The Patriarchate image
The Orthodox Patriarchate of Nations present on the five continents is an Orthodox Church confessing the same faith as the Greek, Antiochian, Russians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Serbs, etc…

Its dogmas, its theology and its faith are in no way different from those Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Orthodoxy means righteous (for just) glorification, presupposing life in the “true faith”. It is a “Catholic” Church like all the Orthodox Churches and like the Roman Church.

“Catholicity” in fact means “universal plenitude of Truth” opposed to all limitation. It is also a Church of France, that is to say a local Church according to the principle of unity in diversity which determines the organization of the Orthodox Churches.

Thus, according to the same principle, she never practiced the worship of a language other than the mother tongue of the French. This is applied to restore certain local liturgical practices to the West, but abandoned over the past centuries and unknown to the Eastern Churches, uses consistent with the integrity of the Orthodox faith and the tradition of the undivided Church of the first millennium, and help the faithful to become more intimately aware of the liturgical mysteries. It is not, as we have said, an archaeological return to a state of the Church life and in Gaul, but the visible resurgence of an underground current which does not.

The same principle applies to the many continents and countries we are present in.
Located in Paris, the Patriarchate is headed by a Patriarch who is elected by the Holy Synod from amongst the metropolitans who compose it. The Patriarch presides the Holy Synod and executes its decisions. He also acts as Metropolitan of the Archdiocese Paris.

The current Patriarch, Nicholas I, was elected by the Holy Synod and was consecrated Patriarch on the 9th of October, 2011.

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Nations has more than 150 Bishops who represent it throughout the world.

Welcome to the Official Website of The Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of London & Great Britain serving the Arabic Diaspora. We are an Eastern Orthodox mission serving Great Britain.

Our mission is committed to proclaim the Gospel to those who have not heard it, to do charity work to those who are in need regardless of: background, age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief and to foster according to Gospel values; peace, justice and the integrity of the creation worldwide, to defend the human rights of every individual and to work for unity between the Orthodox and other Christians.

We were founded as a mission in 2005. The mission is dedicated to the national and international exchange of knowledge within the context of the Orthodox tradition.

We are also active in humanitarian aid work, food banks and homeless projects.

We invite you to be a part of the movement that began with Christ’s last command to His disciples to “make disciples of all nations”. For 2000 years, this has been the mission of the Orthodox Church. This work continues with you!

We believe that the living Tradition of the Church and the principles of concord and harmony are expressed through the common mind of the universal episcopate as the need arises. In all other matters, the internal life of each independent Church is administered by the bishops of that particular Church.

Our Eastern Christian Tradition places us within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of God. We hold as sacred the Holy Scriptures, the ancient Creeds of the Church, the Seven Sacraments and governance through valid Episcopal Orders.

We draw on the rich Eastern Christian Traditions of the Holy Orthodox Church spirituality to help ourselves and others to discern God’s presence in our lives. As contemplatives in action, we bring this spirituality into the wider human context as we strive for social justice, charity work, peace, education, dialogue and Church unity.

We are dedicated to Orthodox evangelism. Our goal is to bring together Orthodox faithful into a unified and coordinated effort, to spread the truth of Orthodoxy in our modern time, in other words; Orthodox Christianity in the 21st Century.

Our Mission was established in an effort to answer and deal with the following concerns:
How do we deal with Poverty, Homeless Issues, Refugees, Food Banks etc…
How does the modern culture of acceleration affect Orthodox Christianity in our time?
Can or should Orthodoxy follow this rhythm of life, even if this is the modern path to transmit its own message?
Can this happen without having an impact on the “eternal” nature of the sacred?
What is at stake here?
Is the relationship between the Orthodox Church and the present social order and its response to the ever-increasing calls for change?
Without ignoring the differences between the various theological currents of Orthodoxy, is the Orthodox Church delivering its message to society with all the challenges that this age is facing?

The Great Commission:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Our Vision:
That all people may come to know the saving love of our Lord: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Our Values:
We value proclaiming and witnessing Christ to all people with priority given to those who have never heard or accepted the Gospel.
We value sharing the love of Christ for the care of the total person – spiritual and physical.
We value ministry in the language and culture of the people.
We value our people – well-trained Missionaries, Staff, Supporters, Indigenous Leadership and those being served.
We value communities, parishes, and individuals that are mission-minded and have active mission involvement.
We value being an open and transparent mission that values the gifts of stewardship provided to us by the faithful.

We are guided by the following principles:
Gospel: To believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to adhere to His commandments, as expressed in the life and teachings of the Orthodox Church.
Communication: To acknowledge our responsibility to communicate Orthodox Christianity to the world and to invite all to partake of the fullness of the faith.
Education: To take a holistic approach to theological education and spiritual formation—integrating study, work, worship, and personal discipline.
Values: To manifest Orthodox Christian love, service, worship, and learning in the life of the community and beyond.
Unity: To be committed to Christian unity.
Transparent: To be open, transparent, and responsible stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
Participation: To encourage every member of the community to be a full and active participant in our mission.
Charity Work & Commitments: To be committed to the Holy Church teachings, to be also committed to fairness, justice, respect, and hospitality for all members of the community and our wider society, regardless of their background or beliefs.

Seeking to respond to the needs of the times and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as well as by human insight, the intention of our Mission is to embrace a way of life which, by profession of the Evangelical Counsels, follows Christ and becomes an outstanding sign of the Heavenly Kingdom.

His All Holiness Nicholas,
Patriarch of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Nations

His Holiness Patriarch Nicholas was born in France on March 30, 1952. He entered monastic life in 1982 and was ordained Deacon in 1983, and a priest on April 9, 1985, at the Monastery of Saint Michel du Var.

His theological studies were taken at the Institute Saint Sarge in Paris. He was consecrated to the episcopate on September 1, 2001 as Bishop of Paris in charge of missions, he entered the Ukrainian Church in exile, in the United States, and in 2003 he was elevated o the rank of Archbishop. In 2005, he served as chief consecrator for the solemn consecration of Patriarch Moses in Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv. Along with the Western Bishops, he left the Kyiv Patriarchate in 2006 to enter into a relationship with the American Orthodox Catholic Church in the United States.

Obtaining the status of autocephalous, he became Archbishop Primate of the Synod in 2007. On October 9, 2001, he was elected and consecrated Patriarch by the twenty one Bishops of the Holy Synod.

The Church has now adopted the name Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Europe. Many other Bishops had then joined the Church and at the 2014 General Synod in Italy, the Church, now present on five continents, took the name of Orthodox Patriarchate of Nations, thus signifying it’s catholicity and affirming its global presence.

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Nations currently has more than a hundred Bishops who represent it throughout the world.


