The Editorial Board is glad to inform our Readers that this issue of “FIDELITY” has articles in English, and Russian Languages.

С удовлетворением сообщаем, что в этом номере журнала “ВЕРНОСТЬ” помещены статьи на английском и русском языках.








6 COMMUNIQUE OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH. Regarding New Destruction of Orthodox Churches in Kosovo and Metohija

7.   FOR THY SAKE WE ARE SLAIN ALL THE DAY LONG Nun Michaila, St Symeon the Myrrhgusher of Serbia Holy Cross Skete.




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Дорогие читатели!

На складе вестника ВЕРНОСТЬ еще осталось небольшое количество обоих фильмов –


которые мы подробно описали в  74 номере Верности.

Удешевленная стоимость за оба фильма (на трехDVD), включая пересылку в США, составляет только $25.

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“All the teachers of the Church, all the Councils, and all the Divine Scriptures, exhort us to flee those who uphold other doctrines and to separate from communion with them".                          Confession of Faith  St. Mark of Ephesus

“With a great voice, Saint John Chrysostom declared that not only heretics, but also they who hold communion with them, are enemies of God.”                                                                            St. Theodore the Studite.

“I shall judge the Bishop and the layperson. The sheep are rational and not irrational, so that no layman may ever say that, “I am a sheep, and not a shepherd, and I give no account of myself, but the shepherd shall see to it, and he alone shall pay the penalty for me”. For even as the sheep that follows not the good shepherd shell fall to the wolves unto its own destruction, so too it is evident that the sheep that follows the evil shepherd shall acquire death; for he shall utterly devour it. Therefore, it is required that we flee from destructive shepherds”.                  Apostolic Constitution

“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not according to the tradition which he received from us”.    II Thessalonians 3:6

“Be  careful  and  heed  the  teaching  of  the  Fathers  as  though  it were the word of God Himself”   St. Euthymius the Great.

“For “communion” he said, has been so called because he who has “communion” has things in common and agrees with those with whom he has “communion”. Therefore I implore you earnestly, children, never to go near the oratories of the heretics in order to communicate there”.                                              The Life of St. John the Almsgiver


 * * *

Open appeal to my dear co-pastors and clergy of our Sacred Church Abroad.

(Translated from Russian)

Sorrow, emotional distress, distress in the life of the Church, swaying among the faithful, misinformation, suspicion, loss of direction – is this all from God?

No. All of this has been brought about by the new metropolia in our Church Abroad -  our unity has been dissolved. Our recently reposed First Hierarch of ROCOR Metropolitan Vitaly, foretold of these events saying: “Soon each of you will be placed on the edge of the sword and you will be forced to make a decision – to remain with Christ in His Immaculate Church, which means to choose the path of being a confessor or – to enter into association with the evil powers of this world, with the church of the antichrist. There is no other choice!”

And so the time has come, notwithstanding that in our hearts we do not wish to believe this and therefore we are postponing this event. We hope that somehow this betrayal will not take place. No, my dear and right-worthy co-pastors of the Christ’s Church. This betrayal has already occurred with the ROCOR(L) approval of the memorandum for unification with the unlawful MP. They have already made their decision as one of them stated: “things have gone too far in order to stop them now.” They are no longer interested in our articles, appeals, epistles. The time has come for us to make a decision and for us to come forth in public!

Especially now, because of this, we must not allow division among us during this dark time for the Church abroad. We must not hasten to criticize or blame for this schism those who have already separated from ROCOR(L). We must act not only with respect, but also with leniency and love for our fellow brethren. Otherwise, we will ourselves answer before God and we will give the MP good reason to gloat over our misfortune. Like at no other time, now is the moment when we must shown economia towards each other and the time has come when we must pray for the unification of all in Truth.

What then, putting it mildly, separates us at this time?

1.      Some plan on remaining loyal “in spirit” to our Sacred Church Abroad, not to commemorate the “Patriarch” and so forth. This path cannot become our obligatory choice. This choice is the most perilous one because it is based on hypocrisy and hypocrisy is similar in nature to lying/falsehood.

2.      Others recommend that we secretly incorporate ourselves and our parishes and to project an image in the meantime as if we are in agreement with this unification until May 17th.  Here we again have the ever present element of hypocrisy. (item No. 4 further explains the issues that arise with making such a decision).

3.      The third party simply lives in the hope that through some miracle the signing of the Memorandum on May 17th will not take place. Mentally picture the spiritual condition of all of the parishes abroad and the clergy, and you will see that this traitorous ruin of the Church has already occurred! The date – May 17th – does not hold any significance for us. This is their celebration – the triumph of “a new beginning”, the basis on which they will rejoice over the fact that they have rid themselves of the “outdated” Orthodoxy which had oppressed them for so long! They are capable of anything. Imagine the following nuance: they will preside at the “triumphal” co-celebration in Moscow on the Feast of the Ascension and then they will state that they did not sign the Memorandum because of some unresolved issues in which way they will again begin to torture your souls with false hopes.

4.      Still others state that we remain united and take no action. Let the others leave the Church Abroad. In this way it will become more apparent under which Hierarch we will be able to reorganize ourselves. If one individual priest secedes then it is his own personal action. But if he secedes with his parish, then there is the danger of finding oneself in the jaws of the serpent. Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk and Siberia warns us of this spiritual corruption in his sorrowful epistle. You will find yourself with your parish on a list together with the uniates. The MP, having great financial resources, will overcome you. A legal proceeding will be very unfortunate for you. After all you allowed your ruling bishop to sign for you. 

Time is passing all too quickly. March is already here! Besides, you may have practical problems. An extraordinary meeting must be convened in advance. Do you plan to serve on the Feast of the Ascension? If yes, then Church practice requires that you unite yourselves under the omophorion of a true lawful Hierarch.

I do not ask, instead I implore you to read the “Sorrowful epistle” written by Archbishop Tikhon (found at the following – www.catacomb.org.ua) as well as the appeal sent by three of our clergymen in Australia: Archpriests John Stukach, Michael Konstantinov and Priest Vladimir Tsukanov. In the epistle you will see that Vladyka Tikhon offers his hand with Christian love to us the orphaned flock abroad. Having seceded from ROCOR(L) and temporarily having found a place under his omophorion we are able to remain in the Sacred Church Abroad – the True Orthodox Church which continues its spiritually unaltered path according to the legacies of its Hierarchs of eternal memory: Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy, Philaret and Vitaly, Archbishop Averky (Taushev), Archimandrite Konstantin (Zaitsev) as well as others.

We remain at our posts, not entering into the fold of the Catacomb Church until such a day that our Lord indicates to us and we will be able to then see which of our hierarchs did not betray the Church. Then – united and without undue haste, the new hierarchal and diocesan structure of the Church will be determined. 

I personally met with Archbishop Tikhon (he is 59 years old like myself). During the entire meeting which was attended by myself, my parish warden, head sister and others, we spent it in spiritually edifying conversation – none of us noticed any improper words, expressions containing dual meanings or questionable statements made at all. I heard the same impression from other clergy which met with him. He reminded me of the noble nature which I felt in the presence of Metropolitan Philaret, Metropolitan Vitaly and Archbishop Averky whom I served as an altar boy, holding his bishop’s staff in Holy Trinity Monastery since the time I was seven years old.

When we speak of “suspensions” and consequently “lawfulness” – we must not forget who imposed and continues to impose this undeserved ban in the MP’s favour. The ROCOR(L) in its self-betrayal verified this in its discussion on the issue concerning “the unlawful existence of our parishes on the canonical territory belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate” (Resolution of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops – dated September 6, 2005), as well as the proposal to “cease Canonical Communion with the old-calendar Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian groups¹.” This is due to the fact that our possible Canonical Communion with the MP will be unacceptable to them (see the same).

Forgive me if my appeal seems to you to have an instructional motive. I believe that many others have different reasons, parish difficulties and conditions which I may have failed to consider.

We have been accustomed to flowing with the current while holding onto the hem of the bishop’s mantia. Now the time has come for us to reexamine our personal faith – that of our heart, of our hope and trust!

May our Lord God help us in these matters.

With love in Christ,

Archpriest Stefan Sabelnik, rector.

Church of the Holy Dormition                                       March 2007

Trenton, New Jersey       USA


¹Note that these churches are called “groups”.

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Открытое обращение к моим дорогим со-пастырям и клиру Заветной Зарубежной Церкви.

Печаль, душевное расстройство, расстройство в церковной жизни, шатания верующих, дезинформация, подозрение, недоумение как поступать – всё ли это от Бога?

Нет. Всё это создала, расторгнув соборность, новая митрополия в нашей Зарубежной Церкви. О происходящем предсказывал на пастырском совещании недавно почивший Первоиерарх РПЦЗ Митрополит Виталий: ”Скоро каждого из Вас поставят на лезвие меча и Вы должны будете сделать выбор: остаться со Христом в Его непорочной Церкви – а это значит избрать исповеднический путь или войти в общение с лукавыми силами мира сего, с антихристовой церковью. Другого выбора нет! ”

Так вот наступило это время, несмотря на то, что мы в наших душах не хотим поверить, откладываем. Надеемся, что каким-то образом это предательство не состоится. Нет, дорогие мои и досточтимые со-служители Христовой Церкви. Это предательство уже произошло с одобрением и утверждением РПЦЗ(Л) акта о единении с незаконной МП. Они уже решили, как один из них выразился: ”уже всё слишком далеко зашло чтобы сейчас приостановить.” Их более не интересуют наши статьи, обращения, послания. Наступило время нашего выбора и гласности!

Касательно этого нам нужно, особенно сейчас, в это смутное для зарубежных время, не раздробляться, не спешить критиковать или обвинять в раскольничестве тех, которые уже отложились от РПЦЗ(Л). А поступать не только с уважением, но и с нисхождением и с любовью к нашим собратьям. Иначе мы сами ответим перед Богом и предоставим МП повод злорадствовать. Как никогда, именно сейчас мы должны проявлять икономию к друг другу и молиться о соединении всех во истине.

Что же нас, мягко выражаясь, сейчас разделяет?

1. Одни собираются ”в душе” оставаться верными заветной Зарубежной Церкви, не поминать ”Патриарха” и тому подобное. Такой путь не может быть нашим вынужденным вариантом. Он самый опасный, потому что основан на лицемерии, а лицемерие аналогично с ложью.

2. Другие советуют потаённо зарегистрироваться со своим приходом и делать вид, что согласны с единением с МП до 17-го мая. Здесь опять-таки элемент лицемерия. (Пункт №4 далее объясняет проблемы с этим решением).

3. Третие просто живут надеждою, что каким-то чудом подписание Акта и следовательно предательство 17-го мая не состоится. Мысленно посмотрите на духовное состояние всех зарубежных приходов и священнослужителей и Вы увидите, что предательское разорение уже произошло! Эта дата, 17-го мая, ничего знаменательного для нас не представляет. Это их торжество – торжество ”нового начала”, на котором они будут радоваться, что избавились от удручающего их ”устарелого” Православия!

Они способны на что угодно. Представте себе такой нюанс: они проведут ”торжественное” сослужение в Москве на Вознесение, а потом скажут, что Акт не подписали из-за каких-то ещё неразрешённых вопросов и опять будут терзать Ваши души ложной надеждой.

4. Иные говорят, что мы остаёмся на месте. Пусть уходят они от Зарубежной Церкви. Тогда нам яснее под каким иерархом мы переорганизуемся. Если отлагается священник один, это его личное дело. Но если отлагается с приходом, то здесь опасность оказаться в пасти змия. Об этом духовном растлении предупреждает Архиепископ Тихон Омский и Сибирский в своем скорбном послании. Вы с Вашим приходом окажетесь в списке униатов и МП беспощадно, с большими финансовыми резервами, возмётся за Вас. И в судебном процессе Вам не сдобровать, ведь Вы позволили Вашему правящему иерарху расписаться за Вас!

Время бежит быстро. Уже конец марта! У Вас могут оказаться и практические проблемы. Нужно заранее созывать экстренное собрание. Собираетесь ли Вы служить на Вознесение Господне? Если да, то церковная практика требует, чтобы Вы заранее перешли под омофор законного истинного Архипастыря.

