Fr. Maximus Regiz Urbanowicz, USA: The Incredible Story of a Renowned Orthodox Missionary – The Missionary of Sri Lanka & other 40+ Nations





Fr. Maximus Regiz Urbanowicz, USA


Mission: Gospel To All Nations
Founder: Fr. Maximus Urbanowicz
Address: PO Box 4205
Tequesta, FL 33469
Phone: (561)880-0515
Denomination: Orthodox Church in America (OCA)
Home Church: St. James Orthodox
The Apostle Church,
Port St. Lucie, FL
Established: January 2000
Countries Served: 40 +
More about us: View Brochure


Fr. Maximus Regiz Urbanowicz:

The Incredible Story of a Renowned Orthodox Missionary…

The Missionary of Sri Lanka & other 38 Nations

The Incredible Story of a Renowned Orthodox Missionary…


Baptized Roman Catholic, later becoming an Episcopal priest and missionary (In the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church), and three years ago having been received with his family into the Holy Orthodox Church, he is a zealous Orthodox missionary and evangelist.

Maximus has been involved in various church ministries including Foundation Park –a ministry for the poor, Strike force –strength ministry for teens, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes . He served three years as head counselor at Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge , a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for teenagers. In addition, as part of his Masters degree at Regent University, he spent three dynamic summers ministering in Germany, the United Kingdom and Africa in connection with the evangelistic ministry of Christ for all Nations. After graduation in 1990, Maximus was invited to join the ministry of “Christ for all Nations,” (CfaN) as an associate evangelist. He moved to Kenya, East Africa, and eventually lived, traveled and ministered in nineteen African nations and eventually led evangelization efforts in various parts of the world including India, Philippines, Russia, and Madagascar.

In 1997, Maximus became part of the “Minus to Plus” evangelistic project in North America – a ministry of CfaN dedicated to placing an evangelistic booklet about the cross of Christ into every home in North America. He became Executive Director of the multi–million dollar project as well as Executive Director of the U.S. branch of the Christ for all Nations ministry, placing 10 million booklets into homes across North America, meeting and working with the top evangelical church leaders across North America.

After working with thousands of churches from various denominational backgrounds in the international evangelistic campaigns, Maximus eventually grew in his convictions about sacramental and liturgical traditions as he studied church history. The most helpful materials were the teachings and traditions of the Orthodox Church.

As a first step, Maximus took sacred vows as a deacon and later a priest in the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. Over time, as a result of his extensive ministry in Eastern Europe , it became increasingly clear that God was calling him and his family to become members of the Orthodox Church. Since then, Maximus, his wife Susanne, and four children have been received into the Orthodox Church in America and are active members of Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Washington D.C.

Today, Maximus is the president and founder of the evangelistic mission “Gospel to all Nations” (GTAN) – an evangelistic ministry in the process of fully coming under the auspices of the Orthodox Church. GTAN is grounded in the historic faith and church of the past, but striving into the future to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It fosters unity and cooperation between various church denominations while witnessing the richness and fullness of the apostolic faith of the Fathers, and is an equipping force for the saints in regards to evangelism and missions. Lastly, it hosts Gospel campaigns to non–Christians: Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and general un–evangelized people and has a particular interest in reaching the least evangelized nations of the world.

Maximus has preached Gospel campaigns in 39 nations, face to face with millions of people. Meetings have ranged from five people, to five hundred thousand people in a single service, as in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Noteworthy, is the fact that multitudes of people from the Muslim faith have converted to Christianity in both North Africa and Central Asia as a result of these numerous campaigns, held from Mali to Kyrgyzstan.

Over the past few years, the ministry has hosted campaigns and conferences in various cities in Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Armenia, Pakistan and Cuba. One unique outreach was in historic Armenia, in the city of Sevan , where from a population of approximately 10,000 people, up to 7,000 people attended the largest service. In the evenings, multitudes of people, including all the local prostitutes , responded to Maximus’ words for repentance and church attendance, while during the day, a conference was hosted with up to six hundred people from local churches – attending daily teaching and discipleship.

In September 2006, Maximus completed an extremely fruitful mission trip to Sakhalin Island, preaching in churches, public meetings, orphanages, monasteries, by radio, TV, and newspaper interviews, working together with Bishop Danyyl of Sakhalin and also Archbishop Mark in the city of Khabarovsk, mainland Russia. Between the 24th of September and 2nd of October he did evangelistic work with Archbishop John, the bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in charge of missions and evangelism, and is teaching in their seminary and preaching in the city of Belgorod, Russia.

