What all Christians can learn from one brave priest

Amid ongoing economic and political unrest, Greek riot police have hit the streets to deal with violent anti-austerity protests. From those struggles comes a moving picture shared by Abbot Tryphon of All Merciful Savior Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington.

Priest intervenes with between police and rioter
Priest intervenes with between police and rioter

An Orthodox priest scurries between the police and a protestor armed with a bottle. It could just be glass, but it looks like an unlit Molotov cocktail. I’ve seen similar shots of police moving across ground streaked with fire. Whatever the level of danger, the priest interjects himself, puts himself in harm’s way to prevent harm befalling both the police and the protestor.

“This photo moved me deeply,” wrote Abbot Tryphon. “Too often we pass right on by, ignoring assaults on others. I’m not suggesting you always place your own life on the mark, but if our intervention can deescalate a bad situation, it is our duty to step in. Christ did so when the crowd threatened to stone the woman caught in adultery. As Christians we are called upon to do the same.”

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