Orthodox Churches in Decline, Except in Ethiopia

Blake2

Robin
I've always been interested in Ethiopia and their culture. It seems like they have maintained their ancient faith and traditions better. Is anyone aware of some good books or documentaries on the topic of Ethiopian religion and culture?

Article from L'Espresso:

Orthodox Churches in Decline, Except in Ethiopia. A Survey

"Of the 260 million Orthodox Christians all over the world, fully 100 million live in Russia. But only 15 percent of them maintain that religion is “very important” in their lives.

These are some of the most conflicting data from the major survey that the Pew Research Center in Washington has published on Christians of the Orthodox faith:

> Orthodox Christianity in the 21st Century

With respect to Catholicism and Protestantism, which over the past century have expanded from Europe to the other continents and above all in Latin America and Africa where they now count the bulk of their faithful, Orthodox Christianity has remained concentrated with more than three fourths of its members in Europe, with the only big exception being none other than Ethiopia.

An exception that is not only geographical.

In Russia and in all the other countries with a predominantly Orthodox population, in fact, religious practice everywhere is very low, in spite of the fact that almost all of the faithful keep sacred icons in their homes.

In Russia, only 6 percent of the Orthodox go to church once a week, in Ukraine 12 percent, in Romania 21 percent, the European record.

But if one looks at Ethiopia, weekly church attendance characterizes 78 percent of the faithful.

In Ethiopia, the Orthodox faith has a particular profile. It accepted only the first three ecumenical councils, before that of Chalcedon in 451, like the Orthodox communities of Egypt, Syria, Armenia, India. But it is also distinguished by its Jewish features. It observes the sabbath rest, circumcises boys, and follows the dietary rules of the Jews. It recounts that three thousand years ago its emperor Menelik I, son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, brought the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia, where it is still venerated.

With respect to the Orthodox faithful of Europe, Ethiopia also distinguishes itself by its levels of certainty of faith in God. While in Russia only 26 percent of the Orthodox say they are certain of his existence, in Ethiopia the level rises to 89 percent.

The observance of fasting during Lent and on other days also registers a divergence. While in Russia this is practiced by 27 percent of the faithful, in Ethiopia it is 87 percent.

And then, in Russia 60 percent of the Orthodox believe in heaven and hell. In Ethiopia, 97 percent.

On the other hand, while in Russia 61 percent of the Orthodox believe in the evil eye, in Ethiopia it is much lower: 35 percent.

Circumscribing the survey to European Orthodoxy alone, the Pew Research Center has also ascertained that the inclination toward an ecumenical reconciliation with the Catholic Church is rather limited.

In Russia, 17 percent say they are in favor, 41 percent against, and another 41 percent did not respond. 32 percent are in any case in favor of Pope Francis’s efforts toward improving relations between the two Churches.

But to the request to indicate who is the highest authority of the Orthodox Church, capable of negotiating with the pope of Rome, the responses are divided.

In Russia 69 percent of the Orthodox point to Moscow patriarch Kirill, and only 4 percent to ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, who theoretically would be the “primus inter pares” of all Orthodoxy and is the one who for decades has maintained the most friendly relations with the papacy.

Also in Ukraine, in Romania, in Serbia, in Bulgaria, in Georgia the selection goes to the respective patriarchs, and not to that of Constantinople.

The only country in which Bartholomew obtains a narrow majority is Greece, with 56 percent of the selections.

But apart from Greece, in no other Orthodox country does the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople exceed 10 percent of the votes."

Link:
http://magister.blogautore.espresso...rches-in-decline-except-in-ethiopia-a-survey/
 

Dr Mantis Toboggan

Woodpecker
Gold Member
There's an Ethiopian Orthodox church a mile or two from my house and 2-3 Ethiopian restaurants in the area, always thought that was interesting as the city I live in (Charlotte) doesn't seem to have a big Ethiopian population as far as I can tell but I guess however many we do have are clustered in my neighborhood.
 
