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Fw: [Orthodox-Forum] What is this "Indonesian Orthodox Church"?

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  • Teresa A. Polychronis
    [NOTE from Your Friendly Orthdox News Moderators: This is being approved for posting here THIS TIME because of a question raised, but this is NOT a discussion
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2 7:49 AM
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      [NOTE from Your Friendly Orthdox News Moderators: This is being approved for posting here THIS TIME because of a question raised, but this is NOT a discussion forum. Please respect the focus of this yahoo group. Thank you. Pray for us.]

      I just received this from Fr. Daniel in response to an email I sent him.
      In Christ,

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Daniel Bambang Dwibyantoro
      To: Teresa A. Polychronis
      Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 8:43 AM
      Subject: Re: [Orthodox-Forum] What is this "Indonesian Orthodox Church"?

      Dear Teresa,

      In 1987 I was ordained by Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh into the Deaconate in the Holy Cross GOC in Pittsburgh PA, and then into the Priesthood in North Royalton, Ohio. In June 6th, 1988 I went back home to my country to start the mission.

      There was no Orthodox Christian at all when I started. I started from a scratch, the first convert was a young Muslim man by the name of Muhammad. I started my mission in the city of Solo, Central Java. The mission grew slowly, by God's grace I was able to convert many people. Indonesia was a terra incognito jurisdictionally. That time there was no official Orthodox Church. To make my mission legal I founded the "Dharma Tuhu Foundation", "Dharma Tuhu" is a word in an old Javanese means Orthodox.

      But later because of its Hindu sounding, I changed it into the Indonesian Orthodox Evangelistic Foundation, since by this time many non-Javanese also entered into the Church, who did not understand the meaning. There are many words like this in Javanese. So that recently an ignorant person accused me of confusing the Theotokos with the Javanese pagan goddess of the South Sea because I translated Theotokos in Javanese as "Sang Pamiyos Widdhi" ( Sang= "The", Pamiyos = "who gives birth to", "Widdhi" = God), which this ignorant person took as a Hindu word that identical with the Javanese pagan goddess. The name "Sang Pamiyos Widdhi" has nothing to do with the name "Nyai Roro Kidul:" of this pagan goddess revere by the Javanese.

      For two years I reported my mission works directly to Pittsburgh, as I thought Indonesian mission that I started was directly under the then Bishop Maximos. Only two years later that Metropolitan Dionysios came to the fore. ...

      In Indonesia all religions have to be registered into the State Department of Religion. So its is not correct to say that the Indonesian Church was established by any outsider. Without meaning to brag myself I have to say I was the one who founded the Indonesian Orthodox Church as a local organization single handedly. According to Indonesian Law there are only five recognized religions (Islam, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism,Hinduism, Buddhism) in the country. With the growth of the mission, I registered to the government the Indonesian Orthodox Evangelistic Foundation to make it into a Church organization. [I]t was very difficult, I was almost rejected, and they kicked me around like a ball. In the year 1991, at last I got the permission.

      Let it be known that according to the Law, no Church in Indonesia is to be named by its foreign association, therefore I registered the new Orthodox Church organization at first as the Indonesian Orthodox Christian Church, and then, as The Indonesian Orthodox Church (GOI), in which I was and am the founder and president of it in so far as the legal government recognition is concerned, because no foreign national is allowed to serve as religious leader of any kind in Indonesia according to the Law. The GOI is a local organization responsible directly to the State, and is not an organization governed by any outside authority. Any religious organization that wants to work in Indonesia has to work under the protection and umbrella of such recognized and legal religious organization. And this is the Law.

      To ask the name "Indonesian Orthodox Church" in term of autocephaly is only showing ignorance of the history of its founding and as well as the Law of the country. From the very beginning as soon as there was legal Orthodox Church in Indonesia that I founded the name has been "The Indonesian Orthodox Church", and there was no other name, and no one objected the name at that time.

      I hope it is helpful.

      Fr Daniel Byantoro

      "Teresa A. Polychronis" <tpolychronis@...> wrote:
      Dear Fr. George,

      Fr. Daniel Byantoro (Dwibyantoro) was the first Indonesian convert to Orthodoxy (he originally was a Muslim). He came to the United States to study at Holy Cross School of Theology (GOA). While at HC, he not only translated services, etc. into his native language; he also converted several persons via written correspondence (four young men followed him to Holy Cross). After his ordination he returned to Indonesia where he established the first parish (then several others) comprised of persons and families he had converted. Indeed, he is the founder of the Indonesian Orthodox Church. At that time the Indonesian Orthodox Church was under Metropolitan Dionysios of New Zealand.

      After the establishment of the Hong Kong Metropolia, Indonesia was placed under Hong Kong. Korea (formerly under New Zealand) now has its own Metropolitan (Soterios). Fr. Daniel is currently in the United States pursuing advanced studies and completing his writing of a book. Fr. Daniel has been interviewed by Come Receive the Light, and he has been a speaker at various retreats, etc.

      I am aware of all these details because I served on the OCMC Board and its predecessor boards while all these events occurred. I first met Fr. Daniel in 1982 when he arrived at Holy Cross.

      In Christ,

      By----- Original Message -----
      From: IHJ (Sam) Bosauder
      To: Orthodox-Forum@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 12:50 AM
      Subject: Re: [Orthodox-Forum] What is this "Indonesian Orthodox Church"?

      From the cobwebs area of memory...
      Metropolitan Dionysius established the Indonesian Orthodox Church, and I
      believe now it is part of Korean Archdiocese.... Greek Orthodox Church.
      Fr George
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Fr John Brian" <frjohnbrian@...>
      To: "Orthodox-Forum@yahoogroups. com" <Orthodox-Forum@yahoogroups.com>
      Cc: <orthodoxchurch_sg@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 5:14 PM
      Subject: [Orthodox-Forum] What is this "Indonesian Orthodox Church"?

      > Can someone answer this inquiry???
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: orthodoxchurch_sg [mailto:orthodoxchurch_sg@...]
      > Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 9:35 PM
      > To: OrthodoxNews-owner@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: Fw: Appeal for the Plight of Christians in Indonesia!!
      > Evlogeite!
      > What is this "Indonesian Orthodox Church" - I have never heard of it.
      > Who gave it autocephaly or autonomy?
      > God bless / Fr Daniel
      > (Parish Priest, Singapore)
      > --- In OrthodoxNews@yahoogroups.com, "Teresa A. Polychronis"
      > <tpolychronis@n...> wrote:
      >> From: Daniel Bambang Dwibyantoro
      >> Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 11:24 PM
      >> Subject: Appeal for the Plight of Christians in Indonesia!!
      >> Please Forward this Appeal to as many people as possible
      >> Fr Daniel Byantoro, The Indonesian Orthodox Church

      Archimandrite Fr Daniel Bambang Dwi Byantoro
      The Indonesian Orthodox Church

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