Я не прошу, а умоляю Вас прочесть ”Скорбное послание” Архиепископа Тихона (помещено на Интернете на  узле www.catacomb.org.ua), а также обращение трёх наших австралийских священнослужителей: протоиереев Иоанна Стукача, Михаила Константинова и иерея Владимира Цуканова. Из послания Вы увидите, что Владыка Тихон с Христианскою любовью к нам, зарубежным вдовцам, протягивает руку помощи. Отлагаясь от РПЦЗ(Л) и переходя временно под его омофор, мы остаёмся в заветной Зарубежной Церкви – Церкви истинного Православия, продолжающей свой духовный неизменяемый курс по заветам наших Приснопамятных Первоиерархов: Митрополитов Антония, Анастасия, Филарета и Виталия, Архиепископа Аверкия(Таушева), Архиматдрита Константина (Зайцева) и других.

Мы остаёмся на местах не входя в состав Катакомбной Церкви до дня, который Бог нам укажет и нам станет ясно, кто из наших иерархов не пошел на предательство. Соборно, не торопясь, тогда будет решена новая зарубежная иерархическая и епархиальная структура.

Я лично встретился с Архиепископом Тихоном (ему 59 лет как и мне). За все те часы, что я с моим старостой, старшей сестрой и другими провели в душеполезной беседе, никто из нас не заметил ни одного неподобающего слова, двусмысленного выражения или сомнительного намёка. Слышал тоже самое от других священнослужителей, которые встречались с ним. Он напомнил мне то благородство, которое я ощущал в Митрополите Филарете, Митрополите Виталии и Архиепископе Аверкии, которому я прислуживал в Свято-Троицком монастыре с семилетнего возраста посошникóм.

А касательно ”запрещений” и следовательно ”законности” нужно не забывать, кто налагал и продолжает налагать незаслужившим этого прещения в угоду МП. РПЦЗ(Л) о своей измене сама на себя засвидетельствовала своим обсуждением вопроса о ”незаконности наших приходов на канонической территории Московской Патриархии” (Определение Архиерейского Синода РПЦЗ от 6 сентября 2005 года), а также о предложении ”прервать наше евхаристическое общенiе съ старостильной греческой, румынской и болгарской группами[1], изъ-за ихъ непрiятiя нашего возможного евхаристического общенiя съ МП.” (Там же)

Простите меня, ежели моё обращение походит на какое-либо указание. Я уверен, что у многих есть другие соображения, приходские конфликты и обстоятельства, которые я не учёл.

Мы привыкли катиться, держась за край архиерейской мантии, а сейчас наступило время переэкзаменовки нашей личной веры, нашего сердца, нашего упования!

Да поможет нам в этом Господь Бог.

С любовью о Господе,

Протоиерей Стефан Сабельник

Настоятель Успенского Храма                                                    Март 2007 года.

Трентон, Нью-Джерси, США        

[1] Заметьте, эти Церкви они называют ”группами”.

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An appeal to the clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

(Translated from Russian)

                                                                                           “Establish our life in Thy Holy and Sacred Commandments” (the 1st kneeling prayer at vespers on the Holy Feast of Pentecost)

The laws of the Church (Canon laws) are sacred! They were written and approved by the Holy Fathers of the Church through the Will of the Holy Spirit in order to govern the Church till the end of time. Not one canon law has “lost its essence” which is contrary to what one bishop stated in his strive for the unification with the Moscow Patriarchate: “canon law has become antiquated”.

No individual born on this earth, including a hierarch, has the right to select which Canon laws suit him and which ones may be ignored or partly altered for future use by reason of economia.

Each faithful individual is obligated to understand who it is that he has chosen to follow. We are not speaking of the private sins of the clergyman (donatism¹), but of the matter of whether he is leading his flock according to the unaltered  true teachings of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church  - or is he blending truth with falsehood, compromising with schismatics and heretics, introducing innovations to the Church laws in order to be “in step with the times”, all about which Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of eternal memory had previously warned us.

Everything stated above has been violated by the Synod Abroad in New York! Letters, articles, appeals have been sent from all corners of the globe, exposing the cunning ways of the Moscow Patriarchate – communists having transformed themselves into “bright angels” albeit without success. The Synod Abroad has stubbornly continued to follow the path of unification with those who ventured to eradicate prayers for the Annointed Monarchs from service books and in exchange are fostering a New World citizenry, an order fashioned in the image of the antichrist.

This and other escapades of the false-church have been mentioned many times before. I would like to bring your attention to only one phrase, however a very significant one, that has brought about delusion. The Synod of Bishops Abroad (L) in its appeal to the faithful flock, mentions in paragraph 9 the following: “In all of the rulings of the Hierarchal Councils we… never repudiated the presence of Divine grace in neither the Moscow Patriarchate or any other Regional Churches”.   

Besides the Hierarchal Councils of the Church Abroad, the Holy Fathers of the Church altogether spoke very cautiously about the “absence of Grace”. This is the realm of our Lord - “The wind bloweth where it listeth” (John 3:8). We are given the authority to “bind and loose the sins of man”. But, we who are created do not have the authority to bind the Creator! However, this does not mean that those subject to anathema for violating Canon law and who continue to serve and ordain, still have “Grace” and therefore continue to be  the bearers of Apostolic succession. Logic itself dictates that such a judgment makes excommunication invalid and lends acquiescence to anarchy.

On the contrary, the Church does not make any distinction between such schismatics still serving (Orthodox) and heretics (Catholics for example). We hear this in Christ’s own words: “… if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican” (Mathew 18:17), in other words he is no different from an atheist! The Church ultimately anathematizes such people and strictly forbids praying with them. Furthermore, the Church does not rationalize the possibility of Grace concerning these or other individuals. It is also not for us to judge for instance, whether or not a person of the Catholic persuasion will be saved or not. All of this is subject to our Lord’s judgment!  ROCOR always adhered to this dogma. It maintains its disassociation with the MP, and beyond that fosters no opinion concerning salvation of those in Russia or in various jurisdictions outside Russia.²

For us, the faithful children of the One Apostolic Church, the lawfulness of the hierarchy is of a primary importance. Here we must turn our painstaking attention to the 30th Canon of the Apostles and the Third Canon of the VIIth Ecumenical Council: “If a bishop secures his status and his authority in the Church by using secular leaders (or government), then he must be expelled and excommunicated, as well as those who associate with him.”

Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky had Apostolic succession, but he seceded from it. He remained silent when the New Martyrs pleaded for him to renounce his declaration. Being unrepentant and under the same anathema declared to the communist regime by the Holy Patriarch Tikhon, he aggravated his sin even more by laying the foundation for his false-church. Metropolitan Sergius began ordaining individuals who not only “used secular leaders”, but who consciously acquiesced to worldly, even atheistic leaders in using the Church for its own destruction while subserviently ordaining agents. Through these actions, this unfortunate person and his successors became the instrument of the devil!³  

The ordinations made by him and all else that followed cannot be considered valid. Economia is not applicable here since the Apostolic succession was severed. The New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, subjected to all manners of torture, did not in any way consider the Moscow Patriarchate as having lawful Grace. It was not recognized by the Church abroad nor by our Sister-Church in the catacombs.

But what does the appeal sent by the ROCOR(L) Synod wish to say to us? Since Metropolitan Sergius has already placed his hands over the head of the ordained individual, then let him be a bishop. The 30th canon of the Apostles does not state that such a person is subject to “suspension” or that he is “defrocked”. He is instead subject to EXCOMMUNICATION! Is this not because he didn’t ever receive the rank of bishop!?

A Sacrament is the action of the Holy Spirit. It is said in the sacrament concerning  marriage: “that which God has joined, let no man put asunder”. The Lord joined two beings into one flesh. Would a newly–ordained bishop, having violated no other Canon, be expelled if this was a function during which the Holy Spirit ordained him to the office of bishop?

No less significant is the last part of the Apostolic Canon: “…those who associate with them are expelled and excommunicated as well.” In this way, having accepted “in the spirit of unity” the Memorandum for Union with the Moscow Patriarchate, the ROCOR(L) has violated the 30th, 45th, and 65th Canons of the Holy Apostles as well as other Canons which forbid prayer communion with those who concelebrate with heretics and therefore is now subject to excommunication. Having come to a compromise with the excommunicated and unrepentant persecutors of the Russian Church, by depreciating the extent of involvement of the MP in the Ecumenical heresy, by accepting the hierarchal authority of those whose ordinations are null and void, and remaining silent concerning the secret actions of “KGB members”, the ROCOR(L) in this way has accentuated its own collapse. Through the oppression of the Holy Canons and having betrayed the chastity of the Church, the Synod has deprived itself of the Graceful gift of administering the Church Abroad.

I, together with my faithful spiritual children, do endorse the appeal sent forth by the right-worthy clergy in Australia: the Very Reverend Archpriests John Stukach, Michael Konstantinov and the Reverend Priest Vladimir Tsukanov. We hereby remain dedicated to our cherished Church Abroad. We address our Synod of the ROCOR(L) stating once more: “Cease and repent in your actions. We will pray to the Lord that He will make you to understand… but we will not follow you.”

If the blood of the Holy Royal Martyrs and the assembly of our Devout monarchs, the memory of whom the Moscow Patriarchate is attempting to erase from consciousness of the Russian people, as well as that of the Holy New Martyrs does not cry out to you and you finalize your betrayal by your signature, then may our Lord be Merciful towards you. However, our name will not be among those in the list of churches, monasteries, communities and parishioners which you will “lay at the feet” of your so called “Holy Patriarch”.

Archpriest Stefan Sabelnik, rector.

Church of the Holy Dormition

Trenton, New Jersey     USA                                                    March 2007


[1] Donatism was a heresy that taught that the sacraments performed by a priest or bishop of low moral character, or who had fallen into grievous personal sin were no valid. This was, of course, condemned by the Church because we’re all sinners and none of us would then be worthy to perform them, not to say that we shouldn’t strive with all our strength to attain to the high calling. (Priest Nikita Grigoriev, Instructor of Apologetics, Holy Trinity Seminary from 1986 to 2006)

This does not imply, however, that a man of low moral character may be ordained. There are a series of Canons concerning this issue.

[2] Sometimes Orthodox Christians will repeat words frequently expressed by Baptists, et al: If you don’t accept Jesus as your Savior you will undoubtedly end up in hell. It is not our “business” to espouse this final judgment. Eternal judgment is the concern of our Lord Jesus Christ. In frescoes found on walls of churches from the early years of Christianity of the Final Judgment ONLY Judas of Iskariot is portrayed in the grasp of Satan. This is based on Christ, our Judge’s words: “... woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born.” (Mark, 14:21) This attests to the fact that this is not a new or recent dogma.

[3] With deep sorrow I observed how quickly ROCOR(L) began to use KGB tactics to put forth MISINFORMATION before their flock by announcing that the MP has rescinded Sergianism. Nothing of the sort happened. The MP will NEVER renounce Sergianism. They continuously glorify his “deeds”. They plan to canonize Metrop. Sergius this year which marks the 80-th anniversary of his “Declaration” to firmly establish and assert their lawless control over the Russian Church.

ROCOR’s so-called negotiator Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff cites examples taken from the archives of Cheka, NKVD & other Poliburo departments “which included documents about the work of the Anti-Religious Committee”4 of negotiations of St. Patriarch Tikhon  with various Soviet authorities at this difficult time after the revolution. He brings forth quotes such as “I am not an enemy of the people” – but in addition many questionable words and conclusions. Distorting the “PODVIG” of the Holy Confessor Tikhon, Archpr. A. Lebedeff concludes: “The reality is that Metropolitan Sergius was simply continuing in the footsteps of Patriarch Tikhon in his relations to the Soviet authorities.”4

Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff has totally taken up the MP’s position concerning Sergianism and the New York Synod SECRETLY from clergy and their trusting lay people agreed with him! Why is ROCOR(L) leaving its MISINFORMATION as is? Why are they being silent? So as not to reveal the fact that they have taken this entire Unification matter into their own hands, rescinded the Council’s (sobor’s) decisions and have themselves become Sergianists.

ROCOR(L) has also set “a good example” of this kind of deceit amongst their pro-union followers. We often hear how they cite various unfortunate decisions and questionable writings of church leaders and others AS EXAMPLES to justify their actions – AS EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW!?

