Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A Christian View of the Violence and Chaos of Recent Weeks

Archbishop Peter (in the world, Paul A. Loukianoff), who leads the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR)’s Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, recently released the following statement on the cuurent events facing the United States. In my opinion, it is the best statement on the riots and violence of the past few weeks. It is well-worth reading and reflecting on its insights. The dual dates at the start of the letter are the Julian and Gregorian calendar dates.

May 22/June 4, 2020
Righteous Melchizedek, King of Salem

Dear in Christ Clergy, Brothers and Sisters of our God-loving Diocese of Mid-America,

I greet you all with the great feast of Pentecost — the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and establishment of the Holy New-Testament Church of Christ.

Since the day of Her foundation, the Holy Church always defended and cared for the oppressed, widows, orphans, and homeless. (Acts: III, 45; IV, 34-35; VI, 1-3) Besides, all charity was of free will and non-compulsory. (Acts: V, 4) And so it was throughout the ages.

State social services appeared rather recently.

The Holy Church was always against any kind of revolutions or forceful overturning of power. Instead, She supported civil evolution. For example, being persecuted, She peacefully, without any riots, changed the course of the pagan Roman Empire, having completely regenerated it.

The same was done by Orthodox Christian missionaries, who spread the Holy Gospel among different nations. Look at the history of Holy Russia and compare by what means the Bolsheviks planted “equality”.

Now we are experiencing great turmoil in our United States. Attempts are made to destroy all foundations of law and order. In the name of “justice” we see looting, destruction, and mayhem.

The Holy Church was always against such actions, and Orthodox Christians cannot participate or support them.

Apostle Paul writes that we should pray for the land we live in and its authorities. If there is peace in the land, so will the Church and Her children live in peace and prosperity.

Therefore, we should enforce our prayers for our American land and its peace and tranquility.

“O Lord Jesus Christ our God, do Thou calm the agitation and discord in our American land, banish from us slander and conflict, murder and drunkenness, bitter disputes and scandals, and burn out of our hearts every impurity, conflict and evil, that again we all may love one another and abide, as one, in Thee, O Lord, our God, as Thou has commanded and directed us. Grant peace to Thy Church and to Her children, that with one heart and one mouth we may glorify Thee, our Lord and Savior, unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

Peter, Archbishop of Chicago & Mid-America

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