Orthodox Research Institute (2022)

by Metropolitan Philip (Saliba) of New York and North America

As the United States of America embarks on its third century of proclaiming Liberty and Justice to, and for all mankind, I would like to share a few brief thoughts with you before we conclude this Convention and disperse to our communities throughout North America.

In the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter eight, verse seven, we read:

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“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks, of water, of fountains and springs, flowing valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills, you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord, your God, for the good land He has given you.”

On November 19, 1620 after a perilous journey, during which the Mayflower encountered a number of dangerous storms, the pilgrims woke to the shout of “Land.” One of them, William Button, died during the journey and was buried at sea. Another, John Howland, was carried overboard by a wave, but was rescued; and Steven and Elizabeth Hopkins became parents of a son, named “Oceanus” for his birth place. Thus, led by the star of freedom, about one hundred pilgrims dropped anchor off Provincetown, Massachusetts.

It was this love of freedom which motivated the early pioneers to take such risks and suffer hardships. They did not want riches or fame; it was their ambition only to build themselves homes, to educate their children in the traditions of the motherland, and to worship God as their conscience dictated. They decided that in all the world America was the one place which offered them these opportunities. It is evident, therefore, that the first era of our early history was marked by fierce struggle for mere existence.

The second and most brilliant era of national life was marked by a tremendous struggle for freedom and independence. The search for liberty—religious, civil or personal, brought thousands of early settlers to these shores and peopled the young America with a race of men to whom liberty was more precious than life. We are very indebted to these courageous individuals who were ready at any moment to sacrifice their lives so that the future American generations may enjoy freedom, justice, prosperity and human dignity. If we examine carefully the Declaration of Independence, we find that the authors of this declaration had a strong faith in God who created all men equal with unalienable rights to live freely, happily and to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences. Thus, from the very beginning of our national life, there was a strong emphasis on the right of the individual. Such emphasis is deeply rooted in our religious heritage. In the Book of Psalms, we read the following:

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“What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? Yet thou hast made him little less than the angels, and dost crown him with glory and honor. Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands. Thou hast put all things under his feet.” 8:4-6.

Based on this divine revelation, the right of the individual to seek freedom, justice and equality, regardless of creed, race or color is very sacred. We must thank Almighty God that we Americans are enjoying a great measure of freedom, justice and equality. Because of our human weakness, however, we have a tendency to use our freedom to the detriment of others. My freedom ends where your freedom begins. Freedom must not become a license to deprive others of their God-given rights. Freedom does not give us the right to suppress others and monopolize the wealth of the world at the expense of the poor. If there is a starving child in America, this means that all Americans are starving. And if there is a starving child in this world, this means that the entire world is starving. St. Paul said: “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?” II Corinthians 11:29. Man has never been an island unto himself. The shores of his concern have expanded from his neighborhood to his nation, and from his nation to his world. Free men have always known the necessity for responsibility. This responsibility should weigh heavy upon the hearts of all free men. Dostoevsky realized this when he wrote:

“I tell you man has no more agonizing anxiety than to find someone to whom he can hand over the gift of freedom with which the unhappy creature is born.”

Freedom without responsibility is chaos. Only responsible freedom is a divine gift which we must preserve and cherish, and responsibly pass on to the next generation.

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In October, 1973, Alexander Solzenitsyn wrote:

“The most important part of our freedom, inner freedom, is always subject to our will. If we surrender it to corruption, we do not deserve to be called human.”

During the past two hundred years, we have made the greatest contributions to mankind in the fields of science, technology, medicine, economics and social concerns; and we Orthodox can be justly proud of our important role in these developments. We must be cautious, however, lest we become arrogant and self-sufficient. Arrogance and self-sufficiency bear the seeds of our own destruction as individuals and ultimately as a nation. Many nations and empires have risen, flourished and collapsed because of arrogance and moral decadence. Edward Gibbon in his famous work, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” cited five reasons why the great Roman Empire withered and died. Here are the factors he cited:

  1. The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home — the very basis of human society.
  2. Higher and higher taxes; the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.
  3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports and other entertainment becoming every year more and more exciting, more brutal and more immoral.
  4. The building of great armaments when the real enemy was within … the decay of individual responsibility.
  5. The decline of religion — faith fading into mere form; losing touch with life, losing power to guide the people.

