Author: Public Orthodoxy

Civicness and Orthodoxy in Romanian Protests

by Lucian Turcescu

romania-protest

In December 2016, Romania’s political landscape changed following the parliamentary elections. The Social Democratic Party (PSD, successor to the Romanian Communist Party) won a plurality of seats (around 44%) in both the upper and lower chambers of Parliament, but fell short of securing a simple majority. With the help of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), on 4 January 2017 the PSD formed a government led by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu. The PSD dominated the Romanian Parliament for much of the post-communist period, and many more of its politicians are corrupt than members of other political parties. Romania has struggled with high levels of corruption in every field of life, from the elementary school student who must bribe her teacher, to medical doctors expecting or demanding bribes, all the way to corrupt politicians embezzling large funds from the country’s budget and from the European Union (EU). After joining the EU ten years ago, Romania was asked to control its corruption, but it has remained one of the most corrupt members of the EU, alongside sister Orthodox countries like Greece and Bulgaria. Continue Reading…

“Taking Orthodoxy to America” – Thirty Years Later

by Fr. Marc Dunaway

img_4334-1

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

wifebeating2

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…