His website, The Gospel To All Nations, can be found by clicking this link.


Ο Άγιος της Σρι Λάνκα, της Ινδίας, της Κίνας & του Θιβέτ: Ιερομάρτυς Νικόλαος Ντρομπιάζκιν (+1924) – Η Ευχή του Ιησού σταματάει ομαδικό δαιμονικό όραμα ενός φακιρη στη Σρι Λάνκα


Ο Άγιος της Σρι Λάνκα, της Ινδίας, της Κίνας & του Θιβέτ:

Ιερομάρτυς Νικόλαος Ντρομπιάζκιν (+1924)

Η Ευχή του Ιησού σταματάει ομαδικό δαιμονικό

όραμα ενός φακιρη στη Σρι Λάνκα

Ἅγιος Νικόλαος Ντρομπιάζγκιν, ἐφημέριος διάφορους Ναούς πρεσβειῶν καί ἡγούμενος μερικῶν Μονῶν καί Ἰσαπόστολος Ἰνδίας, Θιβέτ, Κίνας, Σρί Λάνκα κλπ. καί ἱερομάρτυρας στή Λαύρα τῶν Σπηλαίων τοῦ Κιέβου (+1924)

(Σύναξι 25/1 καί 19/10)

Ἦταν ἀντιπλοίαρχος τοῦ πολεμικοῦ ναυτικοῦ καί ἀποκρυφιστής. Σέ ναυάγιο σώθηκε θαυματουργικά ἀπ’ τόν Ἅγ. Σεραφείμ τοῦ Σάρωφ καί πῆγε γιά προσκύνημα στή Μονή τοῦ Σάρωφ.  Ὕστερα ἔγινε ἱερέας καί ἱεραπόστολος στήν Ἰνδία, Κίνα, Θιβέτ καί Σρι Λάνκα. Μετά τό 1914 ἔζησε στή Μονή τῶν Σπηλαίων τοῦ Κιέβου καί ἔκανε συχνά ὁμιλίες κατά τοῦ ἀποκρυφισμοῦ. Τό φθινόπωρο τοῦ 1924 ἕνα μήνα μετά ἀπό ἐπίσκεψι κάποιου ἀποκρυφιστή βρέθηκε δολοφονημένος στό κελλί του μέ μαχαίρι πού γιά λαβή εἶχε ἀποκρηφιστικό σύμβολο.

<Πηγή: Ἀρχιμ. Ἰωάννου Κωστώφ, Ἐκκλησία καί Μαγεία, ἐκδ. Ἅγ. Ἰωάννης Δαμασκηνός, Ἀθήνα 2012, 14>

