ROC: intensifying sectarian forces in Russia to take a special program

© RIA Novosti / Maxim to Bogodeeva in fotobanka place of seclusion sectarians in the Penza region. Archival photo.ROC: intensifying sectarian forces in Russia to take a special program© RIA Novosti / Maxim to Bogodeeva the image Bank

The inter-Orthodox educational program on sect studies in Russian and Greek languages will be developed in the near future in connection with the intensification of the sectarian movement in Russia and other countries, this decision was made by the participants of the international meeting at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox humanitarian University (pstgu), said on Friday the press-service of religious issues.

The meeting was attended by representatives of several local Orthodox churches, the vicar of Patriarch Kirill, Bishop of Orekhovo-Zuevo Panteleimon, sectologists, religious scholars, professors, teachers of Russian and foreign universities. The participants of the meeting expressed concern with the destructive phenomena in the religious life of Russia, and also drew attention to the «fluidity» of a number of new sects, of actively moving inside the Slav countries.

«In the far East is still the number of recorded sectarian organizations exceeds the number of Orthodox organizations. <…> It is important that all our programs had antisaccade direction. When people hear a competent, qualified answer about Orthodoxy, he will have the vaccination against sects and other religious teachings,» he said, in particular, Bishop Panteleimon. According to him, education «particularly important is the cooperation of sister churches – the Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Cypriot and Greek».

Bishop Karpeisky Christopher (Cyprus) recalled that 10 years ago was founded the pan-Orthodox network of anti-sect organizations, which annually holds conferences and other events in different countries. So, in September, Poland will host the tenth anniversary conference, to be hosted by the Polish Church. However, qualified and competent Orthodox specialists in sect studies, acknowledged the Bishop, Christopher, «sorely lacking». The new program, he said, needs to prepare the Church personnel who are experts in sect studies.

And according to the President of the Russian Association of centers for the study of religions and sects (RACERS) Alexander Dvorkin, the main problem of cactoideae today is the lack of staff. «Was in Greece known antisectarian expert Protopresbyter Anthony Alevizopoulos, whose memory is dedicated to the book «sect studies», he died, and in Greece he was not a worthy successor. Now is the time for each of us to think about it. It is necessary to educate those who will continue our job,» said Dvorkin, quoted by the press service of religious issues.

The meeting participants agreed to create a common training programme sect studies for people who already have at least a bachelor degree in theology. The program needs to be created in two languages – Greek and Russian. St. Tikhon’s University will take on training Russian speaking audience. Grigorasha part will be training in Cyprus. The plan of the new curriculum was presented by Professor Christos Jacob (Cyprus).

It is expected that the teaching will make international professors from all Orthodox churches. A special Committee «will meet soon and develop a comprehensive training programme for part-time missionary biennial courses with specialization in sect studies», said the pstgu.