" off of our last name so it didn't look German anymore.  Now my last name is a verb (past tense).
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2005, 03:29:58 PM »

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If the person doesn't have to be living (well, of course he is still living, but you know what I mean) Bob Marley converted to Ethiopian Orthodoxy (of course, I guess you would also have to believe that OO is Orthodox) about a year before he died.
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2005, 05:53:25 PM »

Quite honestly, about people changing their last names when they came to America...  I know quite a few people who have done it, Russians, Greeks, Poles...  During the Cold War it was definitely better for Russians to have "un-Russian" names in some cases. 
Greek names... well, I could think of several insulting ways to rearrange "Anastassakis."

I have a bunch of Greek friends (and currently a Greek roommate) who's names are very easy to twist around.  One of my brother's best friends gets called "Prophylactics" at school, and it's only 2 letters changed and 1 letter added.  Kids can be cruel and some people would rather their kids not be teased. 

So, in defense of Jennifer Aniston's parents... perhaps they were doing what they thought best for their kid(s).

I was saddled with a very long Serbian maiden name until I got married, that I was teased endlessly about.  However, I think it's a pock mark on one's identity to change your name.  It's being something you're really not. White-afying a name doesn't remove the ethnicty. Jennifer Aniston is STILL Greek.  People changed thier names or in some cases had thier names changed FOR them by the wonderful staff people at Ellis Island. 
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2005, 06:21:37 PM »



How about Sandra Dee for those of us who remember beach party movies of the 50's.  Her mother is buried in the cemetery at St Tikhon's.

Also Natalie Wood whose tomb stone carries a 3 bar Cross.

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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2005, 07:42:37 PM »

I was saddled with a very long Serbian maiden name until I got married, that I was teased endlessly about.ÂÂ  However, I think it's a pock mark on one's identity to change your name.ÂÂ  It's being something you're really not. White-afying a name doesn't remove the ethnicty. Jennifer Aniston is STILL Greek.ÂÂ  People changed thier names or in some cases had thier names changed FOR them by the wonderful staff people at Ellis Island.ÂÂ  

A parishoner from my parish told me that his dad said, when they arrived on Ellis island that they were changing their name from Paniotokopolous to Panages since it was too long.  He's one of the few Greeks who actually speaks some.
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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2005, 12:43:52 AM »

Quote
Topic Summary
Posted on: Yesterday at 07:42:37 PMPosted by: Elisha   
A parishoner from my parish told me that his dad said, when they arrived on Ellis island that they were changing their name from Paniotokopolous to Panages since it was too long.  He's one of the few Greeks who actually speaks some.
 

Y'know, because my family are converts that 'fit in' with a Greek community, I have been asked the reverse:

'Xristo, what was your family's name before Ellis Island messed it up?'
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« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2005, 03:14:52 AM »

I must agree that this entire thread is weird.  Who really cares which worldy actors and polititions are Orthodox?  The more important questions is which living Orthodox are grace filled and saintly. 
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« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2005, 03:45:42 AM »

I was saddled with a very long Serbian maiden name until I got married, that I was teased endlessly about.ÂÂ  However, I think it's a pock mark on one's identity to change your name.ÂÂ  It's being something you're really not. White-afying a name doesn't remove the ethnicty. Jennifer Aniston is STILL Greek.ÂÂ  People changed thier names or in some cases had thier names changed FOR them by the wonderful staff people at Ellis Island.ÂÂ  

I completely agree. Look at my surname: Meyer-Bejdl. If I were to respell that the way it sounds to English ears I'd have to write Myer-Badle (or perhaps Baydel), but that would make me feel like I'm denouncing my family. I really don't understand it. I'd rather people had difficulty pronouncing my name (and they always do) than pretend that I'm not of German and Czech stock.

James
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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2005, 08:47:07 AM »

Really?ÂÂ  An admitted homosexual?

You can't be gay and Orthodox.ÂÂ  Or so I've heard.