[4] From a letter from Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff to Stephan Webb dated 21 February, 2007

How are we to understand the quote from Archpriest Peter Perekrestov: “We need to forget the past.”? Here is a prime example from a person who appears to have done so.

A servant of Christ’s Church, a conveyor of sacraments accepts “as clear water” archival evidence from vicious enemies and persecutors of Christ’s Church – refined specialists in the field of falsification, deceit, and slander – crack masters of torment and torture – as truthful testimony against a holy confessor!

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Обращение к клиру и мирянам Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей.

Утверди живот наш святыми Твоими и священными законы.”

(Первая коленопреклонная молитва Св. Пятидесятницы.)

Законы Церкви (каноны) священны! Они составлены и утверждены до скончания века Святыми Отцами Церкви при изволении Духа Святаго. Не один канон не ”утратил свою суть” – как вопреки этому выразился архиепископ, ревнитель соединения с Московской Патриархией: ”каноны устарели”.

Никто из земнородных, включая иерархов, не имеет права изберать какие законы ему угодны, а какие можно игнорировать или частично изменять на будущее под видом икономии.

Каждому верующему ставиться в обязанность разбираться за кем он следует. Здесь речь не о личных грехах священнослужителя [донатизм], а о том ведёт ли он свою паству по неизменяемому верному учению Единой Святой Соборной Апостольской Церкви или смешивает истину с ложью, идет на компромис с раскольниками и еретиками, проводит новшества по отношению к законам Церкви, чтобы ”идти в ногу со временем” как об этом предупреждал Приснопамятный архиепископ Аверкий (Таушев).

Всё выше упомянутое нарушил Зарубежный Нью-Йоркский Синод! Со всех концов света писались письма, статьи, обращения, разоблачая лукавство Московской Патриархии – коммунистов, преобразившихся ”во ангела светла” – но безуспешно. Зарубежный Синод упорно продолжает идти на единение с теми, кто дерзостно во всех богослужебных книгах упразднили молитвы за Помазанников Божиих, а в замен воспитывают верных граждан Нового Мирового, антихристова, порядка.

Об этом и о других проделках этой лже-церкви много уже было сказано. Я хочу остановить Ваше внимание только на одной, но очень важной, вводящей в заблуждение фразе. В своём обращении к боголюбивой пастве Зарубежный Архиерейский Синод(Л) в 9-м параграфе пишет: ”В определениях Архиерейских Соборов мы... никогда не отрицали присутствия Божией благодати ни в Московском Патриархате, ни в других Поместных Церквях.”

Помимо Архиерейских Соборов зарубежья, Отцы Церкви вообще с большой осторожностью говорили о ”безблагодатности”. Это область Божия. ”Дух дышит, где хочет.” (Иоан. 3:8) Нам дана власть ”вязать и решить грехи человеческие.” Но мы, творение, не имеем власти вязать Творца! Но это отнюдь не значит, что те, анафематствованные за нарушение канонов, но продолжающие служить и рукополагать, всё же ”благодатные” и следовательно имеют Апостольское преемство. Сама логика говорит, что такое суждение делает отлучение бездейственным, пособствует анархии.

Наоборот, Церковь не делает никакого различия между такими служащими раскольниками (православными) и еретиками (например католиками). По словам Христа: ”Если и Церковь не послушает, то да будет он тебе, как язычник и мытарь” (Матф. 18:17), то есть всё равно что безбожник! Церковь анафематствует, строго запрещает молитвенное общение с таковыми и на этом ставит точку. Далее Церковь не рационализирует о благодатных возможностях тех или других. Не подлежит и нашему суждению, например, спасётся ли католик. Всё это представляется Божиему суду! Заветная Зарубежная Церковь всегда этого придерживалась. Она не имеет никакого общения с МП и далее не выносит никакого суждения, кто как спасается, ни в России, ни в разных юрисдикциях зарубежом.?

Для нас же, верных чад Единой Апостольской Церкви, законность иерархии – дело первостепенной важности. Здесь следует тщательно обратить внимание на 30-е Апостольское правило и Третье правило VII Вселенского Собора: ”Аще который епископ, мирских начальников употребив, чрез них получит епископскую в Церкви власть, да будет извержен и отлучен, и все сообщающиеся с ним”.

Митрополит Сергий Страгородский имел законную Апостольскую преемственность, но отпал. На мольбы Новомученников отказаться от своей декларации он отвечал молчанием. Нераскаянный и находясь под анафемой Святого Патриарха Тихона, наложенной на коммунистов, он усугубил свой грех когда положил начало своей раскольнической лже-церкви. Митрополит Сергий стал рукопологать людей, которые не только ”употребили мирских начальников”, но сознательно пособствовал мирским, да ещё безбожным, начальникам использовать Церковь для её же разорения, раболепно рукополагая агентов. Этим действием этот несчастный человек и его наследие стали орудием диавола! ?

Его рукоположения, и все последующие, нельзя признавать законными. Икономия здесь неприменима так как Апостольская преемственность была прервана! Ни под какими истязаниями Новомученники и Исповедники Российские не признавали Московскую Патриархию благодатно-законной. Никогда не признавали её ни катакомбная наша сестра-церковь, ни зарубежная.

А что нам хочет сказать в своём обращении Синод РПЦЗ(Л)? Раз Митрополит Сергий наложил уже свои руки на голову рукополагаемого, то пусть будет епископ. 30-е Апостольское правило не говорит, что такой человек подлежит ”запрещению” в священнодействии или ”снятию сана”, а НИЗВЕРЖЕНИЮ ! Не потому-ли, что он никакого епископского сана не получил !?

Таинство – это действие Святаго Духа. О браке сказано: ”еже Бог сочета, человек да не разлучает.” Дух Святый соделывает двух различных людей в плоть едину. Разве низвергся бы епископ, не нарушив никакого другого канона, если бы действо Святаго Духа проручествовало его во епископа!?

Ни как не менее значительны последние слова Апостольского правила: ”да будут извержены и отлучены, и все сообщающиеся с ними.” Приняв ”соборно” Акт о единении с современным составом Московской Патриархии, РПЦЗ(Л) этим нарушила это 30-е Апостольское правило, а также 45-е и 65-е правила Святых Апостолов и другие каноны, запрещающие молитвенное общение с теми, кто сослужит с еретиками и теперь подлежит отлучению. Пойдя на компромис с отлучёнными и нераскаянными гонителями Русской Церкви, умаливая значение участия МП в ереси экуменизма и молча о тайном ”КГБешническом” чиноначалии, РПЦЗ(Л) этим усугубляет своё падение. Этим попранием Святых канонов и продажей церковного целомудрия Синод сам себя лишает благодатного владычества над Зарубежной Церковью.

Я и мои верные духовные чада полностью присоединяемся к обращению досточтимых австралийских священнослужителей: протоиереев Иоанна Стукача, Михаила Константинова и иерея Владимира Цуканова и остаёмся верными нашей заветной Зарубежной Церкви. Обращаемся и мы к Синоду РПЦЗ(Л), повторяя их слова: ”Остановитесь и покайтесь в содеянном. Мы будем молить Господа, чтобы Он Вас вразумил... но мы с Вами не пойдём.”

Если же кровь Святых Царственных Мучеников и сонм благочестивых царей, память которых Московская Патриархия вытравливает из сознания Русского народа, и кровь Святых Новомученников не вопиет к Вам и Вы запечатлеете Ваше предательство подписью, да будет милостив к Вам Бог. Но наше имя не будет среди списка храмов, монастырей, общин и прихожан, который Вы ”положите у ног” Вами так называемого ”Святейшего Патриарха.”

Протоиерей Стефан Сабельник

Настоятель Успенского Храма                                                    Март 2007 года.

Трентон, Нью-Джерси, США        

[1] Донатизм была ересь, которая учила, что таинства, совершаемые иереем или епископом аморального поведения или впадшего в тяжких грех, недействительны. Это было осуждено Церковью на основании что все мы грешны и никто не был бы достоин совершать таинства. Это конечно не говорит, что все мы не должны всеми силами стараться жить соответственно этому высокому званию (Иерей Никита Григорьев, преподаватель апологетики Свято-Троицкой семинарии в Джорданвилле).

А с другой стороны это не значит, что можно рукополагать человека аморального поведения. Об этом говорят целый ряд канонов.

[2] Иногда, по неведению, православные ошибочно говорят подобно баптистам: ”если кто не примет Иисуса как своего Спасителя, неприменно окажется в аду.” Не наше дело выносить такой окончательный приговор. Вечный суд – область Господа Нашего Иисуса Христа. С древнейших времен на фресках Страшного Суда один только Иуда Искариотский изображается в объятиях сатаны на основании слов нашего Спасителя и Судии: ”Лучше было бы тому человеку не родиться.” (Марк 14:21)

[3] Прискорбно было наблюдать, как быстро РПЦЗ(Л) стала употреблять тактику КГБ: преподнесли дезинформацию своим пасомым, объявив, что МП отказалась от сергианства. Ничего подобного не произошло. МП никогда не осудит сергианства. Она не переставая величает ”подвиги” митрополита Сергия, собирается его прославлять в этом юбилейном году 80-летия ”Декларации” и этим утвердить и увековечить свою беззаконную власть над Русской Церковью.

Мнимый посредник переговоров прот. Александр Лебедев приводит из архивов ЧК, НКВД и других отделов политбюро примеры переговоров Св. Патриарха Тихона с разными органами власти в тяжёлое для Церкви время после революции, где он отрицал, что ”он враг народа”, а в добавок много сомнительных слов и заключений. Искажая подвиги Святого Исповедника Тихона, прот. Лебедев заключает: ”В действительности Митрополит Сергий просто следовал по стопам Патриарха Тихона в его сношениях с Советским правительством.”

Прот. А. Лебедев всецело занял позицию МП касательно сергианства и Нью-Йоркский Синод секретно от клира и доверяющих им мирян согласился с ним! Почему же РПЦЗ(Л) оставляет свою дезинформацию ”как есть”? Почему они молчат? Чтобы не выдавать себя и тот факт, что они взяли всё в свои руки, пошли против соборных решений и сами стали ”сергианами”.

Своим примером РПЦЗ(Л) положила начало подмены и среди своих пасомых-сторонников соединения. Неоднократно приходится слышать, как они приводят разные оплошности и сомнительные письмена церковных деятелей, взятые не только из русской церковной истории, но византийской и других как примеры для своего оправдания и подражания.

[4] Письмо прот. Александра Лебедева Стефану Вебб от 21 февраля 2007 года.

Как понимать выражение, сказанное протоиереем Петром Перекрёстовым: ”нужно забыть прошлое”?  Приведём наглядный пример человека, который, по-видимому, этой философии придерживается: священнослужитель Христовой Церкви, служитель Таинств, принимает за чистую воду архивные записи от лютых врагов и гонителей Церкви, отборных специалистов по подделке, клевете и лукавству, изысканных мастеров пыток и истязательств как верное свидетельство против святого исповедника!

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Regarding New Destruction of Orthodox Churches in Kosovo and Metohija

November 19, 2002

During the night between Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17, 2002, the Serbian Orthodox Church experienced in Kosovo and Metohija new destruction of its holy churches. Namely, Albanian terrorists, with the senseless desire to erase all traces of the presence of the Serbs in this region, planted explosives and seriously damaged the Orthodox Cathedral of Serbian Saints in Djurakovac, and leveled to the ground the Church of St. Basil of Ostrog in the village of Ljubovo near Istok. Since June of 1999, when the war ended – or, more precisely, since the arrival of the United Nations Administration and KFOR [1] peacekeeping forces to Kosovo and Metohija, so that they could, in accordance with Resolution 1244, assist in overcoming the consequences of war and enable the creation of a multiethnic society – according to information available to us 110 Orthodox churches and monasteries have been destroyed and demolished (according to some this number is actually 138), without one of the perpetrators of these crimes being discovered and being held accountable.