«Ὁ αὐτόπτης μάρτυρας καί ἀφηγητής τοῦ κατωτέρω περιστατικοῦ, ἀρχιμανδρίτης Νικόλαος Ντρομπιάζγκιν, εἶναι ἕνας ἀπό τούς πολλούς νεομάρτυρες κληρικούς τῆς ἐπαναστατικῆς περιόδου τῆς Ρωσίας. Στήν κοσμική του ζωή εἶχε μιά λαμπρή σταδιοδρομία σάν ἀντιπλοίαρχος τοῦ πολεμικοῦ ναυτικοῦ καί παράλληλα ἀναμίχθηκε βαθειά μέσα στον ἀποκρυφισμό ἐκδίδοντας τό ἀποκρυφιστικό περιοδικό Rebus. Μετά τή σωτηρία του ἀπό σχεδόν βέβαιο θάνατο στή θάλασσα διά θαύματος τοῦ ἁγίου Σεραφείμ τοῦ Σάρωφ πραγματοποίησε προσκύνημα στό Σάρωφ καί στή συνέχεια ἀπαρνήθηκε τήν κοσμική του καρριέρα καί τούς δεσμούς του μέ τόν ἀποκρυφισμό καί ἔγινε μοχαχός. Χειροτονήθηκε ἱερεύς καί ὑπηρέτησε ὡς ἱεραπόστολος στήν Κίνα, τήν Ἰνδία καί τό Θιβέτ, ὡς ἐφημέριος σέ διαφόρους ναούς πρεσβειῶν καί ὡς ἡγούμενος μερικῶν μονῶν. Μετά τό 1914 ἔζησε στή Λαύρα τῶν Σπηλαίων τοῦ Κιέβου. Στούς νέους πού τόν ἐπισκέπτονταν ἐκεῖ μιλοῦσε συνεχῶς γιά τήν ἐπίδρασι τοῦ ἀποκρυφισμοῦ στά διαδραματιζόμενα τότε στή πολιτική σκηνή τῆς Ρωσίας. Τό φθινόπωρο τοῦ 1924, ἕνα μῆνα ἀφοῦ δέχθηκε τήν ἐπίσκεψι κάποιου κυρίου ὀνόματι Τουχόλξ, συγγραφέως βιβλίου μέ τίτλο Μαύρη Μαγεία, δολοφονήθηκε στό κελλί του “ἀπό ἀγνώστους”, μέ τή φανερή ἀνοχή τῶν Μπολσεβίκων. Τό ὄργανο τοῦ ἐγκλήματος ἦταν ἕνα μαχαίρι μέ εἰδική λαβή σέ σχῆμα συμβόλου ἀποκρυφιστικῆς σημασίας. Τό περιστατικό τό ὁποῖο μᾶς ἀφηγεῖται ἐδῶ ὁ π. Νικόλαος ἀποκαλύπτει τήν πραγματική φύσι τῶν πνευματιστικῶν φαινομένων πού συναντᾶ κανείς στίς διάφορες ἀνατολικές θρησκεῖες. Ἔλαβε χώρα λίγο πρίν ἀπό τό 1900, κατεγράφη γύρω στό 1922 ἀπό τόν ἰατρό Δρα Ἀ. Π. Τιμοφέγιεβιτς καί δημοσιεύτηκε ἀπό τόν ἴδιο σέ ρωσικό περιοδικό τῆς διασπορᾶς (“Ὀρθόδοξος Ζωή”, 1956, ἀρ. 1)»(ΑΜ, τεῦχ. 5, 252).

Διηγεῖται ὁ σύγχρονος ἱεραπόστολος τῆς Κίνας, τοῦ Θιβέτ καί τῆς Σρί Λάνκα ἱερομάρτυρας Νικόλαος Ντρομπιάζγκιν:

«Εἶχε κιόλας βραδιάσει ὅταν ἀφήναμε πίσω μας τούς θορυβώδεις δρόμους τῆς πόλεως [Κολόμπο τῆς Κεϋλάνης, Σρί Λάνκα] καί παίρναμε ἕνα θαυμάσιο δρόμο πού διέσχιζε τή ζούγκλα. Δεξιά καί ἀριστερά παιχνίδιζαν οἱ λάμψεις ἑκατομμυρίων πυγολαμπίδων. Πρός τό τέλος του ὁ δρόμος φάρδαινε ἀπότομα. Βρεθήκαμε μπροστά σ᾽ ἕνα μικρό ξέφωτο περικυκλωμένο ἀπό ζούγκλα. Σέ μιά ἄκρη του κάτω ἀπο ἕνα μεγάλο δένδρο ὑπῆρχε κάτι σάν καλύβα καί δίπλα της σιγόκαιγε μιά μικρή φωτιά. Ἕνας λεπτός, ἀποστεωμένος γέρος μέ τουρμπάνι στό κεφάλι καθόταν σταυροπόδι μέ τό βλέμμα του ἀκίνητο καί στραμμένο πρός τή φωτιά. Παρά τόν θόρυβο τῆς ἀφίξεώς μας ὁ γέρος συνέχιζε νά κάθεται τελείως ἀκίνητος δίχως νά μᾶς δίνη τήν παραμικρή προσοχή. Κάπου μέσα ἀπό τό σκοτάδι ἐμφανίσθηκε ἕνας νεαρός καί πηγαίνοντας κοντά στόν συνταγματάρχη [πού τούς ὁδήγησε στό φακίρη] τόν ρώτησε κάτι χαμηλόφωνα. Σέ λίγο ἔβγαλε μερικά σκαμνιά καί ἡ ὁμάδα μας κάθησε σέ ἡμικύκλιο κοντά στή φωτιά… Ὅλοι σώπασαν ἄθελά τους καί περίμεναν νά δοῦν τί θά συμβῆ.

