Sounds to me that the only reason for folks not recognizing Orthodoxy is the fault of the Orthodox.ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š We dont really evangelize per se. We seem to be quite satisfied with our status quo i.e. we tend to stay in our own enclaves and feel save there.ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Orthodox are not comfortable evangelizing I guess.ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I had to stumble upon it before I even knew that Orthodoxy existed.ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š But when I did,ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š nothing could stop me from learning about this great faith.ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š However, if we want to get the word out we must be willing to stand on corners handing out leaflets, going on TV, media advertizing, and do all those things we see other faiths doing in order to get our word out.ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Otherwise we will continue to be pretty much what we are now and that is: content with our present rate of growth or non growth.
I think the reason for this (especially among cradle Orthodox - like myself) is that we lack the confidence to evangelize. At this website, we have priests, seminarians and various well read individuals who feel confident enough in their ability to express why Orthodoxy is the Truth, however, I think that is the minority amongst Orthodox individuals.
When I was in highschool, I had a good friend who was the son of a "minister" in a Church he called Apostolic Pentecostal (one of the many flavors of evangelical Protestantism). This kid, new the bible, back to front, front to back. I can consciously remember thinking how deficient my religious background was compared to this kid, because I couldn't quote passage after passage from the Bible.
Although my family went to Liturgy every Sunday, I never felt really connected to the faith as a youngster. Certainly, I had absolutely NO confidence to evangelize. My parents, whom I consider devout, would probably say the same thing.
Today, I feel more confident in "taking on" a Bible quoting Sola Scripturist or advocating why Orthodoxy is the Way, although I could still envision having problems with those Christians who are basically taught to evangelize from the day they walk into Church.
Maybe greater emphasis should be given to evangelizing others in our Churches. Maybe better religious education for our young people is in order. I think as a whole, we have to be better educated about "what we actually believe" before we can spread the Word.