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church is deeply saddened by this latest barbaric act of Albanian terrorists, and even more deeply disappointed in the international community which enables under its administration and rule at the beginning of the third Christian millennium the merciless destruction of monuments of spirituality and culture of one people in the very heart of Europe. At the same time, the Holy Synod of Bishops is disappointed by the fact that the attempt of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren during the summer to begin with the symbolic restoration of one destroyed monastery (Zociste) in Kosovo and Metohija failed to gain support and understanding among representatives of UNMIK[2] and KFOR.

For all these reasons the Holy Synod appeals to the international community to stop discriminating against the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija, to offer adequate protection for all historical, religious and cultural monuments regardless of to which people and culture they belong, to enable a peaceful and safe life for all citizens, and to enable the return of all expelled persons to their homes. Only in this event can our destroyed churches be restored and further destruction prevented.

Finally, the Holy Synod extends its full support to the Bishop of Raska and Prizren, Artemije, to all clergy and monks, and to the faithful people of Kosovo and Metohija, to endure all the suffering and persecution which they face, having as their consolation Our Lord Christ Who was crucified for us and resurrected, and Who will bring our suffering to an end and bequeath us peace, freedom and peaceful coexistence with all other peoples in Kosovo and Metohija. Amen! God grant that it be so!

[1] Kosovo Force

[2] United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo.

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The Martyric Orthodox Witness in Kosovo, Serbia.

Nun Michaila, St Symeon the Myrrhgusher of Serbia Holy Cross Skete.

 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were  slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held… And white robes were given unto every one of them: and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.                                                          Revelation 6:9-11

1. Martyric Witness:

The Essence of Christian Life.

The Divinely crowned regiment of martyrs who stand before the throne of God disdained the transitory pleasures of this fallen world, and entered instead into Christ’s sufferings. Strengthened with the weapon of the Cross and the hope of heavenly crowns, they hastened eagerly to their tortures, and into the arms of Christ. With their eyes filled with a vision beyond this world, for love’s sake they were able to endure sufferings beyond their nature, and to become fiery beacons lighting the salvific way of piety for us. Many others offered themselves to Christ in “bloodless martyrdom”, as did St. Alexis the Man of God (commemorated March 17) and the ascetic fathers and mothers throughout the centuries who left all for Christ’s sake.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for our sake, came to offer Himself as the first-fruits of obedience, to restore fallen man who lost Paradise through disobedience: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:8). His example was followed by His Apostles, who did not escape sufferings but confessed Christ in the midst of many tribulations and martyrdom. The Holy Fathers say that when the number of saints – deified earthly beings – fills up the number of fallen angels who kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation (Jude 1:6), then the end of the world will be at hand. “The council of the angels, reduced in number by the fall of the prideful angels, is fulfilled by you, O all ye saints” (Akathist from Sunday of All Saints). More martyrs have been offered to God in our own twentieth century than in the entire nineteen centuries since Christ’s Resurrection.

The desire to suffer for Christ is natural to a truly Orthodox Christian soul: If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whosoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matt. 17:24-25). And, Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? (Romans 6:3). A Serbian holy father of our times, Fr. Justin Popovich, wrote: “Martyrdom is the state in which a Christian brings forth fruit. This is what it is to be of Christ: to feel yourself perpetually crucified to the world, persecuted by it, violated and spat upon. The world will not tolerate Christ-bearing men just as it would not tolerate Christ”.

The host of saints who through the centuries have sanctified the Serbian land – through martyrdom by blood and by the “bloodless martyrdom” of monastic ascetism – are the offering to God of a people who accepted their destiny as God’s Divine Providence. A people’s sense of their destiny, of having been created by God to carry out the part He ordained for them in His plan of salvation, is the holy root of what has been replaced with secular nationalism. Each nation is a “chosen people” which ultimately will be judged by God: God that made the world and all things therein… hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being… for we are also His offspring (Acts 17:24-29). “Each nation therefore is a “called” and a “chosen” people of God, for they have been created by God and are called into historical existence and life to seek God and to give Him, in their historical time and on their own geographical territory, offerings of their fruits. For, as has been said, “The idea of a nation is not that which it thinks about itself in time, but rather that which God thinks about it in eternity”.[1]

Serbia’s enlightener, St. Sava (+1235), who was raised from among Serbia’s own noble sons, installed in his people the ascetic, otherworldly, Cross-bearing Apostolic Christianity that he received on Mt. Athos. Characteristic of his people, as a youth St. Sava longed to lay aside his princedom and wholly dedicate himself to God. His father’s court had long been a refuge for monks traveling from Mt. Athos; and Sava, inflamed with the desire to leave the world, fled with some of them to the Holy Mountain when he was seventeen. The abbot of St. Panteleimon Monastery on Mt. Athos courageously tonsured him against his father’s wishes; but later, St. Sava’s father, mother and brother (St. Stephen the First-Crowned) followed him into monasticism and also achieved sanctity. Their incorrupt relics (except for those of St. Sava, whose myrrhbearing relics were burned by the Moslems in 1594) are still treasured in Studenitsa Monastery, a monastic fortress high up in the mountains.

When Sava’s father (St. Simeon) later joined his son on the Holy Mountain, they longed to have a Serbian monastery there, and were given the ruined Hilandar Monastery to renew, which up to today sets the tone for the Serbian Church. For hundreds of years, Serbia’s rulers followed the pious example of Saints Sava and Simeon, building monasteries and churches, and embracing monasticism after their years of rule, desiring to end their lives in asceticism and humility. Many of them are canonized saints, and their fragrant, incorrupt relics adorn monasteries all over Serbian lands.

The people in turn followed the pious example of their rulers, down to the smallest village. “Asceticism”, writes Bishop Atanasie Jevtich, “is a characteristic feature of Orthodox spirituality in general (not only monastic), and therefore it is present even among simple Serbian people. Every pious Serbian house was finaly until recent times like a little monastery, where one, without denying marriage, practiced all the monastic endeavors: prayers, fasting, obedience, humility, respect, honor, decency, almsgiving and repentance”.[2]

Thus, having been formed in Christian life by the ascetic principles handed down to them by St. Sava, his people were prepared for the centuries of martyrdom that were to come upon them. Divine Providence placed Orthodox Serbia as the “watchman at the gate” in the midst of the Balkans, through which conquering armies must pass on their way east and west. Her Orthodox people successfully defended the Faith during five hundred years of Moslem captivity, then during the attempts of the Roman Catholic empires to subdue and forcibly convert the Serbs to the Latin faith, then during the occupation by Hitler’s army, and finally during the scourge of communism.[3]

Today, with the weakening of communist-installed godlessness, great numbers of people, especially youth, are returning to Christ. The holy Orthodox way of life – so zealously guarded and kept alive by past generations – strongly attracts their souls, and greater numbers are leaving the world and hastening to the sure harbor of suffering ascetism, How could it be otherwise? Beneath their feet the very earth, soaked with the blood of martyrs, cries out – from Tsar Lasar to “the Holy Martyr George of Kratovo, the Holy Martyr Zlata, the Holy Hieromartyr Gabriel the Patriarch, the Holy New Martyr Bessarion Saraj from Bosnia, and all of those up to the New Martyr Avakum of Belgrade, the Deacon…  This procession of holy martyrs continues up to the most recent, known and unknown new martyrs and confessors of Orthodoxy: the monks from Marcha imprisoned on Malta, the girl Andja from Prizren, the peasant Vukasin from the village of Klepac near Capljina, Metropolitan Peter Zimonjic, the martyrs of Glina,[4] the Kragujevac schoolchildren[5] and numerous others.” (Bishop Atanasie)

But it is in Kosovo, in southern Serbia, that the war against Christ is being fought most intensely. The monastics and the few remaining Orthodox faithful are truly as lambs for the slaughter, and it is here in particular that a brotherhood of young monks has in recent years chosen as its place for monastic struggle.


There is silence in Kosovo today; not a peace-filled silence, but the uneasy quiet that falls between battles. For the Orthodox monks, nuns and clergy who guard Kosovo’s holy places and relics, it is not a question of if there will be another battle, but only when it will take place, and by what means they will finish the course of martyrdom and exile that they have already begun. The Battle of Kosovo, which began between Orthodox Christians and invading Moslems in 1389, continues to the present day, while the world, unaware of the drama of salvation playing out before its very eyes, slumbers, convinced that it need not be concerned with eternal realities.

Kosovo, the heart of the Serbian nation since medieval times, is richly adorned by hundreds of medieval Orthodox churches and monasteries, some still standing in their full glory and others partially or wholly in ruins. It has been the main Serbian battleground in the 600-year war between Orthodox Christianity and Islam. The Moslem armies were at the threshold of Old Serbia in the last half of the 14-th century with the hope of defeating the whole Christian realm.[6] The Orthodox Kingdom of Serbia stood in their path and had to be conquered in order to open the way to Western Europe. The Serbian Tsar, Lazar, realized that if Christian Europe fell into Moslem captivity, it would be enslaved for generations. Although the Christian army was greatly outnumbered, he refused to surrender, preferring to die gloriously for Christ rather than serve those who hate Him. He courageously led his Christ-called warrior-martyrs, carrying holy banners and singing hymns to Christ, to their place of execution. Tsar Martyr Lazar and his army perished, but their sacrifice and valiant fighting slowed the Moslem advance and the Turks never regained the strength to take Europe.


The flame of the Orthodox faith kindled by St. Sava burned steadily throughout the 600 years of captivity which followed. When the Moslems were victorious in a Christian region, the magnificent, majestic ancient monasteries and churches were plundered and destroyed or, as sometimes happened, were turned into mosques. The nobility was enslaved, villages were burned, monastics were martyred or sent away into exile or slavery, women and children were taken as slaves, thousands of Christians were put to death, and systematic persecutions and heavy taxation began, all with the aim of demoralizing the Christians so that they would more easily accept Islam.

Over the centuries long period of Moslem captivity some Christian peoples converted to Islam. The majority of Albanians – Roman Catholic and Orthodox – became Moslem, and enjoyed a special, separate status above the Christians, eventually becoming propagators of Islam and forcibly attempting to convert their Christian neighbors. The Albanians began to move into Kosovo in great numbers during the Serbian Great Migrations. At times death threatened to extinguish the whole Serbian people and her leaders had no choice but to lead their people to a place of safety. In what today would be called genocidal conditions, the Serbs “migrated” to the northernmost reaches of Serbian lands. Some went further to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Roman Catholic Hungarian king lined his borders with these Serbian warriors and their families who, in exchange for land to live on, agreed to fight the Moslems along with the Austrian armies.

The “migrations” continued into this century. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs were forced by the Germans to leave Kosovo during the Second World War, and were replaced by a similar number of Albanian Moslems, who were thus rewarded for aiding the German army. Then, fearing the Serbs, the communist (Croatian) leader Tito forced hundreds of thousands of more Serbs to leave their villages. Moslems today have become the majority in Kosovo. The communist government granted them the equivalent of the rights of statehood: to set up a separate police system, separate schools and ultimately, Islamic culture and rule. The result is further persecution of Christians; murdering and torturing Orthodox priests, monks, nuns and the faithful; destruction of Christian culture and places of worship; and the driving out of the last Christian remnant.

After their overthrow at the hands of the Orthodox Balkan peoples in the 19th century, the Moslems waited, and today, with the help of other Islamic powers and NATO, they have achieved the foothold in Europe – in Bosnia and Herzegovina – which before they were denied. As the whole world looks the other way, the Moslem powers are attempting to add Orthodox Kosovo to their treasury of newly conquered, once Christian lands.


Despite the turbulence of Serbia’s history, monasticism has continued without interruption there since the earliest ascetics began their struggles: St. Parasceva, St Prohor, Martyr John Vladimir and others. The history of Serbian monasticism is inseparably bound up with the history of the people. When invading armies came, monasteries and churches were destroyed or desecrated, and holy objects and relics of the Saints were carried away to safety by the faithful.[7] When the enemy left, the people, regarding the monasteries as their greatest treasures, fervently and unsparingly, in poverty and suffering, rebuilt and refurbished these holy abodes which have always adorned their land, the testament of their highest aspirations.