Can we read in America, today, some of these signs which Edward Gibbon painted hundreds of years ago about the collapse of the Roman Empire? Let us pray that our Great Republic will never have the same fate. As we plunge into a new century, let us resolve that the greatness of America lies within you and me; within the individual. America cannot grow taller and stronger than the individual who makes America. Walt Whitman, the poet of America, summed up this reality as follows:

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“It is not the earth, it is not America, who is so great; it is I who am great, or to be great—it is you up there or anyone. It is to walk rapidly through civilizations, governments, theories, through poems, pageants, shows, to form great individuals.”

Let us affirm our deep faith in God, the Lord of History who controls with His mighty hand the destiny of nations and empires. Without God, everything which we have built throughout the years will be consumed by fire and turn into dust and ashes. Let us never forget God’s words in Deuteronomy:

“You shall remember the Lord Your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth; that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as at this day. And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you this day that you will surely perish.” 8:18-20.

Metropolitan Philip delivered this speech during the banquet of the Archdiocese Convention this year in San Francisco.

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From Word Magazine
Publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
October 1976
pp. 5-6

FAQs

Why did Hank Hanegraaff become Orthodox? ›

In the mid-2000s, seeking to save money on ministry operations, Hanegraaff and his wife moved from Southern California to Charlotte, North Carolina. In subsequent years Hanegraaff became increasingly discontented with evangelicalism; a period of research and seeking led him to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Which country has the most orthodox? ›

Religion > Christian > Orthodox > Orthodox population: Countries Compared
#COUNTRYAMOUNT
1Russia58.19 million
2Ethiopia45 million
3Romania18.82 million
4Ukraine13.03 million
55 more rows

Which African countries are Orthodox? ›

Contents
  • Ethiopia.
  • Eritrea.
  • The Sudan.
  • Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa.

Is Orthodox Christianity mono or poly? ›

Monotheistic: belief in ONE god (mono=1) Polytheistic: belief in MANY gods (poly=many)
...
SYMBOL
MAJOR DIVISIONCatholic, Protest, Orthodox
FOLLOWERSChristians; 2 Billion
BASIC BELIEFMonotheistic Jesus Christ is the son of God Death and resurrection Came to redeem mankind from sin Ten Commandants
4 more rows

Does Eastern Orthodox believe Trinity? ›

Eastern Orthodox Christians believe in a single God who is both three and one (triune); the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, "one in essence and undivided".

What church does Hank Hanegraaff belong to? ›

That's because on Sunday, April 9, he officially became an ex-Protestant. Hanegraaff stunned many supporters by joining St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in south Charlotte. "April 10th I came into the office and there were news agencies from all around the world that wanted to talk to me.

Is the Orthodox Church dying? ›

Yet despite these increases in absolute numbers, Orthodox Christians have been declining as a share of the overall Christian population – and the global population – due to far faster growth among Protestants, Catholics and non-Christians.

Who founded Orthodox? ›

Eastern Orthodox theology is based on holy tradition, which incorporates the dogmatic decrees of the seven ecumenical councils, the Scriptures, and the teaching of the Church Fathers.
...
Eastern Orthodox Church
FounderJesus Christ, according to sacred tradition
16 more rows

What percentage of America is Orthodox? ›

Other Christian

Other Christians make up 7% of the U.S. population as of 2020, comprised of multiracial Christians (2%), AAPI Christians (1%), Native American Christians (1%), Black Catholics (1%), Christians who did not provide a race or ethnicity (1%), Jehovah's Witnesses (0.5%), and Orthodox Christians (0.5%).

What percent of the world is Orthodox? ›

Today, Orthodox Christians represent only 4 percent of the world's population. Additionally, Orthodox followers account for 12 percent of Christians worldwide, down 8 percentage points from the levels in 1910, according to the Pew report.

What nationality is Orthodox? ›

The word orthodox (“right believing”) has traditionally been used in the Greek-speaking Christian world to designate communities or individuals who preserved the true faith (as defined by those councils), as opposed to those who were declared heretical.

How many types of Orthodox are there? ›

Globally, there are 15 self-governing churches among the Eastern Orthodox, while the Oriental Orthodox, including the Copts, Armenians, Ethiopians and Assyrians, have their own churches. Most of the denominations in both groups have institutional churches in the U.S., with the Greek Orthodox Church being the largest.

