Monk Sophronios (Copan) is an American monk living out his monastic calling in a small monastery in Eastern Kosovo, dedicated to the Holy Archangels Gabriel and Michael. Orthochristian.com recently had the opportunity to interview him about his experiences as an American and a monastic in Kosovo while he was in America giving talks about his monastery and the contemporary situation of Orthodox Christians in Muslim-majority Kosovo.
The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raška-Prizren strongly condemns the latest series of incidents which indicate that there is a serious deterioration of the security situation in which Serbs with their Orthodox Church live in Kosovo and Metohija.
In the evening of May 19, 2018, during the Sunday All-Night Vigil, four militants attacked the Church of the Archangel Michael in Grozny. The bandits killed two officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who were guarding the church, and then tried to break into the church.
At its session on May 25 at the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra, the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church adopted an address to the bishops, clergy, monastics, and laity regarding the initiative for “providing a tomos of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.”
What was happening the day of the attack against the Church of the Archangel Michael in Grozny? There was just another service going on, but there was a lot planned due to inner events that the enemy could not tolerate.
I am sure that such feelings and experiences are shared by a great many believers. Year after year, spiritually accompanying the Myrrh-bearing Women, we successively experience fear, astonishment, and awe at the view of the stone miraculously rolled away from the entrance to the Savior’s tomb by an invisible power.
Recently, on the Meeting of the Lord, one of our parishioners, running into Blessed Irina not far from the church, asked, “Irochka, how are you?” “Good,” she answered. “Where are you going?” “I’m going to church.” “There’s a service today?” “There is.” “And tomorrow too?” “Yes,” and then, after a pause, she added, “You know, Pelagia Vasilievna, I’m going to leave you soon; I’m going very far and I won’t return here anymore.”
More than 100 Christians have been sent to ‘re-education’ camps in China’s north-western Xinjiang province over the past few months according to Open Doors sources. These ‘mind-transformation centres’ teach citizens to be loyal to the communist ideology.
Bishop Mitrophan (Badanin) of Severomorsk and Umba (the far Northeast of Russia) talks with two young men, one a priest and the other an editorial writer, about the meaning of the podvig of the New Martyrs and confessors of Russia for us who live today, about the process of canonization of this great host of saints, and whether we live up to the great name of “Christian”.
There are innumerable examples of the intercession and help of the Theotokos, and every pilgrim and parishioner of the Lavra still experiences this aid. The Mother of God also appeared here in 1240 in a pillar of fire and left her footprint on a rock. She, like the burning bush, bore witnesses that this place is holy. She is the abbess here and the patroness of this land…
Islamic Fulani herdsmen in northeastern Nigeria, who have been accused of aligning with the Boko Haram terror group, killed more than 100 Christians after reprisal clashes earlier this month with the suspected help of the military.
“Sorrows bring joy and salvation to true Christians, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom. 10:13).” These were Metropolitan Sergy’s words of consolation to his flock—parishioners of a church in the Kuty village of the Shumsk district of Ukraine’s Ternopil region in August this year, where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy in a tent.
Syria has been a designated state sponsor of terrorism since 1979, but additional sanctions have been placed on the country since 2011 as uprisings spawned across the country in the quest to pressure the Assad government to pave the way for political transition. The sanctions prohibit the export of almost all U.S.-origin items, restrict financial services and the import of Syrian oil, and ban new investments in Syria by Americans.
The truth is, however, that in former Czarist Russia, where the status of the Orthodox Church was privileged, Lenin called for its complete destruction. Already in 1909, in his controversy “On the Relationship of the Working Class to Religion,” he wrote: “Religion is the opium of mankind – this Marx’s statement is the cornerstone of Marxism’s worldview on its relationship to religion.”