To the spiritual senses of a pilgrim to Serbia, a solemn mystery unfolds before the inward eye: one becomes aware of the watchful, constant, soulstirring, living presence of the innumerable saints whose incorrupt bodies and eternal souls guard and preserve the Church in Serbia until the end of time as ordained by God. Under the silent, compassionate gaze of these heavenly protectors, thousands have offered themselves as martyrs through the centuries, fully aware that death is but the threshold of eternal life: We shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:51). They have joined the number of those slain for the Word of God (Rev. 6:9) who waits beneath the heavenly altar on high until the end of the world.

And now in our own apocalyptic times, these incorrupt dwellers of earth and heaven stand at heaven’s doorway, and beckon to those valiant young souls who still have ears to hear to follow and stand with them. As one goes from monastery to monastery, one encounters these grace-bearing leaders of God’s heavenly army, surrounded by their living band of monastic-warriors: St. Stephen at Dechani, the fourteen saints at Pech Monastery, St. Ioannikios at Devich, St. Lazar at Ravanitsa, Sts. Simeon the Myrrhgusher, Anastasia and Simon (Nemanja) at Studenitsa, St. Basil in the paradisal Ostrog Monastery, St. Stephen in Piper, St. Arsenius in Zdrebaonik, St Peter in Cetinje, and all the others. The monks and nuns in these spiritual fortresses are guarded by their heavenly Protectors, at whose relics they stand watch.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that our fight is not against earthly enemies, but against the unseen powers of the underheaven. The Queen-Ruler of Christ’s army, the All-Beloved Mother of God, “unshaken tower of the Church and impregnable wall of the Kingdom, before whom our foes fall prostate”, commander of angels and men, leads this holy army of Christ’s chosen warriors on earth, strengthening them until the final battle in the heavens, when Christ will come again in glory, and gather His own into His Kingdom.

Even if by God’s allowance all the churches and monasteries in Serbia are destroyed or closed, and the relics of the saints are desecrated and burned (as many were in Russia), the inextinguishable fervency of God’s chosen ones who remain will only increase, so that even if only one righteous soul remains to die for Christ, as God promised to Abraham, the Serbian Church will be found standing at its God-ordained post, fulfilling the words of the Lord, Occupy till I come, for Behold, I come quickly (Rev. 3:11)

[1] Bishop Atanasie Jevtich, “The Spiritual Life of the Serbs”, Pravoslavni Misionar, April, 1981

[2] Ibid.

[3]  The following quotes reveal the intent of these earthly powers: “Let us hope the Monarchy (Austro-Hungary) will finish the task it started, and destroy Serbia” – Vatican Secretary of State, World War I; “We have three enemies: the Serbs, the Jews and the Communists”. – Adolf Hitler, Germany. World War II; and “There can be no peace or coexistence between Islamic faith and non-Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions… The Islamic movement must and can take power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough, not only to destroy the non-Islamic power, but to build up a new Islamic one”. – “Alia Izetbegovich, Moslem President of Bosnia, in “Islamic Declaration”, 1990.

[4] During World War II, the newly formed Croatia, with Hitler’s help, opened several concentration camps, in which more than 700,000 innocent Serbs were put to death. During July and August of 1941, 1,564 men, women and children were slain by the Croats in the church in Glina. Croatia’s leader, Franjo Tudjman, writes in Wastelands of Historical Reality that “Genocide is a natural phenomenon… Genocide is not only permitted, it is recommended, even commanded by the word of the Almighty, whenever it is useful for the survival or restoration of the kingdom of the chosen nation, or for the preservation and spreading of its one and only correct faith”.

[5] To retaliate against the Serbs for killing German soldiers, the Germans gathered all the school children (7,000) in this city and slaughtered them all in the city park. In the flowery meadows where they were buried there is a memorial to commemorate their sufferings.

[6]  The Koran calls its followers to defend their beliefs with violent retribution: “Fight those who believe not… even if they be People of the Book” (Sura 9, Ayat 29). After receiving his “revelations”, Mohammed himself began the pillaging, robbery, rape and plundering that characterize Islam to this day. He struck first at the Jews in neighboring caravans; later his followers captured Christian Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and went on to conquer the Byzantine Empire. The final blow, aimed at Christian Europe in the attempt to bring Western civilization to its knees, was thwarted by Serbia. (See “Orthodoxy and Islam”, by Sister Anastasia in Orthodox Life, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 32-43, and The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter for accounts of the present day mass exterminations of Christians by Moslem governments worldwide, in some places with help of NATO.

[7]  Some relics, such as those of Tsar Lazar, were moved from place to place for 600 years, away from enemy armies, until they were finally returned to Ravanitsa Monastery in 1989.

* * *


Dr. Vladimir Moss

 On April 6, the Germans invaded Yugoslavia. Archbishop Averky writes: “The unexpected German bombardment of Belgrade on April 6, 1941, which soon decided the fate of Yugoslavia, produced such a shattering impression that the capital was completely abandoned, both by the government organs and by the ordinary inhabitants, who fled in indescribable panic for many tens of kilometers. Amidst this complete devastation it was only in the life of the Russian church in Belgrade that no essential changes took place: the services prescribed by the Typicon continued as usual, while priests went with the Holy Gifts around the city, giving communion to the wounded and carrying out prayer services in the refuges. During the raid Metropolitan Anastasy remained at his hierarchical place in the altar, while the clergy took it in turns to serve prayer services in front of the wonder-working Kursk-Root icon of the Mother of God ‘of the Sign’. And this in spite of the fact that five bombs fell in the immediate vicinity of our church, the neighbouring Serbian church of St. Mark burned down, and for a whole two days a gigantic fire from a warehouse full of logs that had been hit by a bomb burned just next to the wall of the church. On the second day, March 25 / April 7, on the very feast of the Annunciation, when there was a particularly violent bombardment, Vladyka Metropolitan was present at the Divine Liturgy which one of the priests celebrated in the basement of the Russian House for the many Russian people who had sheltered there. This liturgy, which was carried out in a situation recalling that of the ancient Catacomb Christians, was sealed for life in the memory of all those who received communion at it. And with the blessing of Vladyka Metropolitan up to 300 people received communion after a general confession (this was in view of the danger of death that clearly threatened everyone).

 “Exactly a week later, on Lazarus Saturday, the Germans entered the completely destroyed and deserted city, and difficult years began for the Russian emigration in Yugoslavia. Together with the whole of his Belgrade flock, Vladyka Metropolitan nobly endured hunger and cold and all kinds of restrictions and deprivations, various unpleasantnesses from the German occupying authorities and hostile attacks from that part of the Serbian population which had submitted to the influence of communist propaganda.

“Soon after the occupation of Yugoslavia by the German armies, members of the Gestapo carried out a thorough search in the residence of Vladyka Metropolitan Anastasy, and then took away the clerical work of the Hierarchical Synod.[1] However, they were forced to admit that Vladyka , as a true Archpastor of the Church of Christ, was profoundly alien to all politics, and they left him in peace.”[2]

Deserted by the Croats, the Serbian resistance was soon crushed. The Germans arrested Patriarch Gabriel and Bishop Nicholas Velimirovich; but although the two hierarchs were to spend the whole war in prisons and concentration camps, they refused the Nazis’ suggestion that they collaborate with them.”[3] The Bulgarians occupied Yugoslav Macedonia and expelled Metropolitan Joseph of Skopje and Bishop Vincent of Zletovo-Strumica, together with many Serbian priests, to Serbia; seven priests and thousands of laity were killed by the Hungarians in Vojvodina; and the Italians occupied Kosovo, where Albanian nationalists killed and plundered.[4] Nine Serbian hierarchs were killed, including Metropolitans Dositheus of Zagreb and Peter of Bosnia, and Bishops Sabbas of Karlovac, Plato of Banja Luka, Nicholas of Herzegovina and Seraphim of Ryashko-Prizren (the last in an Albanian prison).[5]

In neighbouring Czechoslovakia Bishop Gorazd of Moravia-Silesia, a convert from Catholicism, had since his consecration in 1921 been waging a noble battle returning the Czech lands to the faith of Saints Cyril and Methodius. At the beginning of the war, after being cut off from the Serbian Patriarchate, to which he was canonically subject, he turned to ROCOR’s Metropolitan Seraphim (Lyade) in Berlin, asking him to take his diocese under his protection. Metropolitan Seraphim agreed, and gave him holy chrism and antimensia. However, in 1942 saboteurs killed the Nazi Gauleiter Heidrich in Prague. They were given refuge in the crypt of the Orthodox cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Prague. When Bishop Gorazd heard about this some days later, he was very disturbed, knowing that if the Germans discovered this hiding-place, then the whole of the Czech Orthodox Church would be subjected to repressions. Before going to Berlin, where Metropolitan Seraphim had invited him to participate in the consecration of a bishop, he asked for the saboteurs to be removed to another hiding-place as soon as possible. Soon the Nazis discovered the hiding-place and on July 18 seven of the saboteurs were killed. Two of the cathedral’s priests and other Orthodox were arrested (the priests were later shot). Bishop Gorazd did not try to save his own life, but took the whole responsibility upon himself. He wrote to the authorities: “I place myself at the disposal of the corresponding authorities and am ready to accept any punishment, including the death penalty.” On July 27 he was arrested, and on September 4, after being tortured, he was shot. The Orthodox Church in Bohemia and Moravia was shut down and its priests sent to camps in Germany.[6]

But by far the worst atrocities were committed against the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia by the Ustashi and the Catholic Church in the newly independent state of Croatia, which had been recognized by the Vatican. On April 28, 1941, the Catholic Archbishop Stepinac of Zagreb issued an appeal rapturously praising the Ustashi regime of Ante Pavlevic and calling on all Catholic priests to collaborate with it. Three days before, the government had issued a series of decrees banning the Cyrillic script, closing all Orthodox schools, imposing a special tax on the patriarchate, forcing all Serbs to wear coloured armbands with the letter “P” (for Pravoslovac – Orthodox) and banning the use of the term “Serbian Orthodox religion”. On June 22 the minister of education said that one third of the Serbs in Croatia would be expelled, one third killed and one third converted to Catholicism. In July the arrests of Serbs began. By the autumn over 15,000 Serbs had passed through the camps, and by 1943 there were 300,000 Serbia refugees from Croatia in Serbia.

On December 4, the Croatians passed a law ordering all Church feasts to be celebrated according to the new calendar. The Russian émigrés were informed of this, and were threatened with punishment if they did not obey. Metropolitan Anastasy, however, immediately petitioned for an exception to be made for the Russian parishes, and with the help of the German Evangelical Bishop Hackel, on March 26, 1942, this request was granted. However, no Serb was allowed to visit the émigré services.[7]

Joachim Wertz writes: “In many villages the massacres followed a certain pattern. The Ustashi would arrive and assemble all the Serbs. They would then order them to convert to Catholicism. Those who refused, as the majority did, were told to assemble in their local Orthodox parish church. They would then lock them in the church and set it ablaze. In this manner many Orthodox men, women and children perished in scores of Serbian settlements.”[8]

According to Archbishop Stepinac’s report to the Pope on May 8, 1944, 240,000 Serbs apostasised to Catholicism. However, many of these returned to Orthodoxy after the war. Hundreds of churches were destroyed or desecrated, and vast amounts of property were confiscated from the Orthodox Serbs. According to German Nazi figures, about 750,000 Orthodox Serbs were killed, including five bishops and 177 other clergy.[9] 200,000 of these perished in the notorious camp of Jasenovac alone in conditions of appalling brutality, 40,000 of them on the orders of the Franciscan Father Filipovich. Bishop Nicholas Velimirovich inscribed these martyrs into the Church calendar for August 31: “The 700,000 who suffered for the Orthodox faith at the hands of the Roman crusaders and Ustashi during the time of the Second World War. These are the New Serbian Martyrs.”[10]

One of those martyred in Jasenovac was an old man called Vukashin. He was standing “in an aura of peace and joy, softly praying to Christ. The executioner was greatly angered by the old man’s peacefulness and saintly composure, and he ordered that he be dragged to the place of execution.

“St. Vukashin was given the usual charge, ‘Accept the Pope or die a most terrible death’.

 “The old man signed himself with the honourable Cross and peacefully intoned, ‘Just do your job, my son’.

