Search

Loading...

Blog Archive

Saint Moses the Black

Saint Moses the Black
Saint Moses the Black

Popular Posts

There was an error in this gadget

Labels

Saint John the Theologian

Saint John the Theologian
Saint John the Theologian

Followers

Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The orthodox approach to Thailand

http://www.bangkokpost.com

One of Europe's most traditional religions has found a following in a place not normally associated with any sort of faith


Pattaya has long been known as Thailand's sin city by the beach _ teeming with prostitutes, massage parlours, brothels, foreign mafia, pubs and bars _ not a place one goes to seek spiritual enlightenment.

But in the midst of a city famous for all the wrong reasons is an unusual sight _ the All Saints Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), a building with three golden domes and beautifully painted frescos inside.

The burly Russian who runs this outpost of Orthodox Christianity says that while he's not impressed by his surroundings, his congregation is growing and his church is doing a good job of taking care of the faithful.

''It is very difficult for me to come and stay here. I don't feel so good. All the sin has some bad energy and you can feel it. You can feel the atmosphere of the sin,'' said Archimandrite Oleg, whose secular name is Oleg Mikhailovich Cherepanin.

''I can stay for one or two nights, but after that I become sick and want to go back to Bangkok. I rarely leave the church whether I am in Bangkok or in Pattaya.

''The present problem for me is that the sins in Pattaya are like a part of normal life. If a person commits a sin then he or she can go to church and confess, then they will understand that the sin is not a part of normal life, but it is like a sickness of the soul.

''But when sin begins to be a part of normal life and the person doesn't feel it, then this is a problem and this is the one we have here in Pattaya.''

Archimandrite Oleg told Spectrum how his church started in Thailand.

''After many letters from Russian people living in Thailand were sent to the late His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow, I was sent here in 1999 to see and learn about the spiritual situation of the people who went abroad, especially to this region and to Thailand,'' he said.

''What I saw was not only Russians, but also Bulgarians, Greeks, Romanians as well as Orthodox people from other western countries who are also Orthodox but didn't have any spiritual care, so I reported to His Holiness and he blessed me to try to organise an Orthodox parish in Bangkok, and that was the beginning of Orthodoxy in Thailand. The St Nicholas parish was opened in Bangkok and I was appointed as its rector.

'However, at that time, I could do nothing but pray. People came and prayed with me, and, step by step, it became a parish with other nationals joining and Thai people became interested as well.

''We are not called the Russian Orthodox Church we are the Orthodox Church in Thailand, which is for everyone. We have in our parish Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians Bulgarians, people from France and other countries, including Africa. Every Orthodox person is welcome.



To read the rest please visit bangkokpost.com

0 comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails