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10416Re: [orthodox-synod] Congratulations to Putin

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  • for4z@aol.com
    Apr 1, 2004
      It seems a fundamental goal of Orthodox Christianity is being overlooked in
      this discussion. Is it not our goal to spread the Word to ALL NATIONS and ALL
      PEOPLES? What does RUSSIAN in Russian Orthodox Church really mean? I don't
      think it means the political boundaries of RUSSIA (those have certainly changed
      over the years since St. Vladimir and, undoudtedly, will change in the
      future). I don't think it means ethnic Russians (would it not be absurd to ask
      non-Russian converts to pretend to be ethnically Russian - although readers of
      this list may have seen such suggestions over the years). Does it not seem
      appropriate that RUSSIAN in Russian Orthodox Church might best describe the lineage
      and heritage of our Church, not necessarily its political or ethnic future.
      It is clear from all the postings over the last few years that some of our
      leaders are striving for the ethnic and others for the political. I would like
      to hear from among our leaders who are more committed to ACCEPTING and
      RESPECTING ALL PEOPLES INTO RUSSIAN ORTHODOXY, REGARDLESS OF THEIR POLITICAL OR ETHNIC
      BACKGROUND. If we try to limit the Church to RUSSIAN politics, language, and
      customs, what business does the Church have in the Holy Land or on Mt. Athos?
      It is clear the Church saw a need and a business to be there and to be in
      other countries. Did St. Nicholas of Japan force the Japanese converts to speak
      Russian and accept Russian politics? No, he worked to translate service
      books into Japanese and ordained Japanese priests. Did St. Patriarch Tikhon try
      to annex North American lands to Russia because there might have been Russian
      Orthodox immigrants in North America? No, he was for the Orthodox in America
      having their own church in America. Do not all our services include prayer for
      the secular government of the COUNTRY IN WHICH THEY ARE LOCATED? Would not
      the polite action, therefore, be to congratulate lawful leaders in every
      country where we have a parish? In addition to political questions, there are many
      jurisdictional disputes today among the many different "Orthodox" Churches and
      dialog to lower boundaries, build brotherhood, and seek unity may certainly
      be a positive step. However, should this be a shield to promote
      ethno-political agendas? Are we seeking to build Orthodoxy or to promote Russia at the
      expense of other lands and peoples?

      Eugene Zaharov


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