October 24, 2014

Revival of Orthodoxy in Russia

Back in October, 2011 Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill said:

In 1991, the Russian Orthodox Church had 12,000 parishes, 117 monasteries and convents, two theologian academies, seven theologian seminaries, 16 theologian colleges and four schools. In 2011, we have 30,675 parishes, 29,324 priests, 3,850 deacons and 805 monasteries and convents. The number of theologian educational establishments has increased, too.

Twenty years is not much in the history of a Church on the one hand, but on the other, the achievements made since 1991 are colossal.

Spiritual revival is only at its start.

The exhibit below is being held in Moscow presently.

Comments

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    The Russian Orthodox Church has expanded to an incredible degree, since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In fact, the Orthodox Church in Russia has more Orthodox worshipers than any other nation in the world.

    We need to keep in mind that the reason for this remarkable expansion of the Russian Orthodox Church is because the totalitarian government in Russia — from the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 — was headed by atheistic communists, who persecuted worshipers. A plethora of Russian worshipers during that time period was killed or imprisoned just for worshiping.

    Indeed, the Russian Orthodox Church is now making up for that 70-plus years of “lost time” for worshiping, and will continue to do so for at least another decade.

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    Dean Calvert says:

    Fr. Roman Braga once gave a presentation at St Andrew House in Detroit, in which he described the circumstances of being a practicing Orthodox in a communist country. You may know that he was imprisoned for 14 years for preaching on St. Basil.

    I’ll never forget the way he described the situation in the communist countries. “God blessed the churches in Russia, Romania and other communist countries by persecuting them…now the churches are all full. Maybe someday he will bless the churches in America, so they all fill up too,” he said.

    It struck me then…and each time i think about it. What a perspective!

    Best Regards,
    Dean

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    John Scott says:

    Parts of this video move me with their beauty. Very well done! Particularly the veneration sequence from 3:26 to 6:00 minutes. It brought back to me having been radically gobsmacked many years ago during a Presbyterian service. We were all singing “Our God is an Awesome God” to a characteristically pert little tune. It occurred to me as I sang that if our God actually were an awesome God, we wouldn’t be carrying on as we were – tapping toes and swaying to the catchy beat. I realized that we would be prostrate on the floor in adoration before Him. The whole episode felt wrong to me, and it never left me.

    And now I have been an Orthodox Christian for a number of years, and so much has changed. I know so intimately the rejoicing of my body and spirit when I prostrate myself in love and humility before our Creator. Watching this segment of the video brought back that incident from long ago. It is set perfectly to the Allegretto movement from Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, and I’ve watched it over and over. What beauty, what natural gracefulness! What an expression of love and an exaltation of our humanity, that we should engage in something this exquisite and meaningful. Yet I wonder how much longer we in North America will be allowed to publicly venerate icons of Christ and His Mother?

    Praise God for the revitalization of the faith in Eastern Europe, even as it recedes in the West. I’m afraid there may be a long and difficult road ahead for us all – perhaps recent developments in Russia may give us courage. Thank you Fr. Hans for posting this video.

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    cynthia curran says:

    I read a lot of educated Russians are leaving Russia for better opportunities elsewhere which means that Orthodoxy could spread more into other countries. Anyway, the Greeks too for the first time in a while are heavily immirgating to other countries since the crisis about 30,000 Greeks went to Germany.

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