Apocalyptic visions about Chernobyl

KIEV -- The apocalyptic visions begin just inside the doors of the Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum and many of them lead straight into the Book of Revelation.The final pages of Christian scripture are full of angels, trumpets, flames, thunder, lighting, earthquakes and catastrophes that shake heaven and earth.In this museum, the key is in the eighth chapter: "And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy in an American elevator

There is nothing unusual about a priest who is dressed in clerical garb having a stranger ask him a religious question during a long airline flight."You ask a guy where he's from and what he does and then he asks you the same thing. Many people just want to talk," explained Father John David Finley, a missionary priest in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.The man in the next seat recently asked the priest a question he has heard many times: "What is Orthodox … [Read more...]

Orthodox bridge to evangelical world

As point man for Russian Orthodox relations with other faith groups, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev is used to talking shop with Catholics, Anglicans, leaders in older brands of Protestantism and other world religions.These duties have long been part of his job description. Meeting with leaders from the world's booming evangelical and Pentecostal flocks?Not so much.However, recent ecumenical contacts by this high-profile representative of the Moscow Patriarchate is evidence that times are … [Read more...]

Real, live, postmodern preacher

The Rev. Gordon Atkinson had few specific goals when he started planning his 13-week sabbatical from his duties at Covenant Baptist Church near San Antonio."I knew that I didn't want to be in charge of anything," said Atkinson, long known as the "Real, Live, Preacher" to those who read his intensely personal online journal (reallivepreacher.com)."Preachers talk and talk and I wanted to get away from that. I didn't want to be a worship tourist, but I thought it would be refreshing to worship … [Read more...]

Walking in St. Tikhon’s footsteps

It didn't take long for controversy to spread about the photograph taken after the consecration rites in 1900 for a new bishop in Wisconsin.Low-church Episcopalians called it the "Fond du Lac Circus" because of all the ornate vestments. Not only was Bishop Charles Chapman Grafton, who presided, wearing a cope and mitre, but so were the other bishops. Then there were was the exotic visitor on the edge of the photograph -- Bishop Tikhon of the Russian Orthodox Church.Imagine the outrage if … [Read more...]

Religion ghosts in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- Merely saying the forest's name -- Bykivnya -- can cause strong emotions for millions of Ukrainians.This is where the secret police of Soviet strongman Joseph Stalin buried 100,000 of their victims between 1937 and 1941 in a mass grave northeast of Kiev. President Victor Yushchenko did not mince words during his recent speech there, on Ukraine's Day of Remembrance for Victims of Political Repression."Here, at Bykivnya, Stalin and his monstrous hangmen killed the bloom of … [Read more...]

The monster was not hiding in church

For a dozen years, they hunted Europe's most notorious war criminal.Investigators knew exactly where they thought they would find former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, the man accused of masterminding the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.After his July 21 arrest, most media reports echoed vague statements in The New York Times in which unidentified voices said Karadzic "eluded arrest so long by shaving his swoopy gray hair and disguising himself as a Serbian … [Read more...]

Beyond Easter candy bargains

If there's one thing other Christians know about the ancient churches of the East it is that Orthodox believers usually get to buy their Easter candy at closeout prices.This year, the gap between the two Easter dates was so large -- five weeks -- that the leftover chocolate eggs had been cleaned out by April 27 and the great Orthodox feast called Pascha (Greek for "Passover")."It's true that when the Easters are not together, we don't have to deal with the whole Hallmark Card, Easter bunny side … [Read more...]


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