His Eminence  George
Archbishop of London, 
Metropolitan of Great Britain 

The Most Reverend Metropolitan Archbishop George read Theology in the USA where he attained a Master Degree in Divinity. He also holds a Master Degree in Business Administration from Cornell University as well as and a Doctorate Degree in Eastern Theology. On the 22nd of April 1991, on the Vigil of the feast of Saint George the Great Martyr, he formally took the monastic vows in accordance to the Eastern Rite Tradition. On the 23rd of April 1991 at the Divine Liturgy, he was ordained to the Holy Deaconate. On the 23rd of April 1992, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. In June 1995, he was consecrated to the episcopate given the title Bishop of Byblos, (a Byzantine colony from 395 CE - 637 CE), an ancient region at the eastern coast of Phoenicia. 

In 2005, H.E. founded The Companions of Christ Orthodox Mission, a mission dedicated to Charity Work and the national and international exchange of knowledge within the context of the Orthodox Christian tradition.

Metropolitan Archbishop George lived and worked in the Middle East, USA, Asia, Africa and Europe. He had the opportunity to work closely with many International Humanitarian Organizations and was successful in the many projects he was overseeing.

In 2016, after spending many years in Central Equatoria and East Africa where he worked closely with refugees camps, orphanages and field hospitals, Metropolitan Archbishop George moved to the United Kingdom to continue the mission.
On October 10th, 2021, he was received into the Orthodox Patriarchate of Nations, he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan Archbishop of Great Britain.

The The Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of London & Great Britain mission work harder these days to help those in-need.

Christ brings more folks to be served at our mission doors every day. We are rewarded more with thanks and by seeing in their faces, the face of Christ.

We serve the homeless and the near homeless, the disenfranchised and marginalized, the poorest of the poor, the unseen, the unheard, and the unwanted.

Our mission and values draw directly from the Orthodox Christian teachings; Scripture, Liturgy, the Gospel and the Tradition of the Church. These Christian Orthodox values / visions are at the heart of what we do and who we are.

Since we believe each person is made in the image and likeness of God and has inherent dignity, we work with those living in poverty to have access to food, water, housing and other basic amenities which many of us can often take for granted.

How could we possibly be an apostles of the Kingdom – Thy Kingdom Come! Without wanting to go where Christ's good news is hardly known? We are "generalists" when it comes to ministry, and so from the beginning we have wanted to travel abroad to work in the "emerging Churches": in Africa, Middle East, Far East, Europe and America … Now these missions are forming their own clergy and becoming in turn missionaries.

It is thought to be virtuous not to have any preferences, but we at The Companions of Christ Orthodox Mission, we have one nonetheless. It's a preference for poor, in response to the Gospel and to the Church calling us today to be on their side. For us too, it’s a consequence of our own vow to live as poor men. Some will dedicate themselves full-time to this work: with marginalized people of every kind, in hospitals and in prisons, "worker priests" or volunteers in different organizations … But all of us try to live in union with the poor, because "the poor will always be with us", because the poor are too often neglected even within the Church.

We are part of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church conforms to that of the undivided Orthodox Church of the first millennium of its existence. It is expressed in the ancient Symbol of Faith of the Nicene Creed, promulgated by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and enlarged by the Council of Constantinople in AD 381:

"I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made, who, for us men, and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary; and became man; He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried, and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end, and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, Who proceed from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets, and in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen".

We believe that the source of the Orthodox Christian faith is fully expressed in the Nicene Creed (based on Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition).

We believe that Sacred Scripture (the Bible),which comprises the Old Testament (including the deuterocanonical/apocryphal books) and the New Testament, contains God’s revelation to us, particularly that concerning His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that in matters essential to our salvation it is inerrant.

On The Bible:
We do not consider the Bible to be a source of information concerning science or any other human discipline. Its purpose is to teach us about God and about His Son Jesus Christ. It does that within the cultural environment of its time and place, hence the need for careful study to understand its message correctly.

We believe that Sacred Scripture itself is part of Sacred Tradition, that process by which God’s revelation is passed on to us from the Apostles, and unto the Church Fathers and to the unbroken succession of Bishops through the centuries. This handing on occurs through the prayers and liturgy of the Church, through preaching, teaching, catechesis, devotions, doctrines, and the Bible itself.

We believe that Church Tradition is a collection of Orthodox Christian practices and beliefs, from the earliest of days, which makes Sacred Tradition an inerrant source of God’s revelation in matters essential to our faith and our Christian life. A very important part of Sacred Tradition is the teaching of the Ecumenical Councils.

We believe that the doctrinal definitions of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, that is those which took place within the undivided Catholic Church, were guided by the Holy Spirit and it accepts them as part of its faith. Those seven Ecumenical Councils are the Councils of Nicaea in AD 325, Constantinople in AD 381, Ephesus in AD 431, Chalcedon in AD 451, Constantinople II in AD 533, Constantinople III in AD 680, and Nicaea II in AD 787.These Councils were concerned essentially with defining the true Catholic faith, in the Holy Trinity and in Jesus Christ the Son of God made man: God is triune, a single God in three Persons, Whom the Saviour Himself named as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, uniting in His single Person both the divine and the human natures.

We believe that equally important in Sacred Tradition are the Seven Sacraments. We believe that these Sacraments, which are Baptism and Eucharist, both of which are particularly attested to in Sacred Scripture; Confirmation (or Chrismation), Penance (or Reconciliation), Matrimony, Holy Orders and Unction (or Anointing of the Sick and the Dying), are effective signs of the Lord’s continuing presence and action within His Church and efficacious channels of his Grace. Among the Sacraments, the Holy Eucharist holds prominence of place.

We believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ is really and truly present, in His humanity and in His Divinity, in the species of bread and wine that have been consecrated in the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Holy Mass, and that in Holy Communion we receive Him into ourselves to nourish the very life of the soul: ‘Those who eat My Flesh and drink My Blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day’, (John 6:54).

We believe that in Our Lord Jesus’ plan for His Church, the Apostles and the Bishops hold a special place.

We believe that the Bishops, canonically and liturgically consecrated in the unbroken line of Apostolic Succession are the successors of the Apostles and that they are responsible, as were the Apostles, for the ministry of service to the Church, consisting of preaching and teaching, of sanctifying and of governing, but most of all, for the safeguarding and the handing-on intact, of the Deposit of Faith and Sacred Tradition of the Church under the divine command.
On The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Theotokos:

We believe that Mary, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Theotokos, the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church and the Queen of Heaven and earth, holds a special place in the faith, the lives and the liturgy of the our Church.

On the Immaculate Conception:
As most Orthodox Christians, we reject the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as unnecessary and wrong. We do not see ancestral sin as an inheritance of guilt or a stain, there is no reason for the miraculous removal of either. Nevertheless as per the Orthodox Tradition we hold that the Theotokos remained free of personal sin.

