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Author Topic: Tattoos, piercings, etc.  (Read 1358 times) Average Rating: 0
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Sapiens
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« on: February 16, 2003, 08:39:41 PM »

I was wondering if the Orthodox Church had any dogma regarding tattoos, piercings and similar things.

Thanks.
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Orthodoc
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2003, 08:52:19 PM »

http://www.oca.org/pages/orth_chri/Q-and-A_OLD/Piercing-and-Tatoos.html

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Also from:

http://www.suscopticdiocese.org/q&a/t.html#qtat1

Tattoo
   
    Regarding tattoos...I personally have a small cross tattoo on my wrist and I know many bishops/monks/priests that have this also. So if we say, "tattooing is a sin according to the Holy Scriptures (Leviticus 19:28), are there any exceptions? Is there a difference in having a cross tattoo and a tattoo of the sun or moon.... or are the Holy Scriptures clear..."You shall make NO CUTTINGS IN YOUR FLESH" no matter what the tattoo is?   
    Tattoos were rites and ceremonies by which people expressed their sorrow at their funerals and must not be imitated. God commanded that the people must not make cuts or prints in their flesh for the dead for the heathen did so to pacify the infernal deities they dreamt of, and to render them favorable to their deceased friends. Those whom the God of Israel had set apart for Himself must not receive the image and superscription of these worthless deities. Such practices were signs of rebellion against God. With the persecution the Copts faced through the years they were prevented from wearing crosses or declaring themselves as Christians. As the persecution increased, Christians started to tattoo the cross on their skin as a sign that they will never denounce their Christianity till they are skinned. So it was a sign of holding on to God. I think in our days it is more important to tattoo the cross on our heart rather than on our skin.   

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Orthodoc
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2003, 09:47:00 PM »

So if we say, "tattooing is a sin according to the Holy Scriptures (Leviticus 19:28), are there any exceptions? Is there a difference in having a cross tattoo and a tattoo of the sun or moon.... or are the Holy Scriptures clear..."You shall make NO CUTTINGS IN YOUR FLESH" no matter what the tattoo is?

Yeah and how many other things are sins in the book of Leviticus? If we start following one part then we have to follow all parts.

The Hebrew ban on tattoos was meant to separate the Jewish culture from those that surrounded them and especially the Egyptians, their oppressors.

In this light the Bible also says not to braid your hair.

It is true that none of the Holy Fathers addressed this question, but it is still possible to figure out right from wrong.

Christians should not follow trends, styles and fads. St. James tells us to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.

If it is cultural like tattoos and piercing is in many cultures then I don’t think that it is a a problem. It also shouldn’t be a problem if a Christian wants to follow the age old custom of getting a cross tattoo.

Other than that you should ask yourself the question why do you want a piercing or a tattoo?  
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2003, 11:10:03 AM »

If I remember correctly, don't some Ethiopian women tattoo a cross on their forehead?
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