“Κοιτάξτε! Κοιτάξτε ἐκεῖ στό δένδρο!”, ψιθύρισε ταραγμένα ἡ δεσποινίς Μαίρη. Ὅλοι στρέψαμε τό κεφάλι πρός τήν κατεύθυνσι πού ἔδειξε. Καί πράγματι, ὁλόκληρη ἡ ἐπιφάνεια τῆς τεράστιας φυλλωσιᾶς τοῦ δένδρου πού κάτω του καθόταν ὁ φακίρης ἦταν σάν νά κυμάτιζε ἤρεμα μέσα στο ἁπαλό φεγγαρόφωτο, ἐνῶ τό ἴδιο τό δένδρο ἄρχισε βαθμιαῖα νά διαλύεται καί νά χάνη το περίγραμμά του. Κυριολεκτώντας θά ἔλεγα ὅτι κάποιο ἀόρατο χέρι εἶχε ρίξει πάνω του ἕνα ἀέρινο κάλυμμα, πού ἀπό στιγμή σέ στιγμή γινόταν ὅλο καί πυκνότερο. Πολύ σύντομα ἐμφανίσθηκε ὁλοκάθαρα μπροστά στό ἔκπληκτο βλέμμα μας ἡ κυματιστή ἐπιφάνεια τῆς θάλασσας. Μ᾽ ἕνα ἐλαφρό βουητό τό ἕνα κῦμα ἐρχόταν πίσω ἀπό τό ἄλλο σχηματίζοντας λευκούς ἀφρούς. Ἀνάλαφρα σύννεφα πετοῦσαν σ᾽ ἕναν οὐρανό πού εἶχει γίνει γαλανός. Θαμπωμένοι δέν μπορούσαμε νά ξεκολλήσουμε τό βλέμμα μας ἀπό αὐτή τήν καταπληκτική εἰκόνα.

Καί τότε φάνηκε μακρυά ἕνα ἄσπρο πλοῖο. Παχύς καπνός ξεχύνονταν ἀπό τίς δύο μεγάλες καμινάδες του. Μᾶς πλησίαζε γοργά σχίζοντας τά νερά. Μέ μεγάλη κατάπληξι ἀναγνωρίσαμε τό πλοῖο μας, αὐτό πού μᾶς ἔφερε στό Κολόμπο! Ἕνας ψίθυρος διαπέρασε ἀπ᾽ ἄκρη σ᾽ ἄκρη τό ὑπαίθριο θεωρεῖο μας, ὅταν διαβάσαμε στή πρύμνη μέ χρυσά ἀνάγλυφα γράμματα τό ὄνομα τοῦ πλοίου μας: Λουΐζα. Ἐκεῖνο, ὅμως, πού μᾶς κατέπληξε περισσότερο ἀπ᾽ ὅλα ἦταν αὐτό τό ὁποῖο εἴδαμε πάνω στό πλοῖο —ἐμᾶς τούς ἴδιους! Ἄς μή ξεχνᾶμε ὅτι τόν καιρό πού συνέβησαν ὅλα αὐτά ὁ κινηματογράφος δέν εἶχε κἄν ἐπινοηθῆ καί ἦταν ἀδύνατο ἀκόμη καί νά συλλάβη κανείς κάτι παρόμοιο. Ὁ καθένας ἀπό μᾶς ἔβλεπε τόν ἑαυτό του στό κατάστρωμα τοῦ πλοίου ἀνάμεσα σέ ἀνθρώπους πού γελοῦσαν καί συζητοῦσαν. Αὐτό ὅμως, πού ἦταν ἰδιαίτερα ἐκπληκτικό ἦταν τό ἑξῆς: Ἔβλεπα ὄχι μόνο τόν ἑαυτό μου, ἀλλά ταυτόχρονα καί ὅλο τό κατάστρωμα τοῦ πλοίου, μέχρι καί τίς μικρότερες λεπτομέρειες, σάν σέ μιά πανοραμική κάτοψι —κάτι πού φυσικά εἶναι ἀδύνατο στήν πραγματικότητα. Σέ μιά καί τήν αὐτή στιγμή ἔβλεπα τόν ἑαυτό μου ἀνάμεσα στούς ἐπιβάτες, τούς ναυτικούς πού ἐργάζονταν στήν ἄλλη ἄκρη τοῦ πλοίου καί τόν πλοίαρχο στήν καμπίνα του· ἀκόμη καί τόν πίθηκο Νέλλυ, τή συμπάθεια ὅλων μας, νά τρώη μπανάνες ἀνεβασμένη πάνω στόν κεντρικό ἱστό. Τήν ἴδια ὥρα ὅλοι οἱ σύντροφοί μου καί μέ διαφορετικό τρόπο ὁ καθένας ἦταν ἐξαιρετικά ἀναστατωμένοι μέ ὅσα ἔβλεπαν καί ἐξωτερίκευαν τά συναισθήματά τους μέ σιγανά ἐπιφωνήματα καί ἀναστατωμένους ψιθύρους.