On Dormition of the Theotokos:
We believe that the Dormition of Our Blessed Lady and Her ascension into Heaven, are held in accordance with Sacred Tradition, the Church Fathers and the Sacred Liturgy from the earliest of times; and in oneness with the Orthodox Church of the East and the Latin Roman Church in the West.

On the Saints:
We believe in the Communion of Saints, and the fellowship of the whole Church in Glory, the Church Militant and the Church Suffering. It holds to the honouring of Saints, and the prayers for their intercession for both the Church Militant and Suffering.

On Life after Death: 
Each person is subject to what is called "private judgment" and to what is called "general judgment”.

The private judgment is what an individual receives immediately after death.
The souls of the righteous, who have received a "positive" private judgment have a certain "foretaste" of Heaven, and the souls of unrepentant sinners who received a "negative" private judgment have a "foretaste" of hell.

However, neither Paradise nor the Inferno even exist yet, because the final division of all humans into those who are saints and those who are damned will occur only after the Second Coming of Christ and the general resurrection of the dead (Matthew 25: 31-46).

Even though a person whose soul is separated from his/her body is not able to repent anymore, and thus cannot change the private judgment by him- or herself, the prayers of others, the prayers of the Church, and especially the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God the Theotokos still can change the destiny of those who received a negative private judgment.
On the Filioque Position:

We maintain, as does the whole Eastern Orthodox Christian  Church, the solid and unquestioning beliefs as set out in the Creed of Nicaea/Constantinople of AD 381. We maintain that, whilst theological debate may continue regarding the Filioque clause, no Church and no Bishop or Bishops, nor successive Synods or Councils may change, alter, add to, or take away from, a Creed once it is proclaimed by a legitimate General Ecumenical Council, and that such Sacred Tradition is held as absolute by the Augustinians Fathers.

On the Divine Liturgy:
The authorized Eucharistic Liturgies we use are: John Chrysostom, Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian, Pope of Rome.

On the Seven Sacraments of the Church:
The Seven Sacraments: We recognize and affirm the seven Mysteries or Sacraments of the Church:

First place among the Sacraments of the Orthodox Christian Church is Holy Baptism, by which a man/women, who has come to believe in Christ, by being immersed three times in water in the Name of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is cleansed through Divine Grace of all sins (Original Sins and personal sins) and is reborn into a new holy, and spiritual life. Baptism serves as the door through which man enters into the House of Eternal Wisdom - the Church - for, without it, a man cannot be united completely with the Saviour, become a member of His Church, receive other Sacraments, and be the heir to Eternal Life. As the Lord Himself said, in His discourse with Nicodemus, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." (St. John 3:5)

Chrismation (Confirmation):
In the Sacrament of Baptism man is called out of spiritual darkness into the light of Christ and is initiated into the economy of salvation by the Son of God. This initiation is effected, however, in the Sacrament of Holy Chrismation.

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ," the Apostle Peter preached to the people on Pentecost, "and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38) Since that time the Divine Gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon each person who rises from the baptismal font. And everything the Holy Spirit touches receives the seal of an invaluable treasure, a ray of eternal light, the reflection of Divine action. It awakens in the soul that inner, spiritual thirst to grow toward the Heavenly, to the eternal and to the perfect as Temples of the Holy Spirit.

Communion (Holy Eucharist):
The central place among the Sacraments of the Orthodox Christian Church is held by the Holy Eucharist - the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Saviour Himself said, "I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst...If anyone eats of this Bread he will live forever; and the Bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh." (St. John 6:35, 51) At the Last Supper, "Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is My Body.' And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.' " (St. Matthew 26:26-28; cf. St. Mark 14:12-16; St. Luke 22:7-13; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30.)

Holy Ordination:
In the Orthodox  Christian Church there are to be found three "Major Orders" - Bishop, Priest and Deacon - and two "Minor Orders" - Subdeacon and Reader. The Holy Apostles appointed seven men (Church Tradition calls them "Deacons') to perform a special serving ministry (Acts 6:2-6) and in his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul speaks of various ministries in the Church (1 Cor. 12:28). Likewise, he address his Letter to the Philippians, "To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1:1}. In his first Letter to Timothy, the Holy Apostle also speaks of the qualifications of Bishops and Deacons (1 Tim. 3:1-13), as well as in his Letter to Titus (1.5-9). Ordinations are accomplished by the Laying-on of Hands and intercession of the Holy Spirit. Bishops and Priests must be men. From Apostolic Times, as witnessed in Sacred Scripture and in the Ordination Rites of the Great Church of Constantinople, men and women have been ordained as Deacons. Being married has never been an impediment to the reception of Holy Orders.

Penance (Confession):
The Sacrament of Repentance developed early in the Church's history in the time of persecutions of the 3rd and 4th Centuries, when many people, giving to the threats of persecutors, apostasized and fell away from the Church. Apostacy was considered to be a very serious sin; many held the extreme position that such could not be received back into the Church in their lifetime, while others held that those who had lapsed should be re-baptized - that is, their sins should be washed away by a second baptism. Moderation, in the course of time, prevailed and a penitential discipline - the Sacrament of Repentance - developed, taking on the meaning of Second Baptism. In the Sacrament, the Priest is "only the witness" and pronounces the absolution. "If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (St. John 1:9)

Holy Matrimony (Marriage):
In the theology of the Orthodox Christian Church,  man is made in the Image of the Most-holy Trinity, and, except in certain special cases (such as the calling to monasticism), he is not intended by God to live alone, but in a family situation. Just as Almighty God blessed the first humans, Adam and Eve, to live as a family, to be fruitful and multiply, so too the Church blesses the union of two people. Marriage is a state of Grace requiring a gift or charism from the Holy Spirit - this give being conferred in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

Holy Unction (Anointing of the Sick):
This Sacrament is described in Holy Scripture by St. James the Brother of the Lord: "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." (St. James 5:14-15) From the text, we can see that this Sacrament has a twofold purpose - bodily healing and the forgiveness of sins. The two are joined, for man is a unity of body and soul and there can be no sharp distinction between bodily and spiritual sickness. Of course, the Church does not believe that this anointing is automatically or magically followed by recovery of health, for God's will and not man's prevails in all instances. Sometimes the sick person is healed and recovers after receiving the Sacrament, but in other cases he does not recover, but the Sacrament, nonetheless, gives him the spiritual strength to prepare for death. We must note that this Sacrament is NOT only for those on their deathbed, but for anyone who is sick. It may also be performed over the healthy as well (as is the custom on Holy Wednesday) and in some traditions it is often performed over the healthy before Holy Communion, since the rite also contains elements of repentance, although it should be noted that this does not replace the Sacrament of Penance.

