Orthodox Christianity in the 21st Century
The last of our series about the spread of Christianity throughout the ages will reflect upon: how Orthodox Christianity came to Australia; and, on certain individuals preaching and spreading the word of God today throughout the world.
In the great commission (Matthew 28:19), our Lord Jesus Christ commands the disciples to “make disciples of all nations”, “baptising them”, and “teaching them” the commandments of God. This commandment applies to all Christians, in every nation, in the past, present and future.
Orthodoxy’s arrival in Australia
The Orthodox Faith spread to our homeland Australia through mass migration from Europe, as people fled severe poverty, hardship and world wars. It began in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Fr Roman Braga, a Romanian Orthodox Priest who was imprisoned and tortured for 11 years in Romania during the Communist regime, says this was all part of God’s plan to bring Orthodoxy to America, and by extension to Australia. In a 1995 talk at Franklin, Tennessee, USA Fr Braga said:
“The Greek people in America (and for us, Australia) think they came … to make money to go back … Sure, maybe they thought this way, but God had another plan … God is moving the historical events.”
Spreading God’s word to all nations
Today, we are blessed with new apostles and missionaries in countries where Orthodox Christianity is unknown or being rediscovered. Some of the many include: Archbishop Anastasios in Albania; Fr Themistocles Adamopoulos in Sierra Leone; Former Metropolitan of New Zealand Amphilochios and Archimandrite Meletios in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga; Fr Chrysostomos Manalu in Medan, Indonesia; Fr Savvas Marcelino in East Timor; and, Archbishop Makarios of Kenya.
May we keep them in our prayers.
A search of various websites will provide information on current Orthodox missionary work throughout the Pacific, Asia, and Africa.
Source: Lychnos April-May 2020