That's like saying you can't be a sinner and be Orthodox.
The truth is, you can't be practicing a homosexual lifestyle and still receive communion.  But admitting that you are homosexual is like admitting any other sin, and you are accepted into the Orthodox community with love and open arms.
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« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2005, 10:25:05 AM »

That's like saying you can't be a sinner and be Orthodox.
The truth is, you can't be practicing a homosexual lifestyle and still receive communion.  But admitting that you are homosexual is like admitting any other sin, and you are accepted into the Orthodox community with love and open arms.

True. It's having homosexual sex that is the sin. Just like straight people having having pre-marital sex. Love the person hate the sin.
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« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2005, 12:29:28 PM »

Sorry I am Canadian. Well I'm not really apolagizing for being Canadian...but anyhow..what is Ellis Island and why did the people on this island mess up your names??!

Now I've heard of Long Island which I think is in New York.

Oh yeah for the record, just so you all know...

Canada is not always covered in snow and we don't have polar bears running around the city...thats only in the waaaay north like Alaska...but almost nobody lives up there.

We have lots of Orthodox churches which are about 95% ethnic-tied.

We have McDonalds but not Walgreens...I wish it was the other way around.

Every section of town is like a little cultural ghetto exept they are actually really nice to be called a "ghetto". The Greeks live on either side of town and beside them are the Egyptians and Lebanese. Beside them are the Italians and Portuguese ppl. And finally in the middle of it all are the Pakistanis and Kineso. But then again they live everywhere...

my priest went to the Sates for a visit, came back, and the next sunday I heard an organ and a choir in church and I thought I just walked in to a catholic church.

We barely have Canadian shows other than "Corner Gas" which shows life on the praries way out West.

My favourite American shows are 7th Heaven, Desperate Housewives, and Everybody Loves Raymond. What a contrast huh?

Also you southerners tned to lure in our actors like Michael-J. Fox.

Wow, I've never had to rant about excusing myself for being Canadian..except when in the States and people wonder how we ever survive our freezing year-long winters without snow-shoes.

O and one more thing...we are not obsessed about being Canadian. There's practically one Canadian flag in the country, on parliament hill. I see more Greek flags than Canadian ones here. When I go to the States, I am bombarded with red, white, and blue, red, white, and blue- a constant reminder of my whereabouts...and beautiful messages in huge red bold writing saying: "Join the army and make your people proud by serving your country."

Oh yeah and we practically have no army...

So back to the question. What or where is this Ellis Island and why do they change your names? Sheesh thats so rude.

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« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2005, 12:33:30 PM »

Cat Stevens was originally Greek Orthodox.  Michael George also was Orthodox and is gay.  There was a former member of the Boston City Council that was Greek Orthodox and very actively gay.  Jack Palance is Ukrainian, but I'm not sure if he's Uniate or Orthodox.
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« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2005, 01:33:22 PM »

This is such a mixed area that everyone knows how to pronounce Ng and Nguyen.

Terry Mattingly and Frederica Matthewes-Green are both converts.

It's of some nominal interest who is what. Griping about their worldliness is sour grapes-- the church is inordinately proud, to this day, of those early centuries when they had emperors and empresses to call its own.
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« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2005, 01:50:00 PM »

Quote
Cat Stevens was originally Greek Orthodox.

That didn't last long, though, did it? He spent most of his adult life persuing far-eastern religions only to convert to Islam. His father was Cypriot, as I recall. Anyway, his music is still great!

Oh, and for whoever asked me about how I know Kennedy (the MTV veejay) is Orthodox: she was on some cable news show talking about the role of religion in public and political life and mentioned she was Eastern Orthodox. I'm not sure about her ethnicity, though. Her full name is Lisa Kennedy Montgomery.
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« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2005, 01:54:05 PM »

Sorry I am Canadian. Well I'm not really apologizing for being Canadian...but anyhow..what is Ellis Island and why did the people on this island mess up your names??!

Now I've heard of Long Island which I think is in New York.

So back to the question. What or where is this Ellis Island and why do they change your names? Sheesh thats so rude.



http://www.nps.gov/stli/serv02.htm

If you've ever watched Godfather II, you would have seen Vito Corlenone being processed through Ellis Island. 

The workers would often either completely make up new names for the incoming immigrants, or Americanize the originals.