What is your Mission?
Our mission and values draw directly from the Orthodox Christian teachings; Scripture, Liturgy, the Gospel and the Tradition of the Church. These Christian Orthodox values / visions are at the heart of what we do and who we are.

We also serve the homeless and the near homeless, the disenfranchised and marginalized, the poorest of the poor, the unseen, the unheard, and the unwanted.

Since we believe each person is made in the image and likeness of God and has inherent dignity, we work with those living in poverty to have access to food, water, housing and other basic amenities which many of us can often take for granted.

Which do you believe in, the Bible or Tradition?
A good short answer to this question is “Yes!” The question implies precisely a kind of polarity (i.e., “Bible verses Tradition”) which is not found in the Orthodox Christian worldview.

“Tradition” or in Greek paradosis, is used very often in the New Testament both as a verb and a noun. (I Corinthians 11:23, where literally translating the original Greek, Paul says “for I received of the Lord that which I also have traditioned to you . . . .” See also 1 Corinthians 11:2, and II Thessalonians 2:15 and 3:6.)

Tradition means “that which is handed over.” The New Testament carefully distinguishes between “traditions of men” and The Tradition, which is the Faith handed over to us by Christ in the Holy Spirit. That same Faith was believed and practiced several decades before the New Testament Scriptures were set down in writing and given canonical (i.e., official) status. We experience the Tradition as timeless and ever timely, ancient and ever new.

We distinguish between The Tradition (“with a capital T”) which is the Faith/Practice of the Undivided Church, and traditions (“with a little t”) which are local or national customs. Due to changing circumstances, sometimes cherished traditions must be altered or respectfully laid aside for the sake of The Tradition.

The New Testament Scriptures are the primary written witness to the Tradition. Orthodox Christians therefore believe the Bible, as the inspired written Word of God, is the heart of the Tradition. In the New Testament all basic Orthodox doctrine and sacramental practice is either specifically set forth, or alluded to as already a practice of the Church in the first century A.D.
The Tradition is witnessed to also by the decisions of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the Nicene Creed, the writings of the Fathers of the Church, by the liturgical worship and iconography of the Church, and in the lives of the Saints.

Why do you have all those pictures in your churches?
They are called Icons, they are not pictures in the sense of naturalistic representations. They are rather stylized and symbolic expressions of divinized humanity. (II Peter 1:4; I John 3:2.) Icons for the Orthodox are sacramental signs of God’s Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). We do not worship icons. Rather, we experience icons as Windows into Heaven. Like the Bible, icons are earthly points of contact with transcendent Reality.

In the original Greek of the New Testament Christ is called several times the icon (image) of God the Father. (II Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3.) Man himself was originally created to be the icon of God (Genesis 1:27).

If God is One, how can Christians have so many varying and even conflicting positions on theological, social, and moral issues?
Although the answer to this question is simple, it is not easily accepted, except by the humble. Quite simply: God is truly one, but we are not yet fully one with Him. As St. Dorotheus of Gaza once said, we are as points along the perimeter of a circle and God is at the very centre. As we draw closer to Him, we draw closer to one another, until finally we arrive at perfect union with Him and one another. The fact that we have conflicting positions on theological, social, and moral issues, should indicate to us that we need to draw closer to God, who alone can bring us closer together and make us one. This is the mission and activity of the Church, which has the Lord Jesus Christ as its centre, focal point, and means of unity.

What is the Doctrine of the Incarnation and why is it important?
The doctrine of the Incarnation is that the uncreated the Son of God has entered into creation, taking on flesh and becoming the prophesied Son of Man, the Savior of the world. The doctrine says that Christ is a single person with two natures, divine and human; being both perfectly and fully God, while at the same time perfectly and fully man.

The term used in the Nicene Creed to describe the relationship between God the Father and the Son of God is homoousios – meaning of the same substance. In other words, as the Father is truly God, so is the Son truly God – both being fully divine. In taking on our human nature, being like us in everything except sin (which is simply a deformation of our humanity), the Son of God, becomes also now truly man, taking the name Jesus Christ, and therefore homoousios (of the same substance) with us. And so, as we are fully human, Christ is likewise fully human. And so in Christ, we see the perfect union of the divine and human natures. The Incarnate Christ now serves as the perfect and only vehicle (only mediator) for humanity’s return and reunion with God, who is the eternal Life from which man has fallen. In the Church, we are joined to Christ’s Body, becoming one with Him, and being reconciled through and in Him to God, saved from our sin (separation from God) and from death (separation from life).

Can you please explain how Christ can be both God and man?
There are many who questioned how this can be, how this could have taken place, how this can be intellectually comprehended, articulated, explained, etc.. And each attempt to bring this divine mystery down to the human level and dissect it under the faulty microscope of the imperfect mind has resulted in heresy. This is because the human mind has limitations – the greatest being the ironic lack of awareness of those very limitations (i.e. pride). And so, some said that Christ couldn’t be fully God, others that He could be fully man. The Arians thought the Son of God unequal to the Father and not fully God. The Docetists said that He only appeared to be man and really wasn’t so. But the Fathers in humility preserved and codified the Apostolic doctrine of the Incarnation, not explaining the “how” (which we can never comprehend) but expounding upon the “why”, which is for us men and our salvation. You see the Fathers knew that if Christ were not truly God and truly man at the same time, then He could not be the mediator and Savior, He could not reunite us with God, who is life, and we would remain dead in our sins.

What is your stand on the Filioque?
As Orthodox Christians , we are against the filioque in the creed “and the Son” (Athanasian Creed) which was one of the reasons for the break between the East and the West.

Orthodoxy believe that the Spirit of God does not proceed from the Father and the Son together. We believe that He proceeds from the Father alone. And He rests on the Son from all eternity and does the same thing when the Son becomes man. He rests upon Him as a man too.

We say that the Spirit proceeds to us from the Father THROUGH the Son, and that the Son is the agent of all of the Father’s activities in the world, including the sending of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus said, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father” (John 15:26).

What is your understanding  to the Holy Spirit?

We believe the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit comes forth from God by the manner of procession; He proceeds from Him. He is not another Son.

The Spirit of God does not proceed from the Father AND the Son together; He proceeds from the Father ALONE. The Spirit is also the Spirit of the Son because He proceeds from the Father and rests on the Son. Everything that the Son has, divinely or humanly, He has received from the Father. From the Son, the Spirit then proceeds to us.

The Son is the agent of all of the Father’s activities in the world, including the sending of the Holy Spirit.

Why is the Nativity of Christ celebrated on December 25th?
There are two main explanations as to why the Church chose to celebrate the Nativity of Christ on December 25th.