I would not put any faith in the statistics from the article. For example, way more people in Russia believe in heaven and hell than believe in God? I suspect the survey had a pretty small sample size.

However, I'd be willing to bet they're right about the health of the Ethiopian Church being much healtheir any European Churches. I mean, think of the vast difference between the Anglican Churches in Africa and the Anglican Churches in Western Europe. Africa seems to breed more devout Christians than the first world does.

In regards to the supposed decline of Orthodoxy...
Orthodoxy is experiencing a tremendous revival in Russia, as evidenced by the 6% of the population who now attend church weekly. Since the fall of communism, an average of 3 churches a day -every single day- have opened in Russia. As well as hundreds of monasteries. The Russian Orthodox Church was almost nonexistent by the time the Soviets were through - it is growing fast. They have a record high number of men preparing for priesthood in seminary as well.

Orthodoxy is also one of the fastest growing religions in the US, percentage-wise. 1 in 4 Orthodox Christians in the US right now are converts. We're one of the only Christian groups that's slowly growing, as opposed to slowly shrinking.

Of course, one can never really trust statistics. But the reporter saying we're in decline is just being sensationalist.
 

uncledick

Woodpecker
Horn of Africa women are the hottest african women, its hard fact. Since Somalis are out of the question (duh Islam), maybe ethiopia is the place to find a godly girl.. so a good plan B if EEurope doesnt work out for me. Knowing Canadian immigration "preferences" it will be easier bringing a girl over from africa than ukraine!
 
The Constantinople Patriarchy is a complete joke. It has been a complete joke ever since the Turks conquered it in 1454 AD.

Besides being subordinate to Turkish political authorities for nearly around 570 years, it's effectively also subordinate to NATO (since Turkey is subordinate to them), the USA and everyone can guess who else. I've been informed by Greeks that the current Constantinople Patriarch, Bartholomew I, is effectively an ethnic Turk or a cryptic Turk trying to excercise religious authority over Greeks.

Besides trying to subordinate the Greeks, the current Patriarch has been obsessed with pushing disunity among Orthodox Christians with the issue of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church separating from Russia, and he's been aggressively pushing for Ecunemicalism and Uniatehood.

There is a very good reason why most other Orthodox Christians consider the Russian Patriarch Kirill to be the real moral authority in the Eastern Orthodox world. Everyone who subscribes to the Constantinople Patriarch like the Ukranians do is a fake and gay Orthodox Christian.

As for the Ethiopians, they are technically not Eastern Orthodox Christians. They are actually Copts. They are much more similar in their religious outlook to Armenians than to Russians. Still, Ethiopia is much more traditional and devoted to its religion partly because of a different history to Russians and East Europeans, but also because it's simply an underdeveloped and historically geographically isolated African country which still has high birth rates and lacks access to modern technology.
 
Emperor Constantine said:
I would not put any faith in the statistics from the article. For example, way more people in Russia believe in heaven and hell than believe in God? I suspect the survey had a pretty small sample size.

However, I'd be willing to bet they're right about the health of the Ethiopian Church being much healtheir any European Churches. I mean, think of the vast difference between the Anglican Churches in Africa and the Anglican Churches in Western Europe. Africa seems to breed more devout Christians than the first world does.

In regards to the supposed decline of Orthodoxy...
Orthodoxy is experiencing a tremendous revival in Russia, as evidenced by the 6% of the population who now attend church weekly. Since the fall of communism, an average of 3 churches a day -every single day- have opened in Russia. As well as hundreds of monasteries. The Russian Orthodox Church was almost nonexistent by the time the Soviets were through - it is growing fast. They have a record high number of men preparing for priesthood in seminary as well.

Orthodoxy is also one of the fastest growing religions in the US, percentage-wise. 1 in 4 Orthodox Christians in the US right now are converts. We're one of the only Christian groups that's slowly growing, as opposed to slowly shrinking.

