Voices from Russia

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East to Stay in Damascus

00 St George Syriac Orthodox Church. Damascus. Syria. 29.08.13


On Sunday, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East said that it had no plans to relocate from its offices in Damascus, despite continuing battles between rebel and government forces there. The patriarchate said in a statement carried by SANA, “There is no plan to move the official residence of the Apostolic See of Antioch from Damascus to any other place. Moving the seat is something that Patriarch Ignatius Zakka Iwas, as well as the Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Syriacs worldwide refuse”. The patriarchate’s headquarters is at St George Cathedral, in the Christian neighbourhood of Bab Touma in the Old City of Damascus. In June, an explosion struck Bab Touma, in what Syrian state television said was a suicide bombing. It was the first major blast reported inside the Old City since the beginning of the civil war. The Syriac body made no mention of the country’s bloody conflict in the statement, but it emphasised that if it left Damascus, the church “might lose its legal and legitimate rights”. They went on to say, “It’s important to keep Syriacs in Syria, in all parts of the Syrian territories”.

5 August 2013

The Daily Star



Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Levada Centre sez More and More Russians Embrace the Meaning of Lent, But Only 2 Percent Intend to Follow It Strictly

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics.  Replacement Ingredients in Lenten Periods. 2012


Levada Centre specialists spoke to Interfax concerning their research into the depth of Lenten observance in the Russian population. This year, sociologists found that a record number of Russians (26 percent overall), intend to observe the traditional Lenten discipline in one way or another. During an all-Russian poll, 21 percent of respondents confirmed that they’re going to observe a partial fast this year… for example, giving up meat or alcoholic beverages. Over the past five years, this category has increased by six percent (it was 15 percent in 2008, a 40 percent rise in the period studied).

In particular, the respondents in this category were executives/supervisors (31 percent), disabled (27 percent) women (28 percent), Russians over 55-years-old (67 percent), college-educated (29 percent), upper-middle class (29 percent), residents of rural communities (24 percent), and citizens of small cities (less than 100,000 population) (23 percent). According to the survey, this year, as before, 3 percent of respondents are going to follow all the rules of fasting only during Holy Week, and 2 percent shall follow the fast strictly for all seven weeks of Lent.

Pensioners, women, and Russians over 55-years-old all had the highest proportions of those who intend to follow a strict Lenten rule, either in full, or during Holy Week alone. In 2008, 79 percent of Russians stated they that wouldn’t modify their diet during Lent; in March of this year, that figure fell to 69 percent. The groups that most often reported that they don’t intend to modify their diet are schoolchildren and college students (87 percent), business owners (82 percent), housewives (81 percent), men (79 percent), Russians under 25 (83 percent), those with secondary education only (77 percent), upper-middle class (77 percent), and citizens of medium-sized cities (100,000-500,000 population) (72 percent).

27 March 2013



Editor’s Note:

Break out the bubbly! The above figures are FANTASTIC. As Fr Vsevolod Chaplin observed, in 1985, virtually no one kept the Lent. A quarter of the total Russian population intends to keep at least some part of the Lent, which means that about a third of all Orthodox Christians in Russia shall observe the Lent in one way or another. That’s great… and the growth is gradual and natural, not forced-draft and phoney (as one sees amongst the konvertsy in the USA). That’s the way REAL Orthodoxy operates… one person at a time giving the “good contagion” to another… as St Serafim Sarovsky put it, “Save your own soul, and thousands will be saved about you”. We don’t need “crusades”, “mission conferences”, “witnessing”, or marching in political parades… we need good old-fashioned self-forgetful religion.

God blesses the one and doesn’t bless the other, that’s clear. We should follow the podvigs of Patriarch Sergei Stragorodsky and St Serafim Vyritsky… not the notional fancies of Victor Potapov, James Paffhausen, Gleb Podmoshensky, and other such pied-pipers… after all, real-deal Christians don’t make demands with a lawyer in tow, do they? Let God see and judge…


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Jesus Christ Superstar Dropped in Russia Church Row

No matter how you say it, “no” means “no”, and all the supercilious caterwauling by Westerners and their sycophantic hangers-on won’t change it. You can’t dictate to others what they’ll allow or not… didn’t Innocence of Muslims teach us ANYTHING?


A theatre in Rostov-on-Don, a city of one million in the Southern Federal District in Russia, dropped a production of Jesus Christ Superstar after protests by Orthodox Christians. A Russian company was due to stage the Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera at the Rostov Philharmonic next month. Protesters complained that the opera projected the “wrong” image of Christ. News of the cancellation baffled members of the cast and caused indignation among commentators wary of Church interference in public life. According to the Rostov Times, local Russian Orthodox protesters lodged a complaint with the local Prokuratura and wrote a letter to the management of the Philharmonic. Citing a “new law protecting the rights of believers”, they described the musical as a “profanation” and said that any such production should be submitted to the Russian Orthodox Church (sic) for approval.

It’s unclear to which law the protesters were referring. The lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the RF Gosduma, is currently considering a bill that would make it a crime to offend the “religious feelings of citizens”. This year, religious sensitivities became a real political issue in Russia, with the prosecution and jailing of three punk musicians from the band Pussy Riot for performing a political protest song inside the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Popular Russian blogger Rustem Adagamov said in a tweet that “Orthodox philistines” cancelled the musical. The award-winning rock opera made its Broadway debut in 1971 and has since been performed across the world, with several film versions produced. Russian theatres have staged it for more than two decades.

29 September 2012



Saturday, 15 September 2012

15 September 2012. A Point to Ponder… Why They Talk the Talk… and Don’t Walk the Walk


The konvertsy are forever lecturing us about Father X and Canon Y, and why we’re such piss-poor Orthodox Christians. I’d say it’s FAR easier to quote the Fathers and the Canons than it is to actually live the Christian life, which involves such things as forgiving livin’ breathin’ human beings… not empty talk. It’s also why the sectarians have nothing to teach us… by their fruits ye shall know them. They’re all worshippers of the Almighty Dollar and creatures of the zeitgeist deep down. You have to pity them… but you also have to oppose them, too.

A person who forgives another does more for goodness and morality than 100 jerks quoting the Fathers and Canons. That’s my personal viewpoint, and it’s not changing any time soon (or any time later, either)…


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