“The executioner trembled with anger. He brutally slashed off one of the saint’s ears, repeating his charge. The Holy Martyr again peacefully replied, ‘Just continue to do your job, my son.’ And so the irrational persecutor continued: first the other ear, then the nose, and the fingers one by one. Like a new James of Persia, St. Vukashin was ‘pruned as a sacred grapevine of God.’ With each grisly and bloody cut, the noble Vukashin, filled with peace and joy by the Holy Spirit, calmly replied, ‘Just continue to do your job, my son.’

“At length, the vicious torturer gouged out the eyes of the martyr, and the saint once more replied, ‘Just continue to do your job, my son.’ With that, the executioner flew into a rage and slew the holy martyr. Almost immediately, the executioner lost his mind and went completely mad.”[11]

In February, 1942, Dr. Privislav Grisogno, a Croatian Catholic member of the former Yugoslav cabinet, wrote in protest to Archbishop Stepinac: “I am writing to you as a man to a man, as a Christian to a Christian. I have been meaning to do this for months hoping that the dreadful news from Croatia would cease so that I could collect my thoughts and write to you in peace.

 “For the last ten months Serbs have been killed and destroyed in Croatia in the most ruthless manner and the value of their property that has been destroyed reaches billions. Blushes of shame and anger cover the faces of every honest Croat.

“The slaughter of Serbs began from the very first day of the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia (Gospic, Gudovan, Bosanska Krajina, etc.) and has continued relentlessly to this very day. The horror is not only in the killing. The killing includes everybody: old men, women and children. With accompanying barbaric torture. These innocent Serbs have been impaled, fire has been lit on their bare chest, they have been roasted alive, burned in their homes and churches while still living, covered with boiling water, then their skin peeled off, salt poured into their wounds, their eyes have been pulled out, their ears, noses and tongues cut off, the priest have had their beards and moustaches torn off from their skulls, their sex organs severed and put into their mouths, they have been tied to trucks and then dragged along the ground, nails have been pressed into their heads, their heads nailed to the floor, they have been thrown alive into wells and over cliffs, and grenades thrown after them, their heads smashed against walls, their backs broken against rocks and tree stumps, and many other horrible tortures were perpetrated, such as normal people can hardly imagine.

“Their rivers Sava, Drav, the Danube and their tributaries have carried thousands and thousands of their corpses. Dead bodies have been found with the inscription: ‘direction Belgrade – traveling to King Peter’. In a boat which was found on the Sava river there was a heap of children’s heads with the head of a woman (which could have been a head of one of the mothers of the children) with the inscription: ‘Meat for the Jovanova Market in Belgrade’.

“Horrifying is the case of Mileva Bozinic from Stanbandza whose child was removed from her womb. There was also the case of the roasted heads in Bosnia, the vessels full of Serbian blood, the cases of Serbs being forced to drink the warm blood of their slaughtered kin. Countless women, girls and children in front of their mothers were raped or else sent off to Ustashi camps to serve the Ustashi; rapes even took place on the altars of Orthodox churches. In the Petrinje county a son was forced to rape his own mother. The slaughter of the Serbs in the Glina Orthodox church and the murder of Serbs on the altar of the Kladusa church is without precedent in history. There are detailed and original accounts of all these horrors. Even the Germans and Italians were astounded by these crimes. They photographed a large number of cases of such slaughter. The Germans are saying that the Croatians did this also during the Thirty Years War and that is why there has been a saying in Germany since then: ‘God save us from plague, hunger and Croats.’

“The Srem Germans despise us because of this and behave in a more humane fashion with Serbs. The Italians photographed a vessel with 3.5 kilograms of Serbian eyes, as well as a Croat who wore a necklace strung with Serbian eyes, and another one who came to Dubrovnik with a belt on which severed Serbian tongues were hanging!

“The horrors of the camps in which thousands of Serbs were killed or were left to die from exposure, hunger and cold weather, are too terrible to mention. The Germans have been talking about a camp in Lika where there were thousands of Serbs; but when the Germans got there they found the camp empty, drenched in blood and bloody clothing. In that camp it has been said a Serbian bishop also lost his life. Thousands upon thousands of Serbs in the camp of Jasenovac are still being tortured as they are spending fierce winter in wooden Gypsy shacks with no straw or covering and with a ration of two potatoes per day. In the history of Europe there have been no similar cases. One would have to go to Asia at the time of Tamerlane, or Genghis-Khan, or to Africa, to the countries of their bloodthirsty rulers to come upon similar situations. These events have shamed the name of Croatia for centuries to come. Nothing can absolve us fully from this ever again. We will not be able to tell even the last wretched man in the Balkans about our thousand year old Croatian culture, because even the Gypsies never perpetrated such cruelties. Why am I writing this to you, when you are not a political personage and cannot bear responsibility for all this. Here is why: in all these unprecedented barbarian crimes which are more than Godless, our Catholic church participated in two ways. A large number of clergy, priests, friars and organized Catholic youth took an active part in all this. It has also happened that Catholic priests became camp guards and Ustashi accomplices and so approved of the torture and slaughter of Christians. A Catholic priest even slit personally slaughtered an Orthodox clergyman. They could not have done all this without the permission of their bishops, and if they did, they would have had to lose their jobs and be taken to court. Since this did not happen, it means that their bishops granted them permission.

“Secondly, the Catholic Church made us of all this to convert the surviving Serbs. And while the soil was still steaming from the innocent victims’ blood, while groans shuddered from the chests of the surviving victims, the priests, friars, nuns carried in one hand the Ustashi daggers and in the other their prayer books and rosaries. The whole of Srem is inundated with leaflets written by Bishop Aksamovic and printed in his printing shop in Djakovo, calling upon Serbs to save their lives and property by converting to Catholicism. It was as if our church wanted to show that it could destroy souls just as the Ustashi authorities destroy bodies. It is an even greater blot on the Catholic church, since at the same time many Orthodox churches and all the Orthodox monasteries have been confiscated, their property plundered as well as many historical treasures. Even the Patriarchal church in Sremski Karlovci has not been spared. All this violence against conscience and the spirit has brought even greater disgrace to the Croat nation and name…

 “I write this to save my soul and leave it to you (Archbishop Stepinac) to find a way to save your soul.”[12]

 Although some have claimed that Stepinac tried to restrain the murderers, there can be no doubt about his fanatical hatred of Orthodoxy. Thus on March 27 and 28, 1941, he wrote in his diary: “The spirit of Byzantium – that is, of the Eastern Orthodox Church – is something so terrible that only the Omnipotent and Omniscient God could tolerate it… The Croats and the Serbs are from two different worlds, two different poles; without a miracle of God they will never find a common language. The schism of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the greatest curse in Europe, perhaps even worse than Protestantism.”

In 1946 Stepinac was tried by the communist government, found guilty of treason to the State and the murder of Serbs, and imprisoned for five years. On coming out of prison he was awarded a cardinal’s hat by the Vatican, and is now a candidate for canonization!…

Another creation of the Ustashi was the so-called “Croatian Orthodox Church”. On June 8, 1942, the Romanian Patriarch Nicodemus raised ROCOR’s Archbishop Hermogenes (Maximov) to the rank of metropolitan of this uncanonical church, whose main task was to “Croatize” the Serbs. It enjoyed the full support of the Croatian authorities, but was rejected by the Serbian Church and by ROCOR under Metropolitan Anastasy, who banned Hermogenes. However, the Germans did not allow this ban to be published. Moreover, on July 27 the Ecumenical Patriarch, followed by most of the Orthodox Churches in the German orbit, recognized the Croat Church. But believers did not go to it.[13]

Metropolitan Hermogenes was killed by Tito’s partisans in July, 1945.[14][15]

[1] On the day the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, writes M.V. Shkarovsky, “a search was carried out in the residence of Metropolitan Anastasy [in Belgrade]… [and] searches in the chancellery of the Hierarchical Synod and in the flat of the director of the synodal chancellery G. Grabbe… During the search the clerical work of the Synod and many other documents were taken away to Germany for study. In 1945 they were acquired by the Soviet armies and are now in Moscow, in the State archive of the Russian federation…” (Natsistskaia Germania i Pravoslavnaia Tserkov’ (Nazi Germany and the Orthodox Church), Moscow, 2002, p. 193; in Soldatov, op. cit., p. 12). (V.M.)

[2] Averky, Zhizneopisanie Blazhennejshago Mitropolita Anastasia (A Life of his Beatitude Metropolitan Anastasy), in Troitskij Pravoslavnij Russkij Kalendar’ na 1998 g. (Trinity Orthodox Russian Calendar for 1998), Jordanville: Holy Trinity Monastery, pp. x-xi ®.

[3] Monk Benjamin, Letopis’ Tserkovnykh Sobytij (1939-1949) (Chronicle of Church Events (1939-1949)), part 3, http://www.zlatoust.ws/letopis3.htm, p. 20 ®. St. Nicholas was interned in Dachau.

[4] Andrew Shestakov, Serbskaia Tserkov’: kratkij istoricheskij ekskurs (The Serbian Church: a short digression); Monk Benjamin, op. cit., pp. 21-25.

[5] Stella Alexander, Church and State in Yugoslavia since 1945, Cambridge University Press, 1979, chapter 1, 3; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., p. 22.

[6] Monk Gorazd,  "Sviashchenomuchenik  Gorazd"  (Hieromartyr Gorazd),  Pravoslavnaia Rus' (Orthodox Russia), № 12 (1465), June 15/28, 1992 ®.

[7] M.V. Shkarovsky; in Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 3, p. 35.[8] Wertz, "On the Serbian Orthodox Martyrs of the Second World War", Orthodox Life, vol. 33, № 1, January-February, 1983, pp. 15-26.

[9] The Germans knew what was going on. Thus on February 17, 1942 Heindrich, Hitler’s right-hand man in his plan for the destruction of the Jews, wrote to Himmler: “The number of Slavs destroyed by the Croats by the most sadistic methods has reached 300,000… If the Serbs living in Croatia accept Catholicism they are allowed to live without persecution.” (Karlheinz Deschner, With God and Fuhrer, p. 282; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 3, p. 38).

[10] However, more recent scholarship gives generally lower figures for those killed. The Simon Wiesenthal Center calculated that 600,000 Serbs, 30,000 Jews and 29,000 Gipsies were killed (Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 3, p. 21). Mark Almond writes: "Probably about 325,000 Serbs were killed by the Ustasha in the NDH [Independent State of Croatia, which included Bosnia], including about 60,000 at Jasenovac alone. In other words about one in every six Serbs in Pavelic's realm was killed." (Almond, Europe's Backyard War, London: Mandarin, 1994, p. 137. See also Aleksa Djilas, "The Yugoslav Tragedy", Prospect, October, 1995, p. 39). Again, the Serb scholar Bogoljub Kocovic writes that 487,000 Serbs were killed during World War II altogether, as opposed to 207,000 Croats, 86,000 Muslims and 234,000 others; while the Croatian scholar Vladimir Zerjavic gives: 530,000 Serbs, 192,000 Croats, 103,000 Muslims and 202,000 others (Kocovic, Zrtve drugog svetskog rata u Jogoslaviji, London: Libra Books, 1985, pp. 102, 174, 182; Zerjavic, Gubici stanovnistva Jogoslavije u drugom svjetskom ratu, Zagreb: Jugoslavensko Viktimolosko Drustvo, 1989, pp. 61, 82) (S).

[11] "Holy New Martyr Vukashin", Orthodoxy Canada, № 114, May-June, 1986, p. 3.

[12] Quoted from Liudmilla Perepiolkina, Ecumenism – A Path to Perdition, St. Petersburg, 1999, pp. 230-233, and "Stepinac's Hat is Blood-Red", The Christian Century, January 14, 1953, pp. 42-43. See also the article by the Catholic writer Richard West, "The War in Bosnia", Orthodox Christian Witness, September 11/24, 1995.

[13] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 3, pp. 43-44, 44-45; Bishop Gregory Grabbe, Zavet Sviatogo Patriarkha (The Testament of the Holy Patriarch), Moscow, 1996, p. 33 ®.

[14] However, according to another version, he was arrested and condemned together with the Catholic Cardinal Stepinač. But while Stepinač received sixteen years in prison, being released after only two years, Metropolitan Germogen was executed (Ilya Goriachev, in Monk Benjamin, op. cit., vol. 3, pp. 89-90).