Of course, one can never really trust statistics. But the reporter saying we're in decline is just being sensationalist.
:bullshit:
 

Blake2

Robin
KnjazMihailo said:
Ethiopia is much more traditional and devoted to its religion

KnjazMihailo said:
it's simply an underdeveloped and historically geographically isolated African country which still has high birth rates and lacks access to modern technology.
Yes, exactly.


"Ethiopian modernity is a controversial area. Even more controversial is the balance between Ethiopian and so-called Western civilization. This is an easier-said-than done thing, which leads to polarized debates. On the one hand, there are those who celebrate modernity. On the other there are those who revile it. Ethiopia has been modern. But, it has never been fully modern. It has been ambiguously modern."

https://www.ethiopia-insight.com/2019/06/19/the-bastardization-of-ethiopias-modernity/
 
Once the mental issues of Communism are removed and the Orthodox church continues on its march to power in Russia, we will see what happens. I am enthusiastic that Russia will be able to fight off western degradation and continue to achieve Christian political goals (banning abortion, sodomy laws, etc)
 
Unfortunately, Russia has one of the highest rates of abortion in the world. There doesn't seem to be much, if any, correlation between legality and frequency of any given act.
 
Unfortunately, Russia has one of the highest rates of abortion in the world. There doesn't seem to be much, if any, correlation between legality and frequency of any given act.
Big fan of your channel,

Yea Michael I agree with you, I think the rates are lowering. Russia (including the church and government) needs a sort of strike hard campaign of their own over cultural degradation. I think that in the long run the church can help to stop those abortions and those foolish women.

 

DanielH

Pigeon
Question to the knowledgeable: is the Orthodox Church in Russia subverted in some ways?
Pretty much every institution is subverted in some way, the Russian church probably isn't *very* subverted now, they say a lot of things that would get you canceled in America. They were compromised during the Soviet regime, not so much that there were communist Bishops, but that they had to play along with the Soviet government so that them and their flocks wouldn't get wiped out.
 

Enigma

Hummingbird
Gold Member
The "decline" shown in the Pew survey cited in that article is in terms of the percentage of total Christians, not real numbers. In fact, the first paragraph says that Orthodox Christians more than doubled.


More importantly, the numbers are from 1910 to 2010.

During that period, you have 70 years of Soviet rule over most of the Eastern Orthodox world, with tens of millions slaughtered, thousands of churches and monasteries destroyed or closed, and most religious literature forbidden.

There are also multiple Balkan Wars, two World Wars, and the Yugolsav Wars which ravaged Eastern Europe.

And since those stats include Coptic and Oriental Orthodox, there's also the Armenian Genocide, millions dead to famine in Ethiopia, and the sustained destabilization of Christian communities all over the Middle East, including places like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, etc.

Not only were a staggering number of Orthodox killed during this period, there was little possibility of sending missions and churches abroad. If you look at the increase in Protestant and Catholics, it was pretty much entirely outside of North American and Europe, mostly in Africa and Latin America. To the point that the majority of Protestants/Catholics now live outside of the US/Canada and Europe.

Finally, it just doesn't make a lot of sense to claim a church is in "decline" in 2017, based on numbers that ended in 2010. Especially when, in the same year, the resurgence of Orthodoxy in Russia was being reported by other mainstream outlets.

Today, it's quite obvious that many people are now either returning to or converting to Orthodoxy.
 

NoMoreTO

Pelican
Most Churches are in decline. But we don't count the number of parishioners or people who will describe themselves as Christians in a government survey as the faithful. At least I don't.

Even if there is a surge in the faithful, the demographics will show the opposite at least in the short term. There are a lot of older people going to Church out of habit, and a feeling of obligation that younger generations do not share.

I have met ethiopians and they do come across as very proud to be Christian, it might be a result of being so surrounded by Muslim invaders, now even in their own country.
 
Jay Dyer and Dean Arnold had a good discussion here about Ethiopia and the church there.

Also, Dean Arnold wrote a book called "Unknown Empire: The True Story of Mysterious Ethiopia and the Future Ark of Civilization"
 
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