The second day in the Greek Patras at the international Conference “the Voice of the Apostle Andrew in the modern world” to discuss the fate of Eastern European Christianity. Strange, but the 21st century Orthodox face the same challenges at the dawn of the Christian faith. The persecution of Christians and unbelief in General – that’s a common problem in the modern world.
The Martyrdom Of St. Andrew
Conference hall of the National University of Patras is similar to a big school. No frills hall, conference hall, classrooms, utility rooms. However, this small area could accommodate several hundred participants of public discussion. The representatives of the Patriarchs of Greece, Jerusalem, Bulgaria, the Russian and Ukrainian regions, scientists , politicians, public figures from Russia, Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria spoke about the challenges facing society in General and Orthodox Christians in particular. The Minister of education and science of Serbia Mladen Sarovic complained that Europe is now “moving to nowhere”. And those who yesterday turned a blind eye to the partition, and the bombing of Yugoslavia, now the boomerang get the same problem. Separatism and extremism knocking at the door of Old Europe. And all because she forgot about traditional values and completely departed from the teachings of the faith. “And where there is no faith, no hope, no love,” he concluded. The theme was continued by the Deputy of the national Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Professor Dragomir Karic. He gave an example from my own life. In contrast obschezapadnuyu the idea of individualism, he has become a successful in life helped the family. He grew up in a large family where honored traditions. After his father’s death, the main authority was the mother who went to the nuns. My faith has shaped the family she’s pointed in the right direction. Therefore to become a successful politician and businessman, Karic and his brothers have created a Fund that supports the poor, is charity. And most importantly – the whole family, and this , incidentally, 117 are each other’s support. Bulgarian teacher in the “Institute of leadership” Svetlana Sharenkova reminded that 140 years ago the independence of her country were able to defend only because of Slavic brotherhood. Today first friendly countries share not only borders, but also sanctions. But you have to remember to return to this Slavic community, traditional values, and they will help in the protection of the rights of society.
The most painful theme of the conference was the issue of the persecution of the Orthodox denominations in different countries of the world. About their problems told the Metropolitan Guinea George, who told me how hard it is for the Coptic Church in Egypt, where the Orthodox are simply destroyed by the radical Muslims. The representative of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Timothy is told how in the ancient city of Orthodox Christians seized religious property. About the problem of hostile takeovers of churches announced and the Archbishop of Zaporizhia and Melitopol Luka. Particularly troubling to the flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the emergence of the so-called “ecclesiastical laws”, which the Orthodox churches could be transferred to another denomination, and Church to divide into “right” and “wrong”. Professor at the Open University of Athens Charalampos Chotzakoglou told about what is happening with the Orthodox churches in the Turkish part of Cyprus: destroyed ancient frescoes, religious buildings are given for warehouses and football clubs.
In General, Orthodoxy in the world, and faith in General are going through hard times. Meanwhile, Europe and mankind time to think, what can save him just a return to universal values, which at the time was preaching Christ. And his disciples, the apostles spread this teaching around the world, not sparing his own life. The fact that this Conference was held in the place where the Apostle Andrew gave their lives for faith in humanity, perhaps not accidental.