Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Mother Cathedral

00 St Michael Cathedral. Sitka AK. 19.08.14

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St Michael Cathedral is a great example of Old Russian church architecture. The greatest Orthodox Missionary in Alaska, Bishop Innokenty Veniaminov, designed it. He came to Sitka in 1834, returned to Russia in 1838, and became a bishop in 1840. He was the first Bishop of Alaska, and upon his return to Sitka in 1841, he began planning the construction of the cathedral. Bishop Innokenty laid the cornerstone in 1844 and hired carpenters and craftsmen to build it. The building used spruce logs with an outer layer of clapboard, and sailcloth covered the ceilings and walls for insulation and acoustics. The history of St Michael Cathedral began when a ship carrying the St Michael icon sank, along with all its valuable cargo, 30 miles short of its destination. Thirty days after the Neva sank, the undamaged crate carrying the icon washed ashore at Sitka and local residents found it On 20 November 1848, Bishop Innokenty consecrated St Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral. The building is laid out in the form of a cross, with three altars dedicated from left to right to the Mother of God “of Sitka”, St Michael the Archangel, and St Innokenty.

Bishop Innokenty learned how to speak the Tlingit language, and the Tlingits loved him, as he went all-out to understand their way of life and spiritual needs. He provided them with medicine and vaccines. Today, 90 percent of the cathedral congregation is Tlingit, as well as other native groups. The music in the liturgy is sung a capella (unaccompanied voice) in English, Slavonic, Tlingit, Aleut, and Yupik. Bishop Innokenty eventually returned to Russia and became the Metropolitan of Moscow and all the Russias. The Church canonised him a saint in 1977.

On 2 January 1966, tragedy struck the cathedral. A fire in Sitka’s business district in the middle of the night eventually spread to the church. Scores of local people rushed to the cathedral, where they formed human chains to remove most of the treasures… original artworks, icons, and religious objects, at the risk of their own lives. Unfortunately, the fire destroyed the structure, the clock built by Bishop Innokenty, Bishop Innokenty’s library, and bells. The Icon of the Last Supper above the Royal Doors in the main altar also perished in the blaze. Immediately after this tragedy, concerned citizens made plans to rebuild the cathedral in its original form, beauty, size, and style. They formed the Sitka Historical Restoration Committee, including many prominent citizens. It took 10 years to rebuild due to the difficult conditions peculiar to Alaska. The original plans were extant and they used them in the reconstruction. The replacement was completed and consecrated on 21 November 1976. The generous support of thousands of people in Sitka, throughout Alaska, and Lower 48 states made all of it possible.

The National Parks Service designated St Michael Cathedral a National Historical Monument and the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops named it an architectural and historical monument. To this day, its clergy serve a full cycle of liturgical services to accommodate the needs of Orthodox believers in Sitka, and it’s the “Mother Cathedral” of the Orthodox Church in America.

20 August 2014

Junjun Ablaza

Manila Bulletin

http://www.mb.com.ph/mother-cathedral/

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

16 August 2014. Now, For Something Entirely Different… There Be Orthodoxy in Darkest Africa, I Hear…

00 african orthodox church. 16.08.14

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Do you know WHY Holy Orthodoxy is the fastest growing religion in Sub-Saharan Africa? Of course, it’s the True Faith and it appears to simple innocent people with signs and wonders. However, there’s more to it… unlike the RCs and Protestants, Orthodoxy appeared in Black Africa as ANTI-imperialist. It didn’t come in under the protection of the colonialists’ bayonets. Catholics, Anglicans, and Protestants all came to the black man as a part of the white man’s often brutal, sometimes patronising, but always condescending dictatorship.

On the other hand, Orthodoxy came to modern Africa from Greece and (especially) Cyprus. Cyprus, like much of Africa, had been under arrogant and arbitrary British rule and imperialism. Like the Africans, the Cypriots loathed their “paternal” overlords and their condescending snootiness… they struggled long and hard to break free. When Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda struggled for their freedom and dignity after World War II, they found rich support from Metropolitan Makarios of Cyprus, who furnished Africans with both spiritual weaponry (The Holy Faith) and material weaponry (military training and support from Cyprus).

The African peoples NEVER forgot this… Greeks and Russians (yes, even in the time of the USSR) won the love of the African peoples… and their Faith inspired Africans too… Orthodox Christianity. It was a Christianity free of the White Man’s Diktat. The struggle of the Kenyan freedom fighters against the Brit occupiers was a hard one, as the Brits had no scruples and spared no one. However, with God’s help, in the end, the natives kicked out the Brits and won their freedom. Cyprus was the first nation to recognise the sovereignty and independence of almost a dozen African states. Africans haven’t forgotten this… nor have they forgotten the cruelties of the conceited and snotty Western Europeans and Anglo Americans. We see their narcissism and wilfulness in the Ukraine today, don’t we? They sure haven’t changed, have they?

BMD

Friday, 2 November 2012

Mormons Latest Target in Kremlin’s Anti-Spy Campaign

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On Thursday, the ruling United Russia party’s youth wing staged a protest against Mormon missionaries, accusing them of being American spies and calling for them to leave Russia. Activists from the Young Guard gathered outside the Church (sic) of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Russian headquarters in Moscow, chanting slogans such as “No to foreign agents!” and hoisting placards reading “Foo, CIA!” They also left a symbolic plane ticket, emblazoned with the CIA logo, for a one-way flight from Moscow to Washington outside the headquarters. Yekaterina Stenyakina, co-chairman of Young Guard’s coordinating committee, said, “This is an American sect. They’re funded by the USA, and it’s proven that many young Mormons return to the USA to work for the CIA and FBI”.

The move is the latest in a series of Kremlin-driven offensives in recent months directed against alleged foreign influence in domestic affairs. Since President Vladimir Putin’s re-election to the presidency last March, the RF Federal Assembly (parliament) passed a variety of laws restricting foreign and Russian pro-democracy and human rights organisations. Just yesterday, the RF Federation Council, the Federal Assembly’s upper house, approved a bill that broadens the definition of treason that could include NGOs that provide consulting services for foreign governments or organisations. Last month, the Kremlin ordered the US Agency for International Development to cease all operations in the country. The organisation had funded many Russian NGOs for about 20 years.

Stenyakina issued a stern warning to Russian youth, who she claimed are easily wooed by free English lessons and community service provided by Mormon missionaries, saying, “It starts with free English lessons, which then leads to becoming a missionary oneself”, adding that the alleged 14 billion USD (442 billion Roubles. 11 billion Euros. 8.8 billion UK Pounds)in humanitarian assistance in Russia provided by the church has gone “unnoticed”. Experts said the Russian authorities have long worried about LDS influence in Russia. In 2008, the LDS was forced to re-route its Russia-bound missionaries after the Kremlin introduced new visa restrictions for humanitarian workers.

Religious expert Ivar Maksutov, a researcher at the Russian State University for the Humanities, told RIA-Novosti recently, “Because [Mormons] are involved in humanitarian activity, such as feeding the homeless or handing out literature, this is perceived as some form of bribery”. LDS officials denied the protesters’ claims. Yelena Nechiporova, director for the LDS East Europe area’s Public Affairs Department, said the foreign agent allegations are baseless, noting, “It’s somebody’s opinion without any facts, without any legal investigation, without court decisions. Preaching the gospel (sic) is our main goal”. She also refuted Young Guard’s claim of the alleged LDS 14 billion USD assistance package in Russia, saying that LDS groups have spent only about 5 million USD (158 million Roubles. 4 million Euros. 3.2 million UK Pounds) in humanitarian assistance in the country.

1 November 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20121101/177111501.html

Editor’s Note:

The Mormons are known liars. They’re purveyors of a warmed-over semi-Masonic pap that’s no more religious than a Playboy magazine. Since the time of Brigham Young, they’ve been advocates of theocracy, and that’s all that there’s to say on the matter. Some konvertsy flirt with them… that’s dangerous. The Mormons are cultists… full stop. They’ve no grounding in historical Christianity… they only date back to the 19th century Second Great Awakening… just another pixillated radical sect (they block out all parts of reality that conflict with their cultic construct). You associate with such at your own peril. ‘Nuff said…

By the way, I think that there’s a “garble” in the post. I think that the Young Guard activists meant 14 billion Roubles, not dollars… that’s 445 million USD (350 million Euros. 280 million UK Pounds), a not infeasible figure for 20 years, if one counts missionary support, subsidies to local outlets, etc. The LDS cult does have access to such amounts of money (Willard Romney gives them millions every year… this cult gets most of his so-called “charitable contributions)… it socks its “faithful” for 10 percent of their salaries, and if they don’t pony up, they don’t get a temple “recommend”… which has led many people to miss out on their kids’ weddings. Nice bunch…

BMD

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tom Hanks to Appear on Posters Promoting Christianity in Russia

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Sofia Rotaru. Мы будем вместе (My budem vmeste: We’ll be together)

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Pyotr Mamonov. Лотос (Lotos: Lotus)

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Yuri Shevchuk and DDTГосподь нас уважает (God respect us)

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Konstantin Kinchyov and Alisa. Антихрист (Antikhrist: Antichrist)

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Orthodox Youth Movement Plans To Use His Image and Quote Alongside Those of Local Celebrities

Tom Hanks is to appear on posters promoting Orthodox Christianity in Russia and neighbouring states, alongside prominent local cultural and sports figures. The Russian Orthodox youth movement Soboryane said that it’s launching a massive poster campaign during a missionary event entitled Мы православные (My Pravoslavnye: We Are Orthodox) on 13-14 October in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine. Posters depicting high-profile personalities, including Hanks, and featuring quotes from them in support of Christianity have already circulated on Russian social network websites and in the local media. Among local celebrities featured on posters are director Nikita Mikhalkov, actors Dmitri Dyuzhev and Yegor Beroyev, rock musicians Konstantin Kinchyov and Yuri Shevchuk, actor and musician Pyotr Mamonov, singer Sofia Rotaru, and boxer Nikolai Valuev, as well as quotes from Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Yuri Gagarin.

The poster featuring Hanks has a quote taken from an interview the actor gave the Russian newspaper Аргументы и факты (Argumenty i Fakty: Arguments and Facts) back in 2009, “I realise how important and beautiful it is to have the opportunity to go to church and to reflect on the important questions that Orthodox Christianity asks you and the answers that it offers”. Meanwhile, the Russian news service RIA-Novosti quoted Andrei Vorontsov, the movement’s chairman, as saying that the campaign is still “in the approval stage. If we don’t get approval from a person, the respective poster won’t be part of the campaign”. He wouldn’t specify if any of the celebrities have given their approval to appear on the posters.

 8 October 2012

Vladimir Kozlov

The Hollywood Reporter

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tom-hanks-posters-christianity-russia-377107

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