The situation in the UK is no different from anywhere else in the Western world. It is not normal to be a Christian in today’s UK, let alone to belong to the tiny minority here that is composed of Orthodox Christians.
The State ignores Christians and Christianity. We are totally irrelevant to it and its anti-Christian agenda. As far as they are concerned, we are an anachronism and we should die out and disappear as soon as possible.
Having said that, there is no active persecution as such, just indifference and underlying hostility, disguised by the hypocritical politeness typical of the British Establishment...
In the UK today, there are only really two forms of Christianity that are alive, both immigrant: Eastern European and Black African. The rest is fundamentally on its death-bed: it is far worse than ‘serious decline’...
Quite simply, Western people have lost their faith. Since Western civilization was founded on faith, this means that Western civilization is also on its death-bed. Western civilization is today just a series of historical monuments for tourists to visit: the soul has gone out of it.
I would also recommend perusing Fr Andrew's books - some of which are available online:
it is good to hear such clear talk from a religious leader! A light through the mist, and hopeful.
Its terrible... but it is also true. The honesty of the Russian priesthood abroad is as always appreciated. It saddens me because I have a newfound appreciation for the country's Christian history, especially the Celtic part.
@Mark - "appreciation for the country's Christian history, especially the Celtic part."
Fr Andrew has written extensively on this topic; until I read him I was ignorant that what now gets called 'Celtic' Christianity (ie the missionary activity from Ireland, iona and Lindisfarne - characterised by monasticism and hermits, in which Abbots had higher status than than Bishops) was essentially Eastern Catholicism; and Cuthbert (England's greatest Saint) was a very typical Orthodox, wonder-working ascetic Saint.
On the positive side, I can't think of a sense of "forms of Christianity" in which Fr. Andrew's restriction is not an illicit generalization. That is not to deny vitalities of "Eastern European and Black African" Christianity, and I do not know the contours of their varieties, but cannot imagine they are not variously 'compromised', if in different ways from western Churches and "forms".
On the negative, I have the distinct impression there is "active persecution as such", though not uniformly harsh - the most egregious examples may well be intended to quell widely in something more 'softly totalitarian'.
David Llewellyn Dodds
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