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« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2005, 01:57:11 PM »

I heard the Freddy Mercury started life out as Orthodox, but not too sure about that one.
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« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2005, 02:15:51 PM »

Y'know, because my family are converts that 'fit in' with a Greek community, I have been asked the reverse:

'Xristo, what was your family's name before Ellis Island messed it up?'

That's funny - as if it happend to every single surname.


Timos,
Ellis island is an island in the same NY area (I want to say where the statue of liberty is, but I think it is some neighboring small island) where all the immigrants first landed and got "processed" way "back in the day".
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« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2005, 02:48:17 PM »

Anyway, his music is still great!

Yea, even tho Cat Stevens made a big mistake, in my opinion, his music still is on my favorite list.  Especially, "Morning Has Broken".
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« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2005, 03:27:38 PM »

The workers would often either completely make up new names for the incoming immigrants, or Americanize the originals.

This was rarely, if ever, what happened.

See The Myth of Ellis Island Name Changes
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« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2005, 03:32:44 PM »

Jack Palance is Ukrainian, but I'm not sure if he's Uniate or Orthodox.

Romano-Frankish Papal Latin Ukrainian Nationalist Uniate.
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« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2005, 03:44:59 PM »

Freddy Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara to Persian parents, was Zoroastrian.  How much he practiced in his life I do not know but his funeral was according to Zoroastrian rites.

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« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2005, 03:49:11 PM »

Jack Palnce's baptismal name is Vladimir (Walter) Palanuik.
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« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2005, 04:02:38 PM »

Yea, even tho Cat Stevens made a big mistake, in my opinion, his music still is on my favorite list.ÂÂ  Especially, "Morning Has Broken".

The words are by Eleanor Farjeon, who is famous in England for her children's stories. The tune is a traditional Gaelic melody. It appears in several modern hymnals.
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« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2005, 01:36:23 AM »

I must agree that this entire thread is weird.ÂÂ  Who really cares which worldy actors and polititions are Orthodox?ÂÂ  The more important questions is which living Orthodox are grace filled and saintly.ÂÂ  


Its mainly for the youth, they need good role models and not the fake religions out there.

Growing up Arab-American I always seeking out Famous Arab-Americans for role models and to say to those who made fun of my heritage that you are also making fun of Doug Flutie, George Mitchell, Danny Thomas, Jamie Farr, Paula Abdul, Shannon Elizabeth....etc. Thus, it is good to find someone in the main stream that is a good practicing Orthodox Christian.

This is for the youth seeking out about their faith and beliefs.

I hope this answers some of your "weird" thought into this.

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« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2005, 10:20:07 AM »

Hadel, is it sort of the idea of "People like me have done things, made good, are known."

I have to say that I'm pleased when someone from Montana is in the news for something good.  Smiley

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« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2009, 10:28:21 AM »

Katie Melua is also.
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« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2009, 11:30:41 AM »

Timos-the-Canadian, I laughed so hard reading your post!!!!

Jewish people love to make lists of Jewish celebrities too, so it's not uncommon to do so...
I've heard that they consider Jesus of Nazareth to be one of theirs...go figure...
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« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2009, 11:37:07 AM »

Boris Pasternak - he was born into a Jewish family, but his nurse, a simple illiterate Russian woman, brought him to an Orthodox parish when he was an infant, and had him baptized. Pasternak's parents were very secular (his father was a rather famous and very wealthy artist), so they did not mind. Interestingly, Boris grew up a really, seriously devout Orthodox. He attended an Orthodox parish near Peredelkino (Moscow oblast) very regularly and partook in the Holy Mysteries. He kept doing it even at the height of the militant antitheist and anti-Orthodox propaganda in the 1920-s and 1930-s. There is a legend that some henchman suggested in the presence of Stalin that Pasternak should be deported for his Orthodox convictions, but Stalin said, "ah, let this heaven-dweller alone, he is not dangerous."

Ivan Pavlov, the winner of Nobel Prize in Physiology (1905), also was a very devout Orthodox even during the Soviet times. He grew up a son of a priest and kept a very Orthodox lifestyle till the day he died (in 1936).
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« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2009, 11:55:18 AM »

Charles Malik: the force behind the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Igor Sikorsky:developer of the heliocopter and other aero-engineering.

And of course, Troy Polamalu.
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