This Week in Orthodoxy, January 9, 2014

This Week in Orthodoxy, January 9, 2014


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:

* The Orthodox Church in Hong Kong gets a new deacon.

* A leading Antiochian Orthodox theological professor retires.

* After ninety-two years, Turkey gets a new Orthodox Church.

* A new Greek Orthodox church is set to be built in the United Arab Emirates.

* Orthodox Christians worldwide celebrate Epiphany.

Segment 1: News from Around the Globe

New Deacon in Hong Kong
First up, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill gave the blessing for the ordination of new a Deacon for the Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Parish in Hong Kong. Anatoly Kung was greeted by Metropolitan Ignaty at the Transfiguration Cathedral in St. Petersburg this past Monday.

Born in Yancheng in 1969, and a graduate of the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow, Kung spent much of his life in the private sector and lived in Moscow until 2012. He was baptized into the Orthodox faith on July 23, 2013 and thereafter enrolled in the Theological School.

Seminary Professor Retires
Next up, from New York, Father Paul Tarazi, a forty-four year veteran professor of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, is retiring. Fr. Paul, also a published author with a three-volume Introduction to the Old Testament and four volumes to the New Testament, is known as a dynamic Orthodox speaker and is well respected by colleagues and students alike.

Prior to teaching at St. Vladimir’s, Fr. Paul taught at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and the St. John of Damascus Institute in Lebanon. More recently, he taught courses in the Old and New Testaments as well as Biblical Hebrew, Greek, and academic Arabic. For a complete biography on Fr. Paul, you can visit the Saint Vladimir’s website at

New Orthodox Church Building in Turkey
In Turkey, a new Orthodox Church is expected to be built in the suburb of Yesilkoy. The church will accommodate the suburb’s large Syriac population and will, along with an already existing Greek Orthodox Church, be the second in the suburb.

This, however, is the first church to be built since the end of the Ottoman regime in 1923, marked by the Young Turk revolution and genocide against Greek, Assyrian, and Armenian populations, during which more than 2.7 million were killed. The prospective building of this church is seen as part of Turkey’s continued diplomatic efforts to join the European Union.

New Orthodox Church Building in United Arab Emirates
And from Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, the current Greek Orthodox Church, Saint Nicholas, is facing cramped services. Welcoming up to 700 participants weekly, the church has a 300 maximum capacity.

As a result, construction is underway to build Saint Elia Greek Orthodox Church, expected to hold 1,250 parishioners. Construction is set to begin in May.

Orthodox Christians Celebrate Epiphany
Finally, Orthodox faithful, on January 6th, celebrated Epiphany, the day that commemorates the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus Christ as He was baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan.

Epiphany is marked with services and the traditional “dive for the cross,” in which men dive for the cross after it’s thrown by the clergy into a body of water, representing Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan.

From the icy waters of Lake Sofia in Bulgaria, to the Bosporus in Istanbul, the Aegean waters that surround the Greek Islands, and the warmer tides of Tarpon Springs, Florida, you will find Orthodox Christians celebrating this feast day.

In Constantinople (Istanbul), His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew led the Divine Liturgy followed with the blessing of the waters in the Phanar district.

In the United States, the town of Tarpon Springs, Florida, celebrates with its own dive, parade, and festivities. Attracting thousands of visitors from around the country, Tarpon Springs has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any U.S. city.

Segment 2. News from OCN

January 18th marks our annual “ Share the Light Sunday,” declared by the Assembly of Bishops. This is event in which every Orthodox Church can support OCN’s ministries by talking, showing, and sharing material about the Orthodox Christian Network and by passing a dedicated collection tray. Celebrating our 20th anniversary, we’ve come a long way from producing a 1-hour radio program, and you can help share our growth with your parish. Visit our website to learn more on how you can participate and be a part of building an international media presence for our faith. Check out for more information.

Be a part of our Facebook community by liking our page and sharing our posts. With over 345,000 likes, the images and information shared are nothing short of amazing!!

Another way you can support OCN is while you shop on There’s no extra cost to you: Amazon donates a portion of its profits to us. While you’re on, click on the “Buy” button at the top of the page. You’ll find easy instructions and links there.

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

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

About author

Dean Argiris

Constantine (Dean) Argiris is a lifelong Orthodox Christian from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago who has devoted his time to raising awareness of the 1915-1922 Asia Minor Genocide. His works on the Greek economic crisis have been published in international Greek diaspora news media outlets. Professionally, he works in the political scene as a Staff Assistant to a Chicago Alderman. Previously, he worked as a party-paid staffer for the Illinois Senate, a Regional Field Director for President Obama's "Organizing for America" and has run a number of federal and state level political campaigns as an independent consultant.