This Week in Orthodoxy, May 1, 2015

This Week in Orthodoxy, May 1, 2015


Welcome to “This Week in Orthodoxy”, the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church. I’m Emmy Louvaris.

These are the stories making headlines this week:
• IOCC Responds to Nepal Catastrophe.
• Ground-Breaking International Conference Co-Hosted by Pemptousia, OCN, and Bogoslov.
• Patriarchate Marks the 2-Year Anniversary of the Abduction of two Orthodox Bishops.

Segment 1: News from Around the Globe

IOCC Responds to Nepal Catastrophe
First up, the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last week has a rising death toll of 5000 dead. The earthquake hit the Gorkha district and destroyed most of Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu. The overwhelming scale of the disaster, covering more than 20 districts, has posed substantial challenges in the disbursement of critical humanitarian aid in one of Asia’s poorest countries.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), a member of the ACT Alliance, a coalition of more than 140 churches and affiliated organizations, is responding to the disaster with much-needed financial assistance. Through its support of the Lutheran World Federation and other ACT relief partners on the ground in Nepal, IOCC is providing emergency assistance to families in need, including the distribution of life-saving supplies such as water, food, shelter, and medication for the thousands injured.

In addition to the present urgency in Nepal, the region also faces long-term effects from the catastrophic earthquake. More than 1.4 million children and parents are in need of immediate assistance. Half of those vulnerable families live near the epicenter in temporary camps with increasingly squalid conditions.

For more on how you can help, visit IOCC.orge.

Ground-Breaking International Conference Co-Hosted by Pemptousia, OCN, and Bogoslov
Next up, 75 experts prepare to travel to Athens, Greece, for the first ever International Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care. The conference, scheduled for May 7th through May 9th, will bring together clergy and lay experts from 21 countries. The goal of this landmark event is to coordinate efforts and seek more effective ways to deliver the Gospel to Internet users for the glory of God.

The conference, organized by the St. Maxim the Greek Institute, well-known for its multilingual website,, was created in collaboration with the Orthodox Christian Network and the Department of Religious Education of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

For more information, visit or the conference website at

Patriarchate Marks the 2-Year Anniversary of the Abduction of two Orthodox Bishops
And finally, a joint statement has been issued by the Patriarchates of Antioch and All the East, the Greek Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox Churches, marking the second anniversary of the kidnapping of two Aleppo Metropolitans. Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Boulos (Paul) Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church were abducted on April 22, 2013 in northern Syria. Forced from their car by gunmen, their driver, a deacon, was shot and killed, and they were taken hostage.

Quoting the words of St. Paul to the Sanhedrin, “It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial”, the Patriarchate’s statement compares the sufferings of the Metropolitans to a trial of faith and calls on the wider church to stand with them.
“Our bishops, Paul and John are on trial; what once characterized the beginning of the Christian Evangelization, now returns to the same geographical location, though with different personalities. It is a rare trial, not only in the East, but in the contemporary world. The convoluted nature of their kidnapping did not strike the terrestrials only, but the celestials also. In this struggle, the Great Judge will prevail, for He has the final ruling in this case; the case of True Man, and of True God.”

May God have mercy on them and protect them, and may He soften the hearts of their captors.

Segment 2. News from OCN

OCN Hero 2015
Who is the most important person in your spiritual life? Who has inspired and helped you on your journey? This month, you have the chance to honor and thank your Orthodox Hero, by nominating them for OCN Hero 2015. Visit to tell us who your hero is and how this person has influenced you as an Orthodox Christian.

The winner of this year’s award will receive a $500 grant to be donated to the non-profit organization of their choice. Nominations for the 2015 OCN Hero are being taken through May 31st. Make your submission today!

20th Anniversary Celebration
And remember, OCN is celebrating 20 years of media ministry, and we’ve come a long way from producing a 1-hour radio program. Reaching more people than ever, OCN has been breaking down communication barriers and building up avenues to connect Orthodox Christians worldwide!

Be a part of our growth. Visit and consider making a contribution that will go directly to mission, not overhead. For just 10 cents a day, you can comfort, inspire, and inform people all over the world. Be a part of the OCN 10 Cent Movement!

That brings another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy,” to a close. For everyone here in our OCN studios, I’m Emmy Louvaris. Let’s go forth in peace.

Photo by DFID | Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+

About author

Emmy Louvaris

Emmy Louvaris is the host of This Week in Orthodoxy, the first weekly news show to cover the international Orthodox Church and community.