“Taking Orthodoxy to America” – Thirty Years Later

by Fr. Marc Dunaway

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Thirty years ago this month, Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese began the process of bringing into the Orthodox Church seventeen “Evangelical Orthodox” communities from across America. At that time, he declared Orthodoxy to be “America’s best kept secret,” and he urged us as new converts to do something about this. “Take Orthodoxy to America,” he said.  This is surely a work that will continue for many generations, and I am grateful that on this anniversary our Metropolitan Joseph has pledged to carry on this task. Thirty years later, however, I would offer a few suggestions to consider from our experience so far. Continue Reading…

“Beat her when you are alone together”: Domestic Violence in the Russian Tradition, Past and Present

by Nadieszda Kizenko

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On February 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law decriminalizing domestic violence. Now, the first instance of poboi—“actions which cause physical pain but do not lead to grave injury or loss of ability to work’’—will be treated as a misdemeanor rather than a criminal act. This means that the offender will incur a fine of 30,000 rubles (about $500), community service, or a fifteen-day detention. If the offender repeats the offense within a year, the second offense will be treated as a criminal act. If more than a year goes by, the slate is clean, and the repeat offense is once again a misdemeanor with no jail time.

This measure prompted a furious response, both in Russian social media and abroad, when it was first raised in the lower courts last June. It seemed as if the most vulnerable members of society were left without protection, and as if the state considered bloodying one’s wife and children somehow not serious. But the picture is more complicated than it seems. Continue Reading…

Speak Up for the Trees

by Crina Gschwandtner

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Melted glaciers. Bleached coral reefs. Slashed forests. Drained wetlands. Burning oil fields. Smog. – Environmental destruction all around us.

Why ought Orthodox Christians advocate for flora and fauna? Why should we care when environmental protections are dismantled, polluting industries reinvigorated, ecological dangers ignored or denied? Why must we speak up for all of creation—two-legged, four-legged, finned, winged, and rooted?

The patristic literature on creation and the genesis of the universe stresses its beauty, harmony, and order. Continue Reading…