Orthodox News: From Meriam in Sudan to a Rapping Russian Priest

Orthodox News: From Meriam in Sudan to a Rapping Russian Priest


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.

Segment 1: News from Around the Globe

Meriam Ibrahim Freed, Then Detained Leaving Country
In News from around the Globe this week, our top story comes from Sudan. Meriam Ibrahim, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Sudanese woman sentenced to death while pregnant for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, was finally freed on Monday afternoon, only to then be detained at the airport on Tuesday with her husband and children while attempting to leave the country.

The U.S. State Department has been informed by the Sudanese government that while the family was temporarily detained, they had not been arrested and were assured of their safety.

Meanwhile, Al-Samani Al-Hadi. a man claiming to be Ibrahim’s brother, slammed the appellate court’s decision and hinted at retribution.

According to Ibrahim and her lawyer, this man is not her relation. However, the case began when her Muslim relatives filed a criminal complaint saying that  the family was shocked to find out she had married a Christian, after she was missing for several years.

Al-Hadi, unconvinced by the court’s recent decision, said they were not informed that she was to be released, and that the law failed to uphold their rights which had now become an issue of honor.

“The Christians have tarnished our honor, and we will know how to avenge it,” he continued.

This unfortunate, but very real, threat is of concern because no matter what the courts have decided, the Muslim family members could choose to avenge their honor with very few legal repercussions.

Ibrahim and her family are being kept in an airport “safe haven” until further decisions are made.

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in Orthodoxy and Islam, be sure to log on to myocn.net and listen to Fr. Christopher Metropulos speak with “Facing Islam” blogger Ralph Sidway, who will also give us some insight on the Meriam Ibrahim dilemma.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Leads Pilgrimage to Cappadocia
Along with pilgrims from Greece, Istanbul, and several other countries, the Patriarch travelled to the ancient church of St. John the Forerunner in Cappadocia.

Over the last twenty years, the the Patriarch has been able to hold occasional liturgies in some of the most important ancient churches in Turkey, including  those in the region of Cappadocia, which was once heavily populated by Orthodox Christians.

Study Says Greeks Most Religious People in the EU
A Pan-European survey conducted by the Department of Social Research in nineteen European Union countries recognized Greeks as the most religious people in the EU.

According to the study, 75% of Greeks call themselves religious, and 46% said that they pray regularly. The corresponding figures for Catholic and especially Protestant countries show much lower percentages.

25% of the population in Predominantly Catholic countries pray regularly, in contrast to 17% in countries with Protestant citizens.

The survey also found that 26% of Greeks attend church at least once a week, 25% of Catholics and 7% in Protestant dominated countries.

Russian Orthodox Priest Uses Hip Hop to Spread Faith
A small-town Russian Orthodox priest, Fr. Maxim Kurlenko, is something of a minor hip hop star, at least among a growing number of Russians who prefer their hip hop to blend beats with Orthodox themes — and some harsh words for immorality and the West.

Fr. Kurlenko’s songs mix sermon-like exhortations and stories with his view of conservative politics.

Here’s a short clip, from a song about a teenage boy who buys drugs but then gives them up after ducking into a Russian church to light a candle.

Prison Ministry on the Rise in the U.S.
With the help of the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, local groups around the country are getting more involved with reaching out to the incarcerated.

Dr. Carla Thomas & the staff of the Abba Moses Free Medical Clinic in Anniston, Alabama is one such group, providing free health services to inmates, those recently released from prison and their families. For more information on how your group or community can get involved, visit theorthodoxprisonministry.org website.


Segment 2. News from OCN

OCN at Clergy-Laity in Philadelphia
The 2014 Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America begins Sunday, July 6th and runs through July 9th at the Marriott in Downtown Philadelphia.

Be sure to stop by The Orthodox Christian Network booth on the exhibition floor, where you can chat with some of our staff and see the many ways the hand of God is growing this media ministry, from our radio broadcasts, podcasts, blogs, videos, and social media. And don’t forget to sign up for a chance to win one of two iPad Minis that we’ll be giving away.

A Summer Matching Campaign will Double Your Donation
The Orthodox Christian Network, which provides this and many other programs, is a non-profit organization and depends on contributions from viewers like you.

Help us share the light of Orthodoxy with the world by taking advantage of the $5,000 challenge grant – provided by a charitable donor. Every dollar you give to OCN this summer, will be doubled!

Every gift makes a difference, so please consider donating today. Visit myocn.net/donate or call us at 954 -522 -5567.

And that’s it for another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy.”

For everyone here at the OCN 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

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.