What is it called when you believe in God but don't go to church? ›

Many describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” or “SBNR,” as researchers refer to them. As a professor of theology at a Unitarian Universalist and multireligious seminary, I encounter many students who fit within the SBNR mold.

Who is the fastest growing religion in the world? ›

Modern growth. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. In 1990, 1.1 billion people were Muslims, while in 2010, 1.6 billion people were Muslims.

What is it called when you believe in God but not the Bible? ›

An agnostic theist believes in the existence of one or more gods, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable. The agnostic theist may also or alternatively be agnostic regarding the properties of the god or gods that they believe in.

What is forbidden in Orthodox Christianity? ›

The Holy Tradition (written and oral) of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, while advising avoidance of olive oil, meat, fish, milk, and dairy products every Wednesday and Friday throughout the year, additionally includes four principal fasting periods per year when meat as well as dairy products and eggs are ...

Does orthodox believe in purgatory? ›

The Orthodox Church does not believe in purgatory (a place of purging), that is, the inter-mediate state after death in which the souls of the saved (those who have not received temporal punishment for their sins) are purified of all taint preparatory to entering into Heaven, where every soul is perfect and fit to see ...

Does the Orthodox Church pray to Mary? ›

Orthodox have a prayer that uses a set of beads, but it is known as "The Jesus Prayer" and doesn't specifically venerate Mary. While many Orthodox do believe that Mary did not die but went directly to heaven, this belief isn't required by the church and there isn't a church holiday celebrating this event.

Is Hank Hanegraaff still on Bott radio? ›

But he told the Baptist Press he severed ties with Hanegraaff – after airing his show for more than 25 years – because “we want to make sure our listeners know that the programming that we have on Bott Radio Network is thoroughly biblical.”

Who was the original Bible Answer Man? ›

Baptist minister Walter Martin, who interpreted the Scriptures to a generation of radio listeners as “The Bible Answer Man,” died Monday morning at his home in San Juan Capistrano. He was 60.

Why is it called Greek Orthodox? ›

The Greek word “orthodox” simply means “correct belief” and at the same time, “correct worship.” It became the name applied to the Christian Church that grew and flourished in the eastern, predominantly Greek speaking regions of the late Roman Empire.

What do Orthodox believe after death? ›

While there are differing degrees of orthodoxy within the Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox Christians commonly believe that salvation is achieved through living holy, Christ-like lives, known as deification or theosis.

Is Orthodox Christianity growing in America? ›

In the U.S., Orthodox Christianity is a relatively small faith tradition, but in recent years, it has expanded to new regions. Some new converts are using the religion to spread white nationalist views.

What is the largest religion in the world? ›

Adherents in 2020
ReligionAdherentsPercentage
Christianity2.382 billion31.11%
Islam1.907 billion24.9%
Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist1.193 billion15.58%
Hinduism1.161 billion15.16%
18 more rows

What is the opposite of orthodox? ›

Opposite of the quality of conforming to orthodox theories, doctrines, or practices. flexibility. heresy. nonconformism. nonconformity.

Which religion is Orthodox? ›

orthodox, (from Greek orthodoxos, “of the right opinion”), true doctrine and its adherents as opposed to heterodox or heretical doctrines and their adherents. The word was first used in early 4th-century Christianity by the Greek Fathers.

How many Orthodox are there in the world? ›

Orthodoxy is the third-largest branch of Christianity, after Catholicism and Protestantism. Today, there are approximately 260 million Orthodox Christians in the world, according to a new Pew Research Center report.

Which religion is declining the fastest? ›

The Presbyterian Church has had the sharpest decline in church membership: between 2000 and 2015 they lost over 40% of their congregation and 15.4% of their churches. Infant baptism has also decreased; nationwide, Catholic baptisms are down by nearly 34%, and ELCA baptisms by over 40%.

What is the largest Orthodox Church? ›

List
NameArea (m²)Country
Interior
Hagia Sophia7,960Turkey
Church of Saint Sava3,650 m²Serbia
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour3,990 m²Russia
31 more rows

What are the top 3 major religions of the United States? ›

While the American religious landscape is becoming increasingly diverse, data from PRRI's new American Values Atlas reveals that there are still three major religious traditions that dominate in most states: Catholics (22 percent), white evangelical Protestants (18 percent), and the religiously unaffiliated (22 percent ...

