RUSSIAN CHURCH SOUNDS ALARM OVER AMOUNT OF ACTIVITY OF SECTS IN FAR EAST
Interfax-Religiia, 23 June 2017
The Russian Orthodox Church is concerned about the level of activity of sects in the Far East of Russia.
"The number of registered sectarian organizations in the Far East exceeds the number of Orthodox organizations," declared a vicar of Patriarch Kirill, Bishop Panteleimon, at an international conference in Moscow.
He pointed to the low percentage of churched people on the whole throughout Russia, explaining this to a great extent by a shortage of priests. As an example, the bishop cited Moscow, where there are more than 8,000 Orthodox believers per single priest.
The notorious sect-scholar Alexander Dvorkin reported to the audience that sect-fighters today are faced both with opposition of many secular religious studies specialists, who actually defend an atheist view of the study of religions, and with misunderstanding of some Orthodox believers.
Participants of the meeting came to agreement on the necessity of creation of a general educational curriculum in sect-studies for people who already have at least a bachelor's degree in theology. The curriculum should be created in two languages—Greek and Russian. The St. Tikhon's Orthodox Humanities University, where the conference was held, will take responsibility for the education of a Russian-speaking audience, and Greek-speakers will study on Cyprus.
It was proposed that the study in missionary courses with a specialty in sect-studies will take two years and the teaching will be conducted by an international professional staff, including representatives of all Orthodox churches. (tr. by PDS, posted 24 June 2017)
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