Εἶχα τελείως ξεχάσει ὅτι ἤμουν ἱερομόναχος καί προφανῶς δέν εἶχα καμμία δουλειά νά συμμετέχω σ᾽ ἕνα τέτοιο θέαμα. Ἡ γοητεία ἦταν τόσο δυνατή, πού ὁ νοῦς καί ἡ καρδιά εἶχαν σωπάσει. Ἡ καρδιά μου ἄρχισε νά κτυπᾶ δυνατᾶ σέ συναγερμό. Ξαφνικά βρέθηκα ἐκτός ἑαυτοῦ. Ἕνας φόβος κατέλαβε ὅλη μου τή ὕπαρξι.

Τά χείλη μου ἄρχισαν νά κινοῦνται καί νά λένε: “Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τόν ἁμαρτωλόν!”. Ἀμέσως ἔνοιωσα ἀνακούφισι. Ἦταν σάν κάποιες μυστηριώδεις ἁλυσίδες νά πέφτουν ἀπο πάνω μου. Ἡ προσευχή γινόταν ὅλο καί πιό συγκεντρωμένη καί μαζί μ᾽ αὐτή ξαναγύριζε καί ἡ εἰρήνη τῆς ψυχῆς μου. Συνέχιζα νά κοιτάζω πρός τό δένδρο καί ξαφνικά, σάν νά τήν ἔδιωχνε κάποιος ἄνεμος, ἡ εἰκόνα θόλωσε καί διαλύθηκε. Δέν ἔβλεπα τίποτε πιά ἐκτός ἀπό τό μεγάλο δένδρο μέσα στό φεγγαρόφωτο καί τό φακίρη καθισμένο δίπλα στή φωτιά καί σιωπηλό. Οἱ σύντροφοί μου, ὅμως, συνέχιζαν νά ἐξωτερικεύουν αὐτά τά ὁποῖα αἰσθάνονταν, καθώς ἀτένιζαν στήν εἰκόνα, πού γι᾽ αὐτούς δέν εἶχε χαθῆ.

Τότε, ὅμως, πρέπει κάτι νά συνέβη καί στό φακίρη. Ἔχασε τήν ἰσορροπία του καί κύλησε στό πλάι. Ὁ νεαρός ἔτρεξε ἀλαφιασμένος. Ἡ πνευματιστική συγκέντρωσι διακόπηκε ἀπότομα.

Βαθειά ἐπηρεασμένοι ἀπό τήν ἐμπειρία τους οἱ θεατές σηκώθηκαν συζητώντας ζωηρά τίς ἐντυπώσεις τους καί χωρίς καθόλου νά καταλαβαίνουν γιά ποιό λόγο διακόπηκαν ὅλα τόσο ξαφνικά καί ἀναπάντεχα. Ὁ νεαρός τό ἀπέδωσε στήν ἐξάντλησι τοῦ φακίρη, ὁ ὁποῖος τώρα καθόταν ὅπως καί πρίν μέ τό κεφάλι χαμηλωμένο καί μή δίνοντας τήν παραμικρή προσοχή στούς παρισταμένους.

Ἡ ὁμάδα μας, ἀφοῦ μέσῳ τοῦ νεαροῦ ἀντάμειψε γενναιόδωρα τό φακίρη γιά τή δυνατότητα συμμετοχῆς σ᾽ ἕνα τόσο καταπληκτικό θέαμα, ἀνασυντάχθηκε γρήγορα γιά τήν ἐπιστροφή. Καθώς ξεκινούσαμε, ἄθελά μου γύρισα πάλι νά κοιτάξω, γιά νά ἐντυπώσω στή μνήμη μου τό ὅλο σκηνικό. Ξαφνικά ἀνατρίχιασα ἀπό μιά δυσάρεστη αἴσθησι. Τό βλέμμα μου συνάντησε τό βλέμμα τοῦ φακίρη, πού μέ κοίταζε γεμάτος ἀπό μίσος. Αὐτό κράτησε μόνο μιά στιγμή καί μετά ἐκεῖνος πῆρε πάλι ἀμέσως τή συνηθισμένη του στάσι. Ὅμως ἐκείνη ἡ ματιά ἄνοιξε μιά γιά πάντα τά μάτια τῆς ψυχῆς μου καί συνειδητοποίησα ἀμέσως τίνος δύναμι ἦταν αὐτή πού προκάλεσε ἐκεῖνο τό “θαῦμα”».