The first says that the day was chosen to oppose the great pagan feast of the sun god, which was celebrated near December 22nd at the Winter Solstice, the time of year when the days started to get longer again (at least in the northern hemisphere). It is believed that the Church chose December 25th, because it ensured that Christians would be fasting during the pagan celebration and would therefore not easily be tempted to participate. And also because it would help the pagan peoples to leave off worshiping the false sun god and instead celebrate the coming of the True God, “the Sun of Righteousness”.

The second explanation says that the day was chosen in relation to the feast of the Annunciation, which was celebrated on March 25th commemorating the supernatural conception of the Lord in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Annunciation was celebrated on this day because of the belief in the ancient world that great men died on the same day as they were conceived. Since the Lord was believed to have been crucified on March 25th, it also came to be believed that He was likewise conceived on this day. And since it followed that the Lord’s birth would be nine months after His conception, the feast of His Nativity was set on December 25th.

Why did God give man free will, if He knew that man would choose evil?
We recall that God created the world good, and man very good. He also gave the commandment not to come to the knowledge of good and evil. In other words, man was commanded to know only goodness, and more than this, man was to grow in the participation of God – who alone is truly and infinitely good. This was God’s will – that man might share in everything that He Himself has as God – love, wisdom, life, light, etc.. And for this to happen, man needed to be like God, free. Man needed free will.

In His infinite foreknowledge, God knew that man would misuse this free will and choose evil. Yet, God permitted this because by so doing, man could come to understand the difference between good and evil, light and darkness, truth and falsehood, life and death. By personal experience, man was to grow in the realization that everything truly good can be found only in God, while everything truly evil can be found only in separation from and rejection of God. The Lord permitted man to misuse his freewill so that he might educate himself by this experience and come to spiritual maturity.

Of course, we might say that the easier path would have been simply to trust God and to listen to His commandment not to know evil. However, by allowing man to choose evil, God opened a way to show His compassion, forgiveness, mercy and love to measures beyond what man could have seen in the Garden of Eden. Man was now able to see the “love of God in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) When Christ hung on the Cross – the Creator rejected and put to death by His creation – He revealed the Father in a way beyond imagination or comprehension. He revealed the unfathomable depth of God’s loving-kindness. In so doing, by being lifted up on the Cross, He draws all men to Himself for truly nothing is more beautiful or desirous than self-sacrificial, unconditional love, even for one’s enemies. This is the love that conquers hatred, the light that the darkness could not overcome/comprehend, and the life that overthrows the power of death.

As Christians, it is our hope that all might be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth – that all might have eternal life. “And this is eternal life, that they might know You, O heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) It is our hope that even those who have sinned in the most horrid of fashions, might be changed by this love of God in Christ Jesus – a love which is and remains unconditional, all-powerful, and eternal. What man can withstand, overcome or outlast God’s infinite loving-kindness and patience?

Truly, the time is coming when “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Then no one will ask the question: Why did God give man free will? The answer will be obvious: So that God might reveal His infinite goodness, which is extended even to those who would crucify Him, and by the beauty of this love He might draw all of mankind to freely enjoy and share in His very being and life.

And so, the God Who was hidden, veiled, and invisible throughout the Old Testament, simply saying, “I AM Who I AM”, has now revealed Himself, showing Himself visibly in the Son who redeems man from his fall through the Cross, the Holy Spirit who sanctifies man by His indwelling presence, and the Father who shares not only His kingdom with His created sons but also His very Self. This was, after all, the plan from the beginning: that man might see the infinite beauty, love, and goodness of God, and having seen his Creator, that he might freely choose to share by grace in everything which God has by nature through the revelation and gift of the Holy Trinity.

What do you teach about abortion?
In the eyes of the Church all life is viewed as being sacred and we respect life on "both sides" of the birth canal. We consider conception to be the very beginning and moment when that life is formed. In fact, the Church even commemorates the conceptions of our Lord (March 25), the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 9), and St. John the Forerunner (September 23).

Based upon the Bible, our Theology, and Dogma, we considers abortion to be sinful and wrong.
Why are non - Christians unable to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion in your Mission?
According to the earliest teachings of the Church, the Eucharist (Holy Communion) can only be administered to those who are Baptized and Chrismated into the Faith. A second century writing known as the Didache instructed believers to “let no one eat or drink from your Eucharist except those who are baptized in the Lord's Name.” In fact, so protective were the early Christians that, there were even restrictions implemented which prevented non-believers from entering churches or attending service.

What's your understanding to Marriage?
Marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a male and a female, establishing between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, and is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses. The union of spouses, in heart, body, and mind, is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity. The spouses must engage themselves, to make their utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God's help thereto.

On gender issues, many in the Orthodox Christian countries have conservative views, where do you stand on LGBTQ matters?
Everyone is welcome to our mission regardless of their; background, age, disability, gender, race and sexual orientation.
Our stand is on issue is that Christ came to save everyone, as we read, He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Our mission welcomes all with open arms because we are all as humans are made in the image of God.

Do you consider yourself a liberal Orthodox Mission?
We consider ourselves neither liberal nor conservative (two modern terms that are irrelevant to the Church mission). Our mission is to bring the good news to all mankind and preach the Gospel of our Lord. We believe the mission of the Church is to embrace and invite all individual to know Christ.

What do you stand on Ordination of Women to the Priesthood and Episcopacy?

We precludes the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopacy. It is a matter of Holy Tradition.

While Orthodoxy has not accepted the ordination of women, it does laud a woman, the Theotokos, as the one who is “more honourable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim” and holds her up as a model for all of God’s People, male and female alike. In this light, salvation, not ordination, is the goal of Christian life.

What is the Mission General Governance?
We are headed by a Metropolitan, governed by a Patriarch and a Synod of Bishops which he is a member of.
The Metropolitan is the ultimate authority within the local Church, and bears the ultimate responsibility for all the members. His position is for life unless he resigns in favour of another who shall be elected by the Synod of Bishops. He shall always remember that although he is first he should also be servant of the servants of God and truly a Father to all.

What is your understanding to Tradition?
We are clear in our believes on Traditions; they are the oral Traditions that were handed to us through the Holy Apostles and the Early Church Fathers on matters regarding the Faith. However, we are clear to acknowledge that there are also traditions (“t") that we ought to evaluate at all times since in most cases, these traditions ("t") are based on ethnic and cultural practises and are not based on Theological and Dogma matters. We confirm that we are serious on Traditions with regards to matters of the Faith and we are sceptic about traditions (“t”) that divides communities and confuse the faithful, traditions (“t”) that relate to ethnic social culture.

Do you only help Christians?
Absolutely not, we help all those who are in need regardless of: background, age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief.