Which religion is best in the world? ›

Largest religious groups
ReligionFollowers (billions)Founded
Christianity2.4Middle East
Islam1.9Arabia (Middle East)
Hinduism1.2Indian subcontinent
Buddhism0.5Indian subcontinent
1 more row

Is Ukraine an Orthodox country? ›

Now, beside its two national autocephalous Ukrainian churches the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, currently, in Ukraine the Russian Orthodox Church continues to maintain a strong presence through its former "exarchial" branch, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).

Is Poland Orthodox or Catholic? ›

Poland is a secular country and freedom of religion is constitutionally ensured regardless of one's faith so long as its practices do not harm others. As of 2017, it is estimated the majority (85.9%) of the population identifies as Catholic Christians.

Can Orthodox priests marry? ›

Under Orthodox rules, a celibate priest cannot marry after ordination, and a non-celibate priest cannot remarry and remain a priest, even if his wife dies, he said. Widowers who remain celibate can become bishops, but that's happened just once.

Who is head of Orthodox Church? ›

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, talks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Oct. 25, 2021, following his meeting with President Joe Biden.

What is Russia's main religion? ›

Today Russian Orthodoxy is the country's largest religious denomination, representing more than half of all adherents. Organized religion was repressed by Soviet authorities for most of the 20th century, and the nonreligious still constitute more than one-fourth of the population.

When was Orthodox founded? ›

What's the difference between Christianity and Orthodox? ›

The Orthodox consider the 'Holy tradition' of the church to be divinely inspired along with the Bible but the Protestants only consider Bible as divinely inspired. The Orthodox Christians consider Mary to be the bearer of god and a virgin. While the Protestants disagree.

Which country has no religion? ›

It is worth noting that atheism is not a religion—however, in actively rejecting the existence of spiritual deities, atheism is arguably a spiritual belief.
...
Least Religious Countries 2022.
CountryLuxembourg
Unaffiliated %26.70%
Unaffiliated140,000
2022 Population647,599
108 more columns

What religions do not believe in God? ›

Atheism. Atheism describes a state of having no theistic beliefs; that is, no beliefs in gods or supernatural beings.

Is it OK to go to church if you don't believe in God? ›

Straight from the Pastor's mouth. If you feel some sort of deep and persistent (or even vague and fleeting) desire to go to church, it is 100% permissible to go, even if you don't "believe in God." In fact, I'd say, you not only may, you probably should.

What will be the largest religion in 2050? ›

Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 … The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.

Is Christianity increasing or decreasing? ›

According to the study, 75% of Americans identified as Christian in 2011—in 2021, that number shrunk to 63%, a 12% decrease. Ten years ago, roughly 18% of Americans were not affiliated with any religion, identifying as agnostic, atheist or “nothing in particular”—that number grew to 29% in 2021, an 11% increase.

What is the future of religion? ›

In 2015, the Pew Research Center modelled the future of the world's great religions based on demographics, migration and conversion. Far from a precipitous decline in religiosity, it predicted a modest increase in believers, from 84% of the world's population today to 87% in 2050.

What language did the Jesus speak? ›

Most religious scholars and historians agree with Pope Francis that the historical Jesus principally spoke a Galilean dialect of Aramaic. Through trade, invasions and conquest, the Aramaic language had spread far afield by the 7th century B.C., and would become the lingua franca in much of the Middle East.

Which churches do not believe in the Trinity? ›

The largest nontrinitarian Christian denominations are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oneness Pentecostals, Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, La Luz del Mundo, and the Iglesia ni Cristo.

What do you call a person with no religion? ›

2 The literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods,” according to Merriam-Webster. And the vast majority of U.S. atheists fit this description: 81% say they do not believe in God or a higher power or in a spiritual force of any kind.

Why is it called Greek Orthodox? ›

The Greek word “orthodox” simply means “correct belief” and at the same time, “correct worship.” It became the name applied to the Christian Church that grew and flourished in the eastern, predominantly Greek speaking regions of the late Roman Empire.