[15] Several ROCOR priests were killed by the partisans during the war, such as Fr. Yakovlevsky, who was killed in one of the villages of Pozhevachky region in 1941-42, Fr. D.N. Novoseltsev, who with his wife, daughter and a Cossack worker was killed in the village of Milichintsy, near Valievsk Kamenitsa in 1942-43, Fr. Gregory Volkov, who served in the village of Klenie and was killed in 1944, and Fr. John Voskoboynikov, who was captured on April 5, 1945 near Zagreb in Croatia and disappeared without trace (Holy Trinity Calendar for 1999)..

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Р. Полчанинов

Некоторые люди обычно называют их сербами-мусульманами, а другие авторы предпочитают говорить о славянах-мусульманах. Правы и те, и другие. Поскольку сербы – славяне, а часть из них мусульманского вероисповедания. Правда, в Боснии и Герцеговине встречаются и прямые потомки турок-османов.

Герцеговина была завоевана турками в 1483 г., а Босния в 1528 г. Турецкое население Боснии и Герцеговины регулярно пополнялось торговцами, служащими и помещиками. Все они получали рабов и крепостных из местных христиан.

В Будимском пашалуке – присоединенной части Венгрии, с центром в Будиме, слившимся впоследствии с Пештом в Будапешт, процент турок был намного выше, чем в Боснии и Герцеговине. В Венгрии было мало случаев перехода венгров в мусульманство, в то время как в Боснии и Герцеговине наблюдался массовый переход в ислам.

Часть Венгрии была присоединена к Турции после битвы у Могача в 1526 г., и только по Карловацкому миру 1699 г. Венгрия перешла от турок к Австрии. Туркам пришлось покинуть Венгрию, но большинство из них осело в Боснии, к величайшему неудовольствию славян-мусульман и ославянившихся боснийских турок.

Босния и Герцеговина превратилась не только в приграничную, но и в прифронтовую территорию. Началось спешное укрепление границ, легшее тяжким бременем на христианское население. Кто мог, бежал в Австрию. В Краине австрийцы принимали всех сербов на военную службу, снабжая их землей и оружием. Так у австрийцев вдоль западной границы с Боснией появились сербские поселки казачьего типа. На северной границе Боснии не было военных поселений, но возникли сербские поселки беженцев. Назову два: напротив Босанского Брода – Славонский Брод, а несколько дальше от Босанской Градишки – Нова Градишка.

Хорватия охватывает Боснию и Герцеговину с трех сторон. С юга – Далмация, с запада – собственно Хорватия, а с севера – Славония. Между прочим, во всех трех частях Хорватии местные языки сильно отличаются друг от друга. Ближе всего к языку Боснии и Герцеговины – язык Славонии (прошу не смешивать со Словенией. Теперь это независимое государство на север от Хорватии).

Утверждения хорватов, что им некогда принадлежала Босния и Герцеговина, далеки от истины. Только в годы Второй мировой войны хорватские усташи получили от нацистов право зверствовать в этих двух провинциях. Усташи объявили мусульман хорватами мусульманской веры, и сегодняшние бедствия мусульман уходят корнями в эти злополучные годы.

Боснию славяне начали заселять в VII в. Она в то время вся, или почти вся, принадлежала Византии и в религиозном отношении подчинялась Константинопольскому патриарху. С ослаблением Византии укреплялась власть местных славянских феодалов. Первым известным истории «баном» (правителем) Боснии был Кулин (1180-1204). Я помню, что в учебнике была репродукция документа того времени, написанного не хорватской глаголицей, а кириллицей, но боснийцы тогда не были православными, а еретиками-богумилами, не признававшими ни Рим, ни Константинополь.

Венгрия завоевала Хорватию в 1097 и пыталась завоевать Боснию. Боснийские феодалы периодически признавали верховную власть венгерского короля. В 1241 г. Венгрия подверглась нашествию татар и на некоторое время оставила Боснию в покое. Более крепкие связи у Боснии были с Сербией.

Боснийский король Стефан Твртко в 1376 г. объявил себя королем Сербии, Боснии и Приморья (южнее Дубровника, включая Котар). Когда над сербами нависла угроза турецкого вторжения, Стефан Твртко послал войска на Косово поле в поддержку местного князя Лазаря. Потерпев поражения и потеряв право на титул сербского короля, Стефан Твртко расширил свои владения в Хорватии и Долмации, объявив себя королем Боснии, Хорватии и Далмации.

После смерти Стефана Твртка началась в Боснии и Герцеговине борьба за власть. В 1421 г. королем стал сын Стефана Твртка – Твртко II .

Первое нападение турок на Боснию произошло в 1398 г. В 1435 г. турки взяли город Врхбосна. Защитники были перебиты или взяты в плен и вместе с населением города проданы в рабство. Город был разрушен, а потом турки около него построили нынешнее Сараево.

Все покоренные христиане становились автоматически рабами, а все перешедшие в ислам сохраняли свободу и имущество, становясь полноправными гражданами Турецкой Империи.

Христианские феодалы, признавшие власть султана, становились вассалами, должны были платить большую дань и участвовать со своими войсками на стороне турок в их бесконечных войнах.

После взятия Врхбосны часть боснийских феодалов признала власть султана, стала в 1436 г. его вассалами и согласилась платить ежегодную дань. Другие стали искать защиту у католической Венгрии. Венгрия потребовала, чтобы боснийцы перешли в католичество.

Иисуса Христа богомилы считали духом, являвшимся только иногда в человеческом облике. Они не верили ни в распятие, ни в воскресение, не почитали крест и Божью Матерь. Богомилы не признавали ни католических, ни православных епископов, а боснийские феодалы фактически были и светскими, и духовными владыками.

Стефан Томаш встал во главе прозападных феодалов и в 1450 г. начал гонения на богомилов с помощью хорватских монахов-францисканцев. Не пожелавшие переходить в католичество бежали. Некоторые попали к туркам и должны были принять мусульманство. Стефан Томаш умер в 1461 г., и королем Боснии стал его сын Стефан Томашевич. В 1463 г. турки обманом взяли короля в плен и убили, а венгры присоединили к себе остаток Боснии. Отняв у венгров часть Боснии с городами Яйце и Баня-Лука, турки двинулись на Венгрию.

Силой, обращенные в католичество боснийские богомилы легко приняли религию новых хозяев – ислам.  Турки не были от этого в восторге. Туркам нужны были рабы, а мусульмане получали равные права с завоевателями. В Греции, Болгарии, Сербии, Румынии, Черногории, - т.е. в странах православных, наблюдались только единичные случаи перехода в мусульманство, если не считать насильного отуречивания христианских мальчиков-янычар.

Набор христианских мальчиков в янычары назывался в народе «дань кровью». Достигая крупных должностей в турецком государстве, янычары не забывали тех, кто остался в рабстве. Сербский мальчик-янычар по фамилии Соколович стал крупным турецким государственным деятелем – Мехмед пашей Соколу. Для сербской православной церкви он добился независимости от Константинопольского патриарха, фактически турецкого пленника, который не мог отказать в просьбе турецкому паше. Таким образом, сербская церковь стала независимой, а первым сербским патриархом – его родственник, боснийский серб Макарий (1557 г.)

С потерей независимости исчезла в Боснии и Герцеговине и богомильская ересь. С переходом боснийско-герцеговинской аристократии в мусульманство богомильство потеряло свою опору,  и было вытеснено православным духовенством, отправлявшим богослужения на понятном народу славянском языке.

Большинство насильно крещенных в католичество боснийцев легко перешло в мусульманство. С годами сохранившиеся боснийские и герцеговинские католики стали считать себя хорватами, также как и принявшие католичество сербы и черногорцы. Даже сербы-униаты в Словонии стали, в конце концов, хорватами, хотя хорваты их долгое время не признавали своими.

Со временем понятие «серб» распространилось не только на жителей Сербии, которые называют себя «сербиянцами», но и на черногорцев, и на православных, оставшихся в Боснии и Герцеговине или бежавших от турков в Хорватию (Краина) или Славонию.

Славяне-мусульмане никогда себя турками не считали и к туркам-османам всегда были настроены враждебно. Говорили они по-сербски, писали кириллицей, но сербами себя не считали. Хотя мусульманская религия допускает многоженство, славяне-мусульмане остались верны единобрачию.

Для мусульман-помещиков сербы были – «рая» (рабы), а для мусульман-крестьян – «неверные». До сих пор встречаются деревни, разделенные по религиозному признаку. Назову две таких пары около Баня-Луки -–Православии Челинац и Муслимаиски Челинац, Православии Галиповци и Муслимански Галиповци. Подобные названия не единичны.

Славяне-мусульмане никак себя не могут считать хорватами. Народный язык Словонии мало отличается от боснийского. Язык Далмации понятен, хоть и отличается от боснийско-герцеговинского. Зато язык Хорватии для славян  мусульман трудно понимаем. Вопрос: «что будешь делать»? по-хорватски звучит – «кай буш делал?», а по-сербски или по-боснийско-герцеговински – «шта чеш радити?».

Пока Босния и Герцеговина принадлежали Турции, славяне-мусульмане не задумывались над своим этническим происхождением. Мусульманскую деревню и сегодня волнуют совсем другие проблемы.

Сербско-хорватский язык существует только с 1850 г., когда представители сербов, хорватов и словенцев подписали в Вене так называемый «Литературный договор». Хорватская интеллигенция согласилась считать свой язык, на котором уже была создана научная и художественная литература – диалектом, и перешла на общий сербско-хорватский язык. В 1866 г. на средства хорватского епископа Штросмаера в Загребе была создана Югославянская академия науки и искусства. Этим, казалось, был положен крепкий фундамент под дружбу сербов и хорватов.

Но вот началась Первая мировая война. Сербы были объявлены врагами «нашего императора» – имелся в виду император австрийский, и начались погромы сербских культурных организаций, сербского купечества, массовые аресты. Все это делалось руками тех хорватов и мусульман, которые старались выслужиться перед австро-венграми или свести какие-то свои личные счеты. Пострадали и хорватские, и мусульманские сербофилы. Расстрелянным австрийцами сербам-мусульманам в Сараеве был поставлен памятник, разрушенный в 1941 г. хорватскими усташами.

В 1929-1930-х годах в Боснии и Герцеговине существовала культурная организация сербов-мусульман – «Гайрет». Симпатии большинства мусульманского населения, во всяком случае, в городах, были на стороне «Гайрета», хотя была и подобная же прохорватская организация.

Когда нацисты отдали усташам Боснию и Герцеговину, то они с особым усердием истребляли «гайреташей». Спаслись только те, которые успели уйти в горы.

Новое поколение мусульман росло в ненависти к сербам. Коммунисты, придя к власти в Боснии и Герцеговине, объявили их «мусульманами в этническом смысле» и вручили им руководство республикой. Боснийских сербов, бежавших во время войны в Сербию, мусульмане обратно не пускали. Мусульманское руководство Боснией и Герцеговиной охотно брало «нефтедоллары» от зарубежных исламских фундаменталистов.

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Пастырь является для прихожан церкви примером христианской жизни и поэтому он должен сознавать ответственность, что неполное проведение устава является снисхождением к немощам, а сознательное пренебрежение или нарушение является не только плохим примером, но и грехом, как бы язвой угрожающей всей Церкви. Священник должен читать молитвы с должным благовением, помня о том, что он читает их перед Богом, а его устами в храме говорит Сам Бог.

Большой грех если прихожанин и тем более,  духовное лицо выявляет небрежность  в соблюдении церковных канонов и повиновения высшему церковному правлению, так как каждая частица Церкви – душа и из этих частиц состоит Тело Христово. Согласно правилу Св. Апостолов 39 «пресвитеры и диаконы, без воли Епископа, ничего да не совершают. Ибо ему вверены люди Господни, и он воздаст ответ о душах их», то, будучи на приходах духовенство обязано помнить, что в их лице представлены преемники Апостолов – Архиереи и их обязанность исполнять поручение «идите, научите все народы, крестя их во имя Отца и Сына и Святого Духа. Уча их соблюдать все, что Я повелел вам…» (Мф. 28, 19-20) и, подражая Св. Апостолам они должны быть верны зову своего Учителя,  пребывая «в молитве и служению Слова» (Дея. 6, 4),  помня, что назидание и поучение прихожан «это необходимая обязанность моя, и горе мне, если не благовествую!» (1 Кор. 9, 16).

