“The Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative continues to be an inspiring and unique ecumenical dialogue” say joint report authors Dr James Stamoolis and Fr Eric Tosi. They go on to say, “the impact is on a personal level; person to person, community to community, two different Christian traditions reconciling with each other after years of mistrust and misunderstanding. It is on this level that common ground can be discovered and conflicts can be resolved; each acknowledging their genuine differences but each also acknowledging their common faith in Christ.”
The full consultation report was published this week and may be downloaded here:
Relationships between Evangelicals and Orthodox engaged in mission have not always been positive, but the Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative is working towards increased mutual understanding and a healing of wounds, in order to collaborate more effectively in God’s mission. Sixty senior church and mission leaders, ecumenists and theologians from many parts of the world came together for the initiative’s second consultation. Gathering from 15-19 September at the Orthodox monastery of St Vlash in Albania, and hosted by His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios and the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, the consultation was chaired by Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Mrs Grace Mathews of the Lausanne Movement. Continue reading “Orthodox and Evangelicals Engaged in Missional Dialogue – Communique of 2014 LOI Meeting”
If you have seen the documentary I posted yesterday, you may also be interested in the trailer of this movie on the rescue of Jews by Albanians.
BESA: The Promise weaves Albania’s heroism in WWII through the vérité journeys of two men.
One is Norman Gershman, a renowned American photographer determined to document first-person accounts of the Albanians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.
The other is Rexhep Hoxha, an Albanian shopkeeper. Rexhep must fulfill the promise made to a Jewish family his Muslim father rescued during the Holocaust and return to them a set of Hebrew books they left behind.
And Rexhep’s promise is more than words — it’s part of his besa — an honor code that, among other things, pledges all Albanians to offer safe harbor to refugees. Continue reading “Besa: The Promise”
A documentary film about the Jewish rescue in Albania during World War II. A story told by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, who speak about the nobility of the Albanian people who put their own lives in danger in order to save those of their visitors. A touchy recollection of events and ordeals that Albanians and Jews went through before, during and after WWII. Produced by INIT.
The first consultation of the Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative
At the gracious invitation of His Beatitude Archbishop Dr Anastasios Yannoulatos of Albania 46 Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and Evangelical leaders, from 20 different countries, gathered at St. Vlash Monastery in Albania from 2 to 6 September 2013 for the first international consultation of the Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative. Continue reading “Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative Communique”
The results of the 2011 Census regarding the Orthodox Christians in Albania are totally incorrect and unacceptable.
1. The latest official report of INSTAT, regarding the religious identity of the population, from the 2011 Census declares that Orthodox Christians in Albania are 6.75%. Without doubt, this is an obvious error or more accurately an intentional lie. The entire methodology for registration of religious affiliation is not consistent with basic objective approaches used throughout Europe. This is offensive not only to Orthodox Christians, who have been recognized from the beginning of the Albanian state as the largest Christian community, but all Christians whose numbers are drastically reduced from 31% to 17%. As a result, the whole picture of the Religious Communities in Albania is obscured.
Our proposal was that the question regarding religion would be required, like all other questions, to be clear and exact, in order to reach a correct result. We proposed that the question read as follows: Continue reading “Declaration of the Orthodox Church in Albania on the Results of the 2011 Census”
I am finally home, after two weeks on the road, in Arusha, Tanzania and Tirana, Albania. But not for long. Next Saturday I hit the road again, this time for Barcelona, Spain and Osijek, Croatia.
You may hear from me on this blog, today and in the coming days, after which I will again be less present.
I continue to be disconnected from Facebook for this lent period. However, since these posts are showed automatically on Facebook, I use this opportunity to greet my Facebook friends and to wish them a spiritually refreshing Lent period.
I was not able to write at all on this blog during the last ten days, as I have traveled with my team in Israel, Palestine and Jordan.
We have started with a three days pilgrimage at certain holy sites in Israel and Palestine, facilitated by my old friend (and my first boss in World Vision) Philip Hunt, and with the great support of S.N., my favourite guide in the (not so) holy land. Continue reading “Back and on my way again”
I want to share with you a piece of the history of Albania and how I have experienced the period of communism and post- communism.
In 1944 after the end of World War II the communist party gained the control of the country. From 1944 to 1990 Communist atheism became rooted in Albania. The regime tolerated no rival. They saw (viewed) religion as a threat and ordered miserable persecution toward all religions. For the first 23 years, this persecution followed the same course as similar persecutions in Russia and other Balkan states. The public activities of clergy in churches and mosques were restricted. Albania’s religious seminaries were closed. Many people of every religious community were sent to prisons where torture was a common feature and the death rate was high. Many others were exiled to labor camps or to remote villages where they lived as outcasts in virtual slavery. Rarely was a single person punished. The entire family would have to share the same fate.
În luna octobbrie voi susţine în Albania un seminar pe tema unei perspective creştine asupra comunismului şi postcomunismului, pentru o întâlnire a Alianţei Evanghelice Albaneze, VUSH. În noiembrie voi face acelaşi lucru pentru un grup de lideri creştini din Kosova.
După masa de dimineaţă ne-a deplasat, împreună cu ceilalţi membri ai grupului nostru, la sediul World Vision United States (WV US), unde aveau să aibă loc întâlnirile pentru care ne aflam acolo (aveţi mai sus o imagine a sediului WV US, care este altceva decât World Vision International, organizaţia umbrelă din care WV US face parte, alături de alte organizaţii asemănătoare din aproape o sută de ţări). Continue reading “Seattle – 2 – World Vision US”