How do you support yourself and your missionary work?
As Saint Paul supported himself by making tents, in order to support his ministry of witnessing to Christ (Acts 18:1-4), so do we as members of the CCOM, we support ourselves and the Society by working secular jobs. We do not ask for any donations or any financial support.

What is your understanding on the Virgin Mary?
Among the Saints a special position belongs to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, whom Orthodox reverence as the most exalted among God’s creatures, ‘more honourable than the cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the seraphim’ (From the hymn Meet it is, sung at the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom).

Note that we have termed her ‘most exalted among God’s creatures:’ Orthodox, like Roman Catholics, venerate or honour the Mother of God, but in no sense do the members of either Church regard her as a fourth person of the Trinity, nor do they assign to her the worship due to God alone. In Greek theology the distinction is very clearly marked: there is a special word, latreia, reserved for the worship of God, while for the veneration of the Virgin entirely different terms are employed (duleia, hyperduleia, proskynesis).

In Orthodox services Mary is often mentioned, and on each occasion she is usually given her full title: ‘Our All-Holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorified Lady, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary.’ Here are included the three chief epithets applied to Our Lady by the Orthodox Church: Tkeotokos (Mother of God), Aeiparthenos (Ever-Virgin), and Panagia (All-Holy). The first of these titles was assigned to her by the third Ecumenical Council (Ephesus, 431), the second by the fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople, 553). (Belief in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary may seem at first sight contrary to Scripture, since Mark 3:31 mentions the ‘brothers’ of Christ. But the word used here in Greek can mean half-brother, cousin, or near relative, as well as brother in the strict sense). The title Panagia, although never a subject of dogmatic definition, is accepted and used by all Orthodox.

The appellation Theotokos is of particular importance, for it provides the key to the Orthodox cult of the Virgin. We honour Mary because she is the Mother of our God. We do not venerate her in isolation, but because of her relation to Christ. Thus the reverence shown to Mary, so far from eclipsing the worship of God, has exactly the opposite effect: the more we esteem Mary, the more vivid is our awareness of the majesty of her Son, for it is precisely on account of the Son that we venerate the Mother.

We honour the Mother on account of the Son: Mariology is simply an extension of Christology. The Fathers of the Council of Ephesus insisted on calling Mary Theotokos, not because they desired to glorify her as an end in herself, apart from her Son, but because only by honouring Mary could they safeguard a right doctrine of Christ’s person. Anyone who thinks out the implications of that great phrase, The Word was made flesh, cannot but feel a certain awe for her who was chosen as the instrument of so surpassing a mystery. When men refuse to honour Mary, only too often it is because they do not really believe in the Incarnation.

But Orthodox honour Mary, not only because she is Theotokos, but because she is Panagia, All-Holy. Among all God’s Creatures, she is the supreme example of synergy or cooperation between the purpose of the deity and the free will of man. God, who always respects human liberty, did not wish to become incarnate without the free consent of His Mother. He Waited for her voluntary response: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). Mary could have refused; she was not merely passive, but an active participant in the mystery. As Nicholas Cabasilas said: ‘The Incarnation was not only the work of the Father, of His Power and His Spirit ... but it was also the work of the will and faith of the Virgin ... Just as God became incarnate voluntarily, so He wished that His Mother should bear Him freely and with her full consent’ (On the Annunciation, 4-5 (Patrologia Orientalis, vol, 19, Paris, 1926, p. 488)).

If Christ is the New Adam, Mary is the New Eve, whose went submission to the will of God counterbalanced Eve’s disobedience in Paradise. ‘So the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed through the obedience of Mary; for what Eve, a Virgin, bound by her unbelief, that Mary, a virgin, unloosed by her faith’ (Irenaeus, Against the Heresies, 3, 22, 4). ‘Death by Eve, life by Mary’ (Jerome, Letter 22, 21).

The Orthodox Church calls Mary ‘All-Holy;’ it calls her ‘immaculate’ or ‘spotless’ (in Greek, achrantos); and all Orthodox are agreed in believing that Our Lady was free from actual sin. But was she also free from original sin? In other words, does Orthodoxy agree with the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, proclaimed as a dogma by Pope Pius the Ninth in 1854, according to which Mary, from the moment she was conceived by her mother Saint Anne, was by God’s special decree delivered from ‘all stain of original sin?’ The Orthodox Church has never in fact made any formal and definitive pronouncement on the matter. In the past individual Orthodox have made statements which, if not definitely affirming the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, at any rate approach close to it; but since 1854 the great majority of Orthodox have rejected the doctrine, for several reasons. They feel it to be unnecessary; they feel that, at any rate as defined by the Roman Catholic Church, it implies a false understanding of original sin; they suspect the doctrine because it seems to separate Mary from the rest of the descendants of Adam, putting her in a completely different class from all the other righteous men and women of the Old Testament. From the Orthodox point of view, however, the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he could not be termed a heretic for so doing.

But Orthodoxy, while for the most part denying the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, firmly believes in her Bodily Assumption (Immediately after the Pope proclaimed the Assumption as a dogma in 1950, a few Orthodox (by way of reaction against the Roman Catholic Church) began to express doubts about the Bodily Assumption and even explicitly to deny it; but they are certainly not representative of the Orthodox Church as a whole). Like the rest of mankind, Our Lady underwent physical death, but in her case the Resurrection of the Body has been anticipated: after death her body was taken up or ‘assumed’ into heaven and her tomb was found to be empty. She has passed beyond death and judgement, and lives already in the Age to Come. Yet she is not thereby utterly separated from the rest of humanity, for that same bodily glory which Mary enjoys now, all of us hope one day to share.

Belief in the Assumption of the Mother of God is clearly and unambiguously affirmed in the hymns sung by the Church on 15 August, the Feast of the ‘Dormition’ or ‘Falling Asleep.’ But Orthodoxy, unlike Rome, has never proclaimed the Assumption as a dogma, nor would it ever wish to do so. The doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation have been proclaimed as dogmas, for they belong to the public preaching of the Church; but the glorification of Our Lady belongs to the Church’s inner Tradition: ‘It is hard to speak and not less hard to think about the mysteries which the Church keeps in the hidden depths of her inner consciousness.
The Mother of God was never a theme of the public preaching of the Apostles; while Christ was preached on the housetops, and proclaimed for all to know in an initiatory teaching addressed to the whole world, the mystery of his Mother was revealed only to those who were within the Church … It is not so much an object of faith as a foundation of our hope, a fruit of faith, ripened in Tradition. Let us therefore keep silence, and let us not try to dogmatize about the supreme glory of the Mother of God’ (V. Lossky, ‘Panagia,’ in The Mother of God, edited by E. L. Mascall, p. 35).

