Met Luke: Modern forms of prosecution are more effective than death penalty

26 December 2019 15:51
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Metropolitan Luke performed the liturgy in the monastery of St. Spyridon in the Holy Land. Photo: hramzp.ua Metropolitan Luke performed the liturgy in the monastery of St. Spyridon in the Holy Land. Photo: hramzp.ua

The Head of Zaporizhia Eparchy noted that today's Christians are afraid to look old-fashioned, and this works better than any threat of physical violence.

On the third day of the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Metropolitan Luke of Zaporizhia and Melitopol said that modern forms of persecution consist in ridiculing the Christian way of life, and are much more effective than the threat of death penalty. This was reported by the website of Zaporizhia Eparchy.

On the day of memory of St. Spyridon of Tremithon, the Head of Zaporizhia diocese, Metropolitan Luke, took part in the Divine Liturgy in the Holy Land in the monastery of St. Spyridon, accompanied by the representative of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, Archbishop Theophane.

In the archpastoral prescription, the metropolitan noted that modern Orthodoxy is experiencing a heresy of papism of Constantinople, the implications of which will be significant. In such circumstances, it is necessary to remain particularly firm in the faith, “not to be afraid to say ‘I am a Christian’,” says His Eminence.

“Not at one time, not on Sundays and holidays, but every day, every second, with each breath I should re-affirm myself and everyone around me in my faith. Nowadays, the confession of Christ is no longer jeopardized with the death penalty, but why do we very often lose this Christian “sound reasoning” and wish to hide our faith from the world? We are afraid of ridicule; we are afraid to look out-dated, ignorant, old-fashioned, naïve, or as the world likes to call us – ‘miserable slaves’. These are modern forms of persecution, which sometimes act much more effectively than the threat of death,” said Metropolitan Luke.

According to him, the world demands from Christian to be silent, invisible, and respectful for other people. “In turn, the world to date does not want to respect our freedom and mercilessly requires us to make sacrifices to its idols,” the metropolitan said.

“We must defend our beliefs and guard our values. But very often, when our faith is mocked, we silently step aside. Sometimes it’s not even out of fear of being ridiculed, it’s just we don’t know what to say. What words shall we choose to answer our opponent, or what arguments to reinforce their beliefs? “Do not care how or what to answer or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what to say,” Christ tells us.

At the end of the address, the hierarch noted that we, modern Christians, following the example of St. Spyridon of Tremithon, "are able to help people free themselves from any deception and any illusions, if we will consistently and boldly confess Christ, defending true values."

As the UOJ reported, in the framework of the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Metropolitan Luke of Zaporizhia and Melitopol met with the Head of the Jerusalem Church, Patriarch Theophilos III.

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