What does the Eastern Orthodox Church believe? ›

Essentially the Orthodox Church shares much with the other Christian Churches in the belief that God revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and a belief in the incarnation of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection. The Orthodox Church differs substantially in the way of life and worship.

What is an orthodox religion? ›

Orthodox comes from the Greek orthódoxos, meaning “correct opinion.” Orthodox Christians believe their form of Christianity is correct, and that some of the teachings of Catholicism and Protestantism are wrong. Despite attempts by both sides to reconcile, Christianity still remains divided today.

Who was the original Bible Answer Man? ›

Baptist minister Walter Martin, who interpreted the Scriptures to a generation of radio listeners as “The Bible Answer Man,” died Monday morning at his home in San Juan Capistrano. He was 60.

Can a Catholic marry a Greek Orthodox? ›

Each will also need to obtain the permission of his or her local bishop (or his delegate) to marry the other, and the Catholic will need a special dispensation from the Catholic bishop if the wed- ding is to take place before an Orthodox priest.

What religion is Greek Orthodox similar to? ›

And so came the birth of the Greek Orthodox (Eastern Orthodox), similar to Roman Catholicism in ways largely related to the teachings of the Apostles and Jesus Christ.

What language do Greek Orthodox speak? ›

Koine Greek, the language of early Pauline Christianity and all of its New Testament books. It is today the liturgical language of Greek Orthodox Christianity and several other directly Greek connected Eastern Orthodox Churches.

What is forbidden in Orthodox Christianity? ›

The Holy Tradition (written and oral) of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, while advising avoidance of olive oil, meat, fish, milk, and dairy products every Wednesday and Friday throughout the year, additionally includes four principal fasting periods per year when meat as well as dairy products and eggs are ...

Which Bible does the Eastern Orthodox Church use? ›

The main purpose of the EOB is to provide an accurate and easy-to-read English text of the Bible that is suitable for use by Orthodox Christian communities and individuals, while providing an outstanding text for scholars.
...
Eastern-Greek Orthodox Bible.
Eastern Orthodox Bible
Religious affiliationEastern Orthodoxy
7 more rows

What version of the Bible does the Orthodox Church use? ›

The Orthodox Study Bible (OSB) is an Eastern Orthodox study Bible published by Thomas Nelson. It features an English translation of the St. Athanasius Academy Septuagint for the Old Testament and utilizes the New King James Version for the New Testament.

Who is the leader of Orthodox Church? ›

Bartholomew I, original name Dimitrios Archontonis, (born 1940, Imbros [now Gökçeada], Turkey), 270th ecumenical patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox church from 1991.

Who started Orthodox Christianity? ›

Eastern Orthodox theology is based on holy tradition, which incorporates the dogmatic decrees of the seven ecumenical councils, the Scriptures, and the teaching of the Church Fathers.
...
Eastern Orthodox Church
FounderJesus Christ, according to sacred tradition
16 more rows

What is the opposite of Orthodox? ›

Opposite of the quality of conforming to orthodox theories, doctrines, or practices. flexibility. heresy. nonconformism. nonconformity.

Is Walter Martin still alive? ›

Where did Hank Hanegraaff go to school? ›

His father, an engineer at atomic power stations, decided to attend the seminary at Calvin College and become a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. Hanegraaff also enrolled at Calvin, a liberal arts Christian school in Grand Rapids. But he left without a diploma after three-plus years.

What is the sacrament of chrismation? ›

chrismation, (from Greek chriein, “to anoint”), in Eastern Christianity, sacrament that, together with baptism, introduces new members into the church. It is the Eastern equivalent of confirmation in the West.

Videos

1. Prof. Aristotle Papanikolaou on Science & Orthodox Christianity
(Science & Orthodox Christianity)
2. "The Science and Orthodox Christianity relationship: past-present-future" DAY 1
(Science & Orthodox Christianity)
3. How to solve the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate Problem
(UkeTube)
4. Misunderstanding Faith, Works & Mary, the Mother of God with Nathan Jacobs (Hank Unplugged Podcast)
(Bible Answer Man)
5. Once Saved, Always Saved?
(Bible Answer Man)
6. Dedication of Ben-Gurion Research Institute and the Ben-Gurion Archives
(Ben-Gurion University | אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב)

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