What about Advent?
The Orthodox Eastern - Right Liturgical year does not use the Roman Catholic structure and terminology for cretin seasons; we do not have Advent or Ordinary time. In out Orthodox Tradition, the season prior to Christmas, known in the Latin Church as Advent, is called in the Eastern Orthodox tradition the Nativity Fast.

You talk about the Church as unity in the truth and love of God. What do you mean by this?
We believe that the life of the Church is life in communion with God Himself, in the Truth and Love of Christ, by the Holy Spirit. We believe that Christ is the Son of God. We believe that He reveals the truth about God and man. We believe that we can know this truth by the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit that He gives to us. The greatest truth shown to us by Christ is that God is Love, and that the only true way of living is by following Christ who called Himself, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Christ gave the great commandment and the great example of perfect love. Thus the greatest truth is love. This is our conclusion. And life in this truth which is love is the life of faith, the life of the Holy Church. Of course there are deviations and betrayals and sins all around. Clergy and laymen alike are guilty. But the Church itself, despite the sins of its members, is still the union with the Truth and Love of God given to men in Jesus Christ, made present and accessible in the Holy Spirit, who lives in those who believe.

What is your religious habits and your liturgical vestments?

+ Our formal religious habit are with accordance to the tradition of either the Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox Church habits.
+ Our Liturgical vestment is Byzantine vestment.

On Freedom:

Freedom is one of God’s greatest gifts to the human being. He who created man in the beginning made him free and self-determined, limiting him solely by the laws of the commandment (Gregory the Theologian, Homily 14, On Love for the Poor, 25. PG 35, 892A). Freedom renders the human being capable of progressing toward spiritual perfection; yet, it also includes the risk of disobedience as independence from God and consequently the fall, which tragically gives rise to evil in the world.

On Peace & Justice:

The Orthodox Christian Church has diachronically recognized and revealed the centrality of peace and justice in people’s lives. The very revelation of Christ is characterized as a gospel of peace (Eph 6:15), for Christ has brought peace to all through the blood of his Cross (Col 1:20), preached peace to those afar and near(Eph 2:17), and has become our peace (Eph 2:14). This peace, which surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7), as the Lord Himself told His disciples before His passion, is broader and more essential than the peace promised by the world: peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you (Jn 14:27). This is because the peace of Christ is the ripe fruit of the restoration of all things in Him, the revelation of the human person’s dignity and majesty as an image of God, the manifestation of the organic unity in Christ between humanity and the world, the universality of the principles of peace, freedom, and social justice, and ultimately the blossoming of Christian love among people and nations of the world. The reign of all these Christian principles on earth gives rise to authentic peace. It is the peace from above, for which the Orthodox Church prays constantly in its daily petitions, asking this of the almighty God, Who hears the prayers of those that draw near to Him in faith.

On Peace & the Aversion of War:

The Church of Christ condemns war in general, recognizing it as the result of the presence of evil and sin in the world: Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? (Jm 4:1). Every war threatens to destroy creation and life.

This is most particularly the case with wars with weapons of mass destruction because their consequences would be horrific not only because they lead to the death of an unforeseeable number of people, but also because they render life unbearable for those who survive. They also lead to incurable diseases, cause genetic mutations and other disasters, with catastrophic impact on future generations.

The amassing not only of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, but of all kinds of weapons, poses very serious dangers inasmuch as they create a false sense of superiority and dominance over the rest of the world. Moreover, such weapons create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust, becoming the impetus for a new arms race.
The Church of Christ, which understands war as essentially the result of evil and sin in the world, supports all initiatives and efforts to prevent or avert it through dialogue and every other viable means. When war becomes inevitable, the Church continues to pray and care in a pastoral manner for her children who are involved in military conflict for the sake of defending their life and freedom, while making every effort to bring about the swift restoration of peace and freedom.

The Orthodox Christian Church resolutely condemns the multifaceted conflicts and wars provoked by fanaticism that derives from religious principles. There is grave concern over the permanent trend of increasing oppression and persecution of Christians and other communities in the Middle East and elsewhere because of their beliefs; equally troubling are the attempts to uproot Christianity from its traditional homelands. As a result, existing interfaith and international relations are threatened, while many Christians are forced to abandon their homes. Orthodox Christians throughout the world suffer with their fellow Christians and all those being persecuted in this region, while also calling for a just and lasting resolution to the region’s problems.

Wars inspired by nationalism and leading to ethnic cleansing, the violation of state borders, and the seizure of territory are also condemned.

On the Attitude of the Church toward Discrimination:
The Lord, as King of righteousness (Heb 7:2-3) denounces violence and injustice (Ps 10:5), while condemning the inhumane treatment of one’s neighbor (Mt 25:41-46; Jm 2:15-16). In His Kingdom, reflected and present in His Church on earth, there is no place for hatred, enmity, or intolerance (Is 11:6; Rom 12:10).

The Orthodox Christian Church’s position on this is clear. She believes that God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth (Acts 17:26) and that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus(Gal 3:28). To the question: Who is my neighbor?, Christ responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). In so doing, He taught us to tear down all barriers erected by enmity and prejudice. The Orthodox Church confesses that every human being, regardless of skin color, religion, race, sex, ethnicity, and language, is created in the image and likeness of God, and enjoys equal rights in society. Consistent with this belief, the Orthodox Church rejects discrimination for any of the aforementioned reasons since these presuppose a difference in dignity between people.

The Church, in the spirit of respecting human rights and equal treatment of all, values the application of these principles in the light of her teaching on the sacraments, the family, the role of both genders in the Church, and the overall principles of Church tradition. The Church has the right to proclaim and witness to her teaching in the public sphere.

On the Mission of the Orthodox Christian Church as a Witness of Love through Service:

In fulfilling her salvific mission in the world, the Orthodox Christian Church actively cares for all people in need, including the hungry, the poor, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, the persecuted, those in captivity and prison, the homeless, the orphans, the victims of destruction and military conflict, those affected by human trafficking and modern forms of slavery. The Orthodox Church’s efforts to confront destitution and social injustice are an expression of her faith and the service to the Lord, Who identifies Himself with every person and especially with those in need: Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me (Mt 25:40). This multidimensional social service enables the Church to cooperate with various relevant social institutions.

Competition and enmity in the world introduce injustice and inequitable access among individuals and peoples to the resources of divine creation. They deprive millions of people of fundamental goods and lead to the degradation of human person; they incite mass migrations of populations, and they engender ethnic, religious, and social conflicts, which threaten the internal cohesion of communities.