Ἀρχιμ. Ἰωάννου Κωστώφ


War to the worship of devil

ἐκδ. Ἅγιος Ἰωάννης Δαμασκηνός

Ἀθήνα 2012


Three Saints of India: Saints Joasaph, Barlaam & Abenner (+4th century)


Three Saints of India

Saints Joasaph, Barlaam & Abenner (+4th century)

August 28 & November 19 

In the time of Constantine the Great (4th century) there lived in India a pagan king named Abenner, who had only one son, Joasaph (yo-sahf). Abenner was a wise administrator and fearless warrior, loyal to the Indian code of honor, courage and the hatred of Christians.

When the Prince was born, astrologers and wise men were called to prophesy the Prince’s destiny as king. All of them said the same: that he would be a wise and powerful king. But one dared to tell the truth: the Prince would become Christian and give up his throne. The King was furious. He ordered every Christian to be killed or banned from the kingdom, and he put the Prince in a private, guarded castle to shield him from any possible Christian influence.

For twenty years of his life–his entire childhood and youth–Joasaph was confined to the castle. During this time he was taught the skills of wisdom and warfare. The King visited his son often, and was pleased to find his boy qrowing into a fine, strong young man. Finally, convinced that the prophecy was false, Abenncr agreed to let the Prince see his future kingdom. The impression Joasaph received seemed mixed. The world was indeed a very beautiful place, but the sins, sorrows and eventual death of man dimmed its beauty in Joasaph’s eyes, and made him doubtful. No longer content with his luxuries in the palace, he strove to find a life that was soul-fulfilling, unlike what he felt succession to the throne would be.

At the same time, the holy monk Barlaam was told by God that he must bring the salvation of God’s word to the Prince over 1,000 miles away. In time Barlaam arrived and, disguised as a merchant with a “pearl of great price,” was able to get into the castle. Barlaam explained the Orthodox Christian faith to the young Prince, who in turn was immediately devoted and demanded to be baptized. In the months that followed the entire household was converted, including King Abenner who eventually became a hermit and a Saint of the Orthodox Christian Church.

Barlaam left, and Joasaph became king. But he was not content there and missed his spiritual father. Finally he gave his kingdom to relatives and went away to a desert monastery, doing many great things in his time.

(Compiled and illustrated by Martinian Prince, age 14: original Life in the writings of St. John Damascene)

Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church (ROCOR), India



Orthodoxy in Bangalore, India

Saint John Chrysostom Eastern Orthodox Church (ROCOR), India

When you reach Lingarajapuram using the google map below, look for this cross at the top of our church.Contact Fr. Silouan Benedict at +91990003530 or for more details.

Father Silouan Benedict (Sunil)
No 1, 2nd Cross, Munithayappa Layout,
Opposite Banaswadi Railway Station,
St. Thomas Town Post,
Bangalore – 560084
Karnataka, India


Orthodoxy in Bangalore, India




India: Orthodox Mission – Eastern Orthodox Church




Orthodox Mission

2006: The first Russian Eastern Orthodox parish of St Thomas in New Delhi, India




2006: The first Russian Eastern Orthodox parish

of St Thomas in New Delhi, India

On January 6-7, Russia marks Christmas, one of the most important holidays for followers of the Russian Orthodox faith. Recent polls have indicated that more than 70 percent of Russians consider themselves to be Orthodox Christians. India has a population of 24 million Christians, most of them Catholic, but there are many different church groups in the country. The Russian Orthodox Church, one of the largest among Eastern Orthodox churches in the world, has never had any noticeable presence in India. However with an increasing number of Russians living in India, the church is looking to provide religious services in the country.

The first Russian Orthodox Parish in Delhi named after the apostle Thomas was registered in 2006 when Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church (at that time serving as chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations), visited India.

