“O Lord, Make the Evil Be Good” A Christian Response To Terrorism

“O Lord, Make the Evil Be Good” A Christian Response To Terrorism


Following the deadly series of terrorist attacks that struck Brussels on Tuesday, and in light of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Boston Marathon, and others, how do we explain these events to our young children?  The Hub has put together a discussion guide for youth (middle school and high school), young adults, and families to discuss and reflect on the Orthodox Christian response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the United States. It was developed with the assistance of committed Orthodox clergy and laity from throughout the Orthodox Church in America who understand the importance for all people to discuss these terrible events in the light of Christ and His Church so that our Heavenly Father may make something good of these terrible events.

In this guide:

Using this Guide

Useful Texts

Typical Questions

Questions for Discussion/Reflection


Using this Guide

This guide can be used in a variety of ways.

  • The facilitator/teacher can read the Useful Texts and Typical Questions and use this knowledge as a foundation for leading the group through an open discussion, focused perhaps by the Discussion Questions.
  • The facilitator can hand out the scriptures and the questions with answers and have people read and respond to them.
  • The facilitator can make copies of and cut up the Useful Texts and the questions, putting them into two piles, instructing people to pick a question and find all the relevant texts to the question, and then discuss why they chose those texts for that question. This can be done either individually or in groups.
  • On a large surface the facilitator can make two columns, one with questions and the other with texts, and participants can find which texts are relevant to which questions.
  • The Typical Questions should be given to parents so that discussion can continue at home.
  • Parishes may wish to make copies and put this in the narthex on the table with other informative literature on the Orthodox Christian Faith, and/or include it in their parish bulletin.

A Note on Younger Children

While this guide is designed for youth and young adults, people speaking with younger children can also benefit from reading this guide as they try to discern for themselves what Christ’s Church has to say to us about these terrible events. Key elements to include in any discussion with younger children should be:

“The President and the whole country are doing everything possible to keep us safe”; “Praying to God and our Saints helps make things better”; “God is still with us, let’s pray to our guardian angel who God has given us to watch over us”; “We need to pray to God for help to know what is the right thing to do”; “Let’s pray for all the people who are suffering because of this”; “Let’s pray for the people who did this since they must have an immense amount of anger and hurt built up inside”; and “Would you like to do something to help the people hurt by all this?”.

There are a number of different projects younger children can do to help people in this disaster. They can make a card and send it to the rescue workers, the Red Cross, or even the White House. They can help you gather together food and clothing to send to the Salvation Army to help the people who are homeless because of the disaster. They can help you put up your American Flag to help people feel connected.

Click here for the full guide and more helpful information on this topic.

Source: Orthodox Church in America

The Hub was a project undertaken by the Department of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries around 2003. Funded through the generosity of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) and the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards (FOS) and completed under the supervision of Fr. Michael Anderson, The Hub offers a multitude of resources for youth, young adult, and campus ministry. These resources include theological reflection on youth ministry, icebreakers, camp ideas, and sample forms. We thank all those who have contributed to this comprehensive resource over the years.  Click here for more information on The Hub. 

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