The Church cannot remain indifferent before economic conditions that negatively impact humanity as a whole. She insists not only on the need for the economy to be grounded upon ethical principles, but that it must also tangibly serve the needs of human beings in accordance with the teaching of the Apostle Paul: By labouring like this, you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35). Basil the Great writes that each person should make it his duty to help those in need and not satisfy his own needs (Moral Rules, 42. PG 31, 1025A).

The gap between rich and poor is dramatically exacerbated due to the financial crisis, which normally results from the unbridled profiteering by some representatives of financial circles, the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, and perverted business practices devoid of justice and humanitarian sensitivity, which ultimately do not serve humanity’s true needs. A sustainable economy is that which combines efficiency with justice and social solidarity.
In light of such tragic circumstances, the Church’s great responsibility is perceived in terms of overcoming hunger and all other forms of deprivation in the world. One such phenomenon in our time—whereby nations operate within a globalized economic system—points to the world’s serious identity crisis, for hunger not only threatens the divine gift of life of whole peoples, but also offends the lofty dignity and sacredness of the human person, while simultaneously offending God. Therefore, if concern over our own sustenance is a material issue, then concern over feeding our neighbor is a spiritual issue (Jm 2:14-18). Consequently, it is the mission of all Orthodox Churches to exhibit solidarity and administer assistance effectively to those in need.
The Holy Church of Christ, in her universal body—embracing in her fold many peoples on earth—emphasizes the principle of universal solidarity and supports the closer cooperation of nations and states for the sake of resolving conflicts peacefully.

The Church is concerned about the ever-increasing imposition upon humanity of a consumerist lifestyle, devoid of Christian ethical principles. In this sense, consumerism combined with secular globalization tends to lead to the loss of nations’ spiritual roots, their historical loss of memory, and the forgetfulness of their traditions.
Mass media frequently operates under the control of an ideology of liberal globalization and is thus rendered an instrument for disseminating consumerism and immorality. Instances of disrespectful—at times blasphemous—attitudes toward religious values are cause for particular concern, inasmuch as arousing division and conflict in society. The Church warns her children of the risk of influence on their conscience by the mass media, as well as its use to manipulate rather than bring people and nations together.

Even as the Church proceeds to preach and realize her salvific mission for the world, she is all the more frequently confronted by expressions of secularism. The Church of Christ in the world is called to express once again and to promote the content of her prophetic witness to the world, grounded on the experience of faith and recalling her true mission through the proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the cultivation of a sense of unity among her flock. In this way, she opens up a broad field of opportunity since an essential element of her ecclesiology promotes Eucharistic communion and unity within a shattered world.

The yearning for continuous growth in prosperity and an unfettered consumerism inevitably lead to a disproportionate use and depletion of natural resources. Nature, which was created by God and given to humankind to work and preserve (cf. Gen 2:15), endures the consequences of human sin: For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now(Rom 8:20-22).

The ecological crisis, which is connected to climate change and global warming, makes it incumbent upon the Church to do everything within her spiritual power to protect God’s creation from the consequences of human greed. As the gratification of material needs, greed leads to spiritual impoverishment of the human being and to environmental destruction. We should not forget that the earth’s natural resources are not our property, but the Creator’s: The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world, and those who dwell therein (Ps 23:1). Therefore, the Orthodox Church emphasizes the protection of God’s creation through the cultivation of human responsibility for our God-given environment and the promotion of the virtues of frugality and self-restraint. We are obliged to remember that not only present, but also future generations have a right to enjoy the natural goods granted to us by the Creator.

For the Orthodox Christian Church, the ability to explore the world scientifically is a gift from God to humanity. However, along with this positive attitude, the Church simultaneously recognizes the dangers latent in the use of certain scientific achievements. She believes that the scientist is indeed free to conduct research, but that the scientist is also obliged to interrupt this research when it violates basic Christian and humanitarian values. According to St. Paul, All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful (I Cor 6:12), and according to St. Gregory the Theologian, Goodness is not goodness if the means are wrong (1st Theological Oration, 4, PG 36, 16C). This perspective of the Church proves necessary for many reasons in order to establish proper boundaries for freedom and the application of the fruits of science, where in almost all disciplines, but especially in biology, we can expect both new achievements and risks. At the same time, we emphasize the unquestionable sacredness of human life from its conception.
Over the last years, we observe an immense development in the biological sciences and in corresponding biotechnologies. Many of these achievements are considered beneficial for humankind, while others raise ethical dilemmas and still others are deemed unacceptable. The Orthodox Church believes that the human being is not merely a composition of cells, bones, and organs; nor again is the human person defined solely by biological factors. Man is created in the image of God (Gen 1:27) and reference to humanity must take place with due respect.

The recognition of this fundamental principle leads to the conclusion that, both in the process of scientific investigation as well as in the practical application of new discoveries and innovations, we should preserve the absolute right of each individual to be respected and honoured at all stages of life. Moreover, we should respect the will of God as manifested through creation. Research must take into account ethical and spiritual principles, as well as Christian precepts. Indeed, due respect must be rendered to all of God’s creation in regard to both the way humanity treats and science explores it, in accordance to God’s commandment (Gen 2:15).
In these times of secularization marked by a spiritual crisis characteristic of contemporary civilization, it is especially necessary to highlight the significance of life’s sacredness. The misunderstanding of freedom as permissiveness leads to an increase in crime, the destruction and defacement of those things held in high regard, as well as the total disrespect of our neighbour's freedom and of the sacredness of life. Orthodox Tradition, shaped by the experience of Christian truths in practice, is the bearer of spirituality and the ascetic ethos, which must especially be encouraged in our time.

The Church’s special pastoral care for young people represents an unceasing and unchanging Christ-centred process of formation. Of course, the pastoral responsibility of the Church also extends to the divinely-granted institution of family, which has always been and must always be founded on the sacred mystery of Christian marriage as a union between man and woman, as reflected in the union of Christ and His Church (Eph 5:32). This is especially vital in light of attempts in certain countries to legalize and in certain Christian communities to justify theologically other forms of human cohabitation that are contrary to Christian tradition and teaching. The Church hopes for the recapitulation of everything in the Body of Christ, it reminds every person coming into the world, that Christ will return again at His Second Coming judging the living and the dead (1 Pet 4, 5) and that His Kingdom shall have no end (Lk 1:33)

In our times, just as throughout history, the prophetic and pastoral voice of the Church, the redeeming word of the Cross and of the Resurrection, appeals to the heart of humankind, calling us, with the Apostle Paul, to embrace and experience whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report (Phil 4:8)—namely, the sacrificial love of Her Crucified Lord, the only way to a world of peace, justice, freedom, and love among peoples and between nations, whose only and ultimate measure is always the scarified Lord (cf. Rev 5:12) for the life of the world, that is, endless Love of God in the Triune God, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, to whom belongs all glory and power unto the ages of ages.



Christ Companions