It was then decided to build a church in the premises of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Delhi, however, till today such plans remain on paper. Archpriest Gennady Moroz who is in charge of St.Thomas Church in New Delhi and the head of Russian Orthodox parish in Pakistan and Nepal, told RIR the plans to construct the church in Delhi are still uncertain.

But then came the idea of establishing a permanent parish in Goa, where almost 10,000 Russians live for at least six months in a year. Russian priest Stanislav Rasputin, who is from the Petrozavodsk and Karelia Eparchy, while visiting Goa in September this year said: “I am happy that Russian people in Goa finally feel the need of the permanent parish here. During this mission I could see myself that this is very much required.”

Although the idea of a permanent parish in Goa is yet to be approved by Moscow Patriarchate, the initiative gained support from Russian consulate in Mumbai and the Honorary Consul of Russia in Goa Victor Albuquerque. “Starting a Russian orthodox parish here in Goa would be really good as Russian people need not only beach, sun and parties, but a place for spiritual activities. Though to establish a parish we really need to bring people around”, Albuquerque told RIR.


Preaching to the faithful

Several Russian Orthodox priests have visited India with official and semi-official missions recently. Deacon Georgy Maksimov, one of the first priests to visit India said the church’s main aim was to interact with Russian compatriots. “Not all of them were Orthodox believers, there were atheists and even those who considered themselves converted to Hinduism. We had quite interesting discussions,” he said.

Stanislav Rasputin visited India four times since 2011 and has found an interest in the Russian Orthodox faith from unexpected quarters. “Several years ago a group of almost 120 Christians from Chandrapur (Maharashtra) sent a request to convert them to Orthodoxy,” Rasputin says. “There was an Anglican bishop who studied the history of church in order to understand where the original church that formed 2000 years ago was. After studying sources he understood that Anglicanism that emerged in the 16th century was not at all complete as it did not have the continuity with the original church. He understood that the Eastern Orthodox Church was the one closest to the origins”. The ex-Anglican priest and his large congregation were converted by Stanislav Rasputin in 2012.

The services are conducted by the Russian priest not only in English but in Marathi, thanks to local church leaders who translated the Liturgy and some books on church history into local languages.

“I think it will be right to say that Russian Orthodox Church is not preaching the gospel in India,” insists Father Gennady Moroz. “And to face any critics in India the Russian Orthodox Church has firstly to be established there. The rare visits of orthodox priests that happen as the result of multiple requests from believers cannot be called missionary work.” He emphasizes that that Moscow Patriarchate can send a priests to India only after receiving repeatedly requests from people living here.





Orthodoxy in India Today – Fr. Ignatios Sennis




The Mission: Synergy with God

It is well-known that the main goal of the Church is to bring to her fold all people for the salvation of their souls. This goal is achieved basically with mission in the broader sense of the word. Mission is our cooperation with the salvific work of God who died on the cross so that all may become one in Him. Therefore every Chrisitan who considers himself or herself an energetic member of the Church, is called to mission. That mission includes reaching out to those who are suffering, especially since Christ, whose footsteps we follow, died on the cross for them. The conclusion is that mission is not just one of the works of the Church, but it is her basic ministry for the renewal and transformation of the world, of all peoples and all nations, so that they can become the co-inheritors and co-participants of the kingdom of Jesus Christ through His gospel.

The Beginnings

These thoughts, by dear brothers and sisters, guided my first steps, a few years ago, in order to journey to far lands where millions of people still live today in idol worshipping idols and false gods. Certainly, before us came many great and holy missionaries. The first missionary to India was Apostle Thomas, who preached the Gospel of Christ in South India, performed miracles, and finally martyred for His Lord in Moulapore, an ancient city near Madras. To our day, these areas are dominated by a vibrant Christian element, even though the local church has cut itself off from the Orthodox Patriarchates and is broken up to different denominations. Since the time of Apostle Thomas until the 20th century, there was no Orthodox Mission in India, even though there were many Greeks in West Bengal, who built a cemetary and a glorious church dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ. A systematic Orthodox Mission started in 1980 in the rural area of Arambah, in West Bengal, 150 km from Calcuta. Fr. Athanasios Anthides, a Greek priest-monk from Egypt, experienced in the missions in Africa, was the first to come to Continue reading “Orthodoxy in India Today – Fr. Ignatios Sennis”