Святые Отцы Церкви видели свое служение не только в совершении Св. Таинств, но и в духовном руководстве пасомых и их научении «Епископ или пресвитер, - говорится в церковном правиле, - нерадящий о причте и о людях и не учащий их благочестию, да будет отлучен. Аще же останется в сем нерадении и лености, да будет извержен» (Пр. Св. Ап. 58). Это касается также и Предстоятелей Церкви: Патриарха, Митрополита или Архиепископа: «Предстоятели Церкви должны по вся дни, наипаче же во дни воскресные, научати весь клир и народ словесем благочестия…» (19 Пр. 6 Всел. Соб.).

Св. Иоанн Златоуст называет проповедь пастырей «служением» без которого верующие обречены на положение «обуреваемых кораблей». Поэтому проповедь в храме вошла в состав богослужения, но и вне церкви пастыри обязаны неустанно заботиться о проповедании Слова Господня,  подавая людям пример христианской жизни. 

К сожалению, с подготовкой части РПЦЗ к  объединению с МП, о чем некоторые  Архиереи, духовенство и верующие выражают опасения в связи с нарушением патриархией канонов и православного учения.  Эти нарушения в прошлом были даже осуждены и анафематствованы РПЦЗ.

Некоторые  Епископы  и духовенство вносят своими неопределенными действиями  и высказываниями о том, что они собираются предпринимать в случае подписания «акта» создавая подрыв авторитета среди верующих, беспокойство,  и недоверие, как к себе, так Синоду и Первоиерарху.

Среди верующих распространяются слухи о том, что Архиерей будто бы дал благословение на создание при приходах братств,  для борьбы против унии, что некоторые Архиереи, возглавят тех, кто не согласится на унию, а некоторые из священников говорят что они, будучи в составе патриархии не будут поминать патриарха.

Такие высказывания не серьезны и не каноничны. При хиротонии Архиереи приносят обещание подчиняться Архиерейскому Синоду, а священники согласно канонам должны во всем подчиняться своим Архиереям.

Поминать и молиться о Первоиерархе, Епархиальном Архиерее и настоятеле церкви является обязанностью всего духовенства и верующих. Некоторые молитвы и поминания во время богослужений произносятся  громко, но как есть такие молитвы,  которые читаются духовенством тайно, «этой тайны требует от служителей алтаря самое содержание этих молитв, высокое и таинственное, - и справедливое опасение, что чтению их во всеуслышание не все из предстоящих могли бы внимать с надлежащим благоговением, а другие, пожалуй, запомнив слышанное, сделали бы их того легкомысленное употребление вне храма». «Помимо того, некоторые молитвы потому тайно читаются священником, что в них он молится об одном себе» (Настольная книга для Священнослужителей). Тайные молитвы на литургии читаются по Великом Входе и при 1-м антифоне.

Владыка Аверкий (Таушев) учил семинаристов, что они, ставши духовными лицами должны почитать своих Архиереев как отцов, молится об их здоровье и благосклонности и любви к ним. Особенно Авва высказывался об обязанности молиться, о Первосвятителе РПЦЗ, дабы он был не только здоров, но и защищен от всего, что может быть вредно Церкви. Много раз он сокрушался о том, что Владыка Митрополит Филарет плохо себя чувствует,  и поэтому,  ему будет трудно присутствовать на заседаниях Синода,  обращаясь ко всем нам молиться о Первоиерархе.

Как нам всем известно, наш враг, искуситель вносит в среду сынов Божиих, наполняя злодеяниями (Быт. 6, 11), распространением лжи и недоверия к священнослужителям. О борьбе против зла предупреждал Спаситель, сказавши «не думайте, что Я пришел принести мир на землю; не мир пришел Я принести, но меч» (Мф. 10, 34). Мы православные христиане являемся как бы воинами Христа, с обязанностью бороться против всего злого, защищая свои души от соблазнов, в первую очередь материализма «что пользы человеку приобресть весь мир, а себя самого погубить» (Лук. 9, 25).

Поскольку многие из духовных лиц и верующих убеждены в том, что МП нарушила канонические правила, и ввела в патриархию еретическое влияние и, ставши частью ее,  Зарубежная Церковь утеряет чистоту веры и каноническое наследие, то самым правильным для духовенства не согласных на унию было бы,  попросить от своих Архиереев для себя отпускные грамоты, перейдя под омофор остающихся верными Церкви Архиереям, которые с Божьей помощью будут продолжать, служение РПЦЗ начатое Блаженнейшим Митрополитом Антонием. Не будучи административно подчиненными МП у них будет возможность поминать патриарха и его митрополитбюро как ушедших от истинной веры и молить Бога о том, чтобы они вернулись в Истинную Православную Церковь.

В Священном Писании много раз говорится о силе молитвы.  Обязанность духовенства молиться о своих Архиереях и Первоиерархе, иначе они, не делая этого, вносят соблазн в среду верующих, которые могут посчитать также  для себя необязательным исполнять наложенную на них священником епитимью или следовать их назиданию.

Сейчас время забыть,  в особенности во время Великого Поста о зле, очистить свое сердце,  как наставлял Владыка Митрополит Виталий, и примириться с Богом, для спасения души и жизни вечной, дарованные нам Спасителем чрез Его Крестные Страдания. Мы все должны успокоиться, забыв земное,  устремив взоры к небу, и когда мы придем в храмах к гробу Спасителю нашему, Господу Иисусу Христу, у Его Святой Плащаницы просить у Него причислить нас к истинным друзьям Христовым. Мы можем быть уверены в том, что Господь Спаситель наш «изъязвленный за грехи наши и замученный за беззакония наши (Исаи. 53, 5), примет от нас наше искреннее поклонение и молитвы и тогда начнется очищение наших душ и сердец от всего ненужного для спасения. Но можем ли мы просить Спасителя посчитать себя Его искренними друзьями? Вспомним, кого Сам Господь в прощальной беседе со Своими Учениками назвал друзьями: «Вы друзья Мои, если исполняете то, что Я заповедую вам» (Иоан. 15, 14). Спаситель, говорил о будущей жизни, сделавши всех,  кто последует за Ним Своими друзьями, открывая сущность Своего спасительного дела, возвещая волю Своего Отца, вводя в тайны Царствия Божия, призывая следовать Его Учению о Любви. «Я уже не называю вас рабами, - говорил Господь, - раб не знает, что делает господин его; но Я назвал вас друзьями, потому что сказал вам всё, что слышал от Отца Моего» (Иоан. 15, 15) и потому «Кто хочет идти за Мной, отвергнись себя и возьми крест свой и следуй за Мной». (Мрк. 8, 34)

Очистим же у Гроба Господня наши грешные души, не постыдимся нашим слезам,  обращаясь к Нему с молитвой.  И будем поминать, и молиться за тех пастырей, которые, оставаясь в Истинно Православной Церкви, будут вести нас  в Царство Небесное.

Ваш во Христе

  Г.М. Солдатов



ВЕРНОСТЬ (FIDELITY)  Церковно-общественное издание    

   “Общества Ревнителей Памяти Блаженнейшего Митрополита Антония (Храповицкого)”.

      Председатель “Общества” и главный редактор: проф. Г.М. Солдатов

      President of The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) Memorial Society and  Editor in-Chief: Prof. G.M. Soldatow

     Сноситься с редакцией можно по е-почте:  GeorgeSoldatow@Yahoo.com  или 

      The Metropolitan Anthony Society,  3217-32nd Ave. NE, St. Anthony Village,  MN 55418, USA

      Secretary/Treasurer: Mr. Valentin  Wladimirovich Scheglovski, P.O. BOX 27658, Golden Valley, MN 55427-0658, USA

      Список членов Правления Общества и Представителей находится на главной странице под: Contact

      To see the Board of Directors and Representatives of the Society , go to www.metanthonymemorial.org and click on  Contact

      Please send your membership application to: Просьба посылать заявления о вступлении в Общество:  

      Treasurer/ Казначей: Mr. Valentin  Wladimirovich Scheglovski, P.O. BOX 27658, Golden Valley, MN 55427-0658, USA

      При перепечатке ссылка на “Верность” ОБЯЗАТЕЛЬНА © FIDELITY    

     Пожалуйста, присылайте ваши материалы. Не принятые к печати материалы не возвращаются. 

 Нам необходимо найти людей желающих делать для Верности переводы  с русского  на  английский,  испанский, французский,  немецкий   и  португальский  языки.  

Мнения авторов не обязательно выражают мнение редакции.   Редакция оставляет за собой право  редактировать, сокращать публикуемые материалы.   Мы нуждаемся в вашей духовной и финансовой  поддержке.     

Any view, claim, or opinion contained in an article are those of its author and do not necessarily represent those of the Blessed Metr. Anthony Memorial Society or the editorial board of its publication, “Fidelity.”



По-прежнему ведет свою деятельность и продолжает издавать электронный вестник «Верность» исключительно за счет членских взносов и пожертвований единомышленников по борьбе против присоединения РПЦЗ к псевдоцеркви--Московской Патриархии. Мы обращаемся кo всем сочувствующим с предложением записаться в члены «Общества» или сделать пожертвование, а уже ставшим членам «Общества» напоминаем o возобновлении своих членских взносов за  2006 год. 

Секретарь-казначей «Общества»   В.В. Щегловский

The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony Society published in the past, and will continue to publish the reasons why we can not accept at the present time a "unia" with the MP. Other publications are doing the same, for example the Russian language newspaper "Nasha Strana" www.nashastrana.info (N.L. Kasanzew, Ed.)  and on the Internet "Sapadno-Evropeyskyy Viestnik" www.karlovtchanin.com  ( Rev.Protodeacon Dr. Herman-Ivanoff Trinadtzaty, Ed.). There is a considerably large group of supporters against a union with the MP; and our Society  has representatives in many countries around the world including the RF and the Ukraine. We are grateful for the correspondence and donations from many people that arrive daily.  With this support, we can continue to demand that the Church leadership follow  the Holy Canons and Teachings of the Orthodox Church. 







     Желаю вступить в члены общества. Мой годовой членский взнос в размере $ 25

с семьи прилагаю. Учащиеся платят $ 10. Сумма членского взноса относится только к жителям США, Канады и Австралии, остальные платят сколько могут.

  (Более крупные суммы на почтовые, типографские и другие расходы принимаются с благодарностью.)

     I wish to join the Society and am enclosing the annual membership dues in the amount of $25 per family. Students  

       pay $ 10. The amount of annual dues is only for those in US, Canada and Australia. Others pay as much as they can afford.

(Larger amounts for postage, typographical and other expenses will be greatly appreciated)


ИМЯ  - ОТЧЕСТВО - ФАМИЛИЯ _______________________________________________________________

NAME—PATRONYMIC (if any)—LAST NAME  _______________________________________________________

   АДРЕС И ТЕЛЕФОН:___________________________________________________________________________

   ADDRESS & TELEPHONE  ____________________________________________________________________________

Если Вы прихожан/ин/ка РПЦЗ или просто посещаете там церковь, то согласны ли Вы быть Представителем Общества в Вашем приходе? В таком случае, пожалуйста укажите ниже название и место прихода.


If you are a parishioner of ROCA/ROCOR or just attend church there, would you agree to become a Representative of the Society in your parish? In that case, please give the name and the location of the parish:


   ПОЖАЛУЙСТА ВЫПИШИТЕ ЧЕК НА:                                  Mr. Valentin W. Scheglowski

   С ПОМЕТКОЙ:                                                                                           “FOR TBMAMS”

  И ПОШЛИТЕ ПО СЛЕДУЮЩЕМУ АДРЕСУ:                                        P.O. BOX 27658

  CHK WITH NOTATION:                                            Golden Valley, MN 55427-0658, USA


_________________________________________________________________________                __________


Если Вы знаете кого-то, кто бы пожелал вступить в наши члены, пожалуйста сообщите ему/ей наш адрес и условия вступления.

If you know someone who would be interested in joining our Society, please let him/her know our address and conditions of  membership. You must be Eastern Orthodox to join.