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Orthodox Christian Missions

Archive for November 2012

Orthodox Christians in Ireland Double in Five Years

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November 1, 2012

According to the latest 2011 census there are over 45 thousand Orthodox Christians in Ireland, reports Interfax-Religion.

This figure is two times larger than it was in 2006 and four times larger than in 2002. Thus according to the official data Orthodoxy is the fastest growing religion in Ireland, says the website

The largest center of Orthodoxy in the country is Swords, the county town of Fingal, where 1168 Orthodox Christians reside according to the 2011 census data.

The census also showed that the majority of the Orthodox Christians in Ireland are Romanians (26%), followed by Irish (20%) and Latvians (12.5%).

“Orthodoxy is not something new or strange In Ireland; it has always existed here. It is well-known that Irish Christianity before the 11th century was very similar to ours. But after Ireland was conquered by the British this denomination had been intentionally removed by the Pope. That is probably why many Irish perceive Orthodoxy as something special and dear”, said the Rector of the Patriarchal representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Dublin, priest Michael Nasonov.

According to him, there are seven parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ireland already.

The most common religion in Ireland is Roman Catholicism (3.86 million people, 84.2% of the population), followed by Protestantism (over 134 thousand people) and Islam (over 49 thousand people).


Hat tip: Byzantine, TX


Written by Stephen

November 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Posted in Ireland

Prayer Book and Psalter in Thai and Laotian

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Pages from the Russian-Laotian prayer book.

Russian-Laotian Orthodox prayer book published.

A parallel Russian-Laotian Orthodox prayer book has been published. The publication under the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in Thailand, is part of the pastoral responsibility to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Financial support for the publication was provided by the Foundation of the Orthodox Church in Thailand. The volume was edited by archimandrite Oleg (Cherepanin), Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand. Peter (Pone) Somepheth and Anthony (Tongkham) Phiaxayavong, currently seminarians at St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, translated the text from Thai. Dr. Vladimir Buntilov was in charge of formatting and design. Five hundred copies will be sent to the Orthodox believers in Laos, as well as several copies going to religious educational institutions in Russia and missionary organizations.

A published edition of the Psalter for liturgical use in the Thai language.

The Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in Thailand with the financial support of the Orthodox Church in Thailand published the liturgical Psalter in Thai. The division of the sacred text is according to the Kathismas. This first edition of the Psalter in the Thai language according to the Septuagint version with the appropriate numbering and verses. The publication of the liturgical Psalter in Thai was done in view of the increasing number of Orthodox Thais and the need for their more active involvement in church services. Five hundred copies will be distributed among the Orthodox churches in Thailand. Several copies will be sent to religious educational institutions of Russia and missionary organizations.

Source: Orthodox Christian Church in Thailand (Moscow Patriarchate)

Hat Tip: Byzantine, TX

Written by Stephen

November 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Missions Day: Orthodoxy in Guatemala

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Some of the Guatemalan clergy, from left to right: Fr. Mihail, Fr. Evangelos, Fr. Andrés Girón, Fr. José, and Fr. Danil

This is coming up quick–this Wednesday, November 7, but if you are able to go, this sounds very interesting. News of this “explosion” first started appearing a couple of years ago, but it is only in the last couple of months that more substantial information is becoming available.

If you can’t attend the event at the seminary, or even if you can, I highly recommend the account of seminarian Jesse Brandow, who travelled to Guatemala this last summer for two months to see what was happened, and blogged about his experiences and observations here. An article about Fr. John and Mat. Alexandra Chakos, missionaries to Guatemala, can be found here.

UPDATE: Fr. John Chakos and Fr. Andre Giron are also at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology this week, in Boston. On Thursday, November 8, at 7 pm, they will be giving a lecture titled, Mission to Guatemala: Receiving the Mayan People Into the Orthodox Church. The lecture can be viewed live here, or available later from their video archives. It sounds interesting!

YONKERS, NY [SVOTS Communications] Saint Vladimir’s Seminary invites the public to its second annual Missions Day on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., for a presentation on the “explosion” of Orthodox Christianity in Guatemala, where in recent years 338 Orthodox churches, with 200,000 faithful and catechumens, have become part of the Orthodox Metropolis of Mexico.

Archimandrite Dr. Andres Girón de Leon and Archpriest John Chakos will be the guest lecturers, sharing first hand their missionary activities among the indigenous people of Guatemala, within their presentation, “Mission to Guatemala: Receiving the Mayan People into the Orthodox Church.” The presentations will be in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building on the seminary campus.

Father Andres, a native Guatemalan who grew up in a family of privilege, has crammed several lifetimes into one: former Roman Catholic priest, trained counselor, Senator in the Guatemalan Congress and advocate for the rural poor, UN Ambassador, and now Orthodox priest among disaffected Mayan people who were searching for a spiritual home outside the Roman Catholic Church.

Father John is a “retired” Greek Orthodox priest from Pittsburgh, serving in Guatemala under the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) for six months out of the year, with his wife, Presbytera Alexandra. Father John serves the vast spiritual needs of the new Orthodox faithful, while Presbytera Alexandra sets up shop as a seamstress and teaches the Mayan women sewing skills that will bring them fresh purpose and needed income.

The presentations are open to the public.

Written by Stephen

November 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm