For Eastern Orthodox Christians

Hello, for Eastern Orthodox Christians and everyone who has knowledge of them, I have a question.
This question might strike as offensive or generalizing, so I apologize in advance…

Well, for those who don’t know me, I have an interest in Religions, not just mine but others. And I often get invited to or just like to visit different Non-Catholic places of worship just to see what it’s like.

I’ve noticed with Catholics, they’re very explanatory and welcoming.
Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses even more so (for kind of obvious reasons :shrug:).

But I’ve visited one going on two Eastern Orthodox Churches. And I’ve been getting a vibe of skepticism from some of the people in those Churches. Sort of like a “what exactly are you doing here?” kind of vibe.

Can anyone tell me why this is?

Yes, I can.

But I’m Sure you’ve Thought About It And Wonder What “Why” Or “Whys” You’ve Come Up With.

Nope, I’m totally oblivious

Cradle Orthodox Have Come From Countries That Are Under Suppression From Islam Or Communism So WhenThey See Someone Who Is A Non-Orthodox In Their Church They Are Naturally Weary Of That Stranger …Add That To The Often Visitors Aren’t There To Worship God, But To Kind A Watch The GreeRKs Or Russians Or Serbs Our Other Nationality In A Setting Like Their Natural Habitat, like They Would Watch The Animals At A Zoo…Orthodox Christians Know That If That If That Person Really Wants To Worship God Then They Will Keep Coming Back And After SomeTime They Will Welcome The Visitor. Usually Within 3 To 6 Consecutive Visits.
OfCourse in ParishesWith Lots Of Converts, Who Don’t Have That Weariness Of Strangers , Ingrained In Them, you’ll Probably Be Welcomed The Very First Visit.

Oh, Okay. :sad_yes: I guess I did know it had something to do with that

I am a reverting Catholic who took a detour into eastern Orthodoxy and eastern Catholicism and after 2yrs of serious inquiry and catechesis I am confident I can answer your question with a simple, its because you are not ethnically orthodox. The eastern Catholics were more personable. I am finally home were I belong, no more wandering in the desert.

It very much can depend on the Church.

When I was still investigating Orthodoxy I went to a Divine Liturgy at the local Greek Church and very much had that feeling, while at the two OCA parishes I have been a member of I had no such feeling.

I will say that a subsequent visit, well after I had joined the OCA, to the Greek parish did not elicit such feelings. It is quite likely that some of that “What are you doing here?” feeling is the result of ones own insecurities being in a completely different environment. The first OCA church I went to had a more homely feel, and felt particularly inviting, and by the time I went to the second (much larger parish) I was already comfortable in the Orthodox Church.

That isn’t to say there aren’t uninviting Churches. The local Antiochian Church here looks so uninviting I would never go without a direct invitation from someone, and I was told (by a parishioner) that the Antiochian Church in the city I used to live in was also particularly uninviting to outsiders.

I Hope You Keep Going. :smiley: And Get The Welcome You’re Looking For.

It just varies from parish to parish. At one Russian parish in my city, for example, you are perhaps liable as a visitor to be dragged into drinking vodka with the priest after liturgy. At another parish in my city (this one with the Antiochians), you are liable to be offered food and Turkish coffee by the priest’s wife there. But then there are also parishes which have a reputation for being less welcoming (deserved or not, for some parishes have a hard time welcoming guests, because a majority of their parishioners are not completely proficient with English, being immigrants). Roman Catholic parishes show similar variation, from what I’ve noticed. For example, a friend of mine, a cradle Roman Catholic, stopped attending a certain Roman Catholic parish in my city because they were too snooty.

And yet, when I referenced Fr. Harrison’s article “Why I Did Not Convert to Eastern Orthodoxy” which mentions the ethnic considerations, the objection was downplayed in another thread.

Seems to me that the fact that most of the world is not Greek or Russian or whatever sort of limits the Orthodox in their ability to “make disciples of all nations”, doesn’t it?

And the fact that they have never gotten out of this mindset suggests that they are a bit like the members of the circumcision group in the book of Acts who weren’t too pleased to hear that the Gentiles were accepting Christ.

No. Orthodox Have Churches On Every Continent, Including Antarctica. Orthodox Christians Are Of nationality And Speak Nearly Every Language In Divine Liturgy, Spanish, Arabic, English, Greek, Russian, Chinese, ALeut, Japanese, Congolese, Serbian, Filopino, French, etc.

Yes. I Have Been Told Again And Again About These Demographics. I Am Unconvinced.

Jesus Commissioned The Apostles To Make Disciples Of All Nations. This Was Done By Rome, Not By Constantinople. Your Expansion Has Occurred Largely After Catholics Already Opened The Mission Field. Except In Your Own Countries Of Course Where Rome May Not Feel The Need To Send Missionaries.

This Map Shows The Distribution Of Orthodox…The Darker The Blue The Greater The Percentage Of Orthodox. Lots of Light Blue And Grey On This Map.

You have to admit that the uncanonical situation here in North America with overlapping Bishops of every jurisdiction competing for faithful yet clinging to their own ‘languages’ has not been welcoming to a mostly English speaking population. There needs to be an American Orthodox church with its own patriarch. But that wont happen in my lifetime and neither will east and west make any headway.

Laughable. Rome for centuries proselytized in Orthodox lands.

A map with the same color scheme wouldn’t look too flattering for your church either. According to wikipedia there are 42 Countries where Roman Catholicism is 1% of the population or under (including Russia and China, meaning that there would be humongous grey areas on your map too), and the population of these countries combined is equal to around 2.5 billion people.

How can you criticize us for the problem of overlapping jurisdictions in North America when the Roman Catholics not only have the same problem, but even refuse to recognize it as a problem?

Well, I can’t really explain “why,” because it does vary. However, even though I’m a baptized Greek Orthodox, the G.O. parishioners I have met/known over the years have been so unwelcoming to me because I am not Greek. When they ask if I am, and I say no, they basically look down their nose at me, as if I don’t belong, which is how I feel and only a slight part of why I’m converting/transitioning to Catholicism. Now, most of the G.O. (not all) have been so kind and loving towards my parents, especially my Mom, because she left the Catholic Church completely to join the G.O. one. I know this all sounds contradictory and somewhat confusing, trust me, I know, but with the G.O. I know/have met, they absolutely hate those who aren’t Greek. Note, I am not saying all, because it isn’t all, but it is most.

OverLapping Bishops In America…Oh You Mean Exactly Like The Multitude OfOverLapping Catholic Bishop Jurisdictions In America - Coptic,Roman, Melkite, Maronite, Ruthenian,Syro-MaloLobar Just To Name Some (Not All) CaTholic Jurisdictions In My metropolitan City Alone.

That has not been my experience. The Greeks have always received me kindly, especially at the Ephraimite monasteries.

I had the same experience with the Greeks. I found the Russians to be much more open to non Russian converts, which was surprising to me, and to their credit.

In the Chicago area, I’ve found the Greek Orthodox to be very friendly.

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