Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Interview about Russian Orthodoxy in Turkey

In a Russian-language interview with Orthodoxy and the World Archimandrite Bessarion (Kozmias), a clergymen of Ecumenical Patriarchate serving St. Alypius the Stylite's Church in Antalya, Turkey, stated that the Turkish government is increasingly seeking to protect the country's ethnic minorities, as evidence by the new style Dormition services at the abandoned Soumela Monastery in August 2010 and the opening of St. Nicholas' Church in Myra to occasional Orthodox services.

In 2006 over 300 signatures were collected to request the opening of an Orthodox church for Russians in Antalya, but it wasn't until a recent thaw in relations between the Constantinopolitan and Russian Orthodox Churches that St. Alypius' Church was opened (in 2010). Antalya is home to the largest group of Russians in Turkey, of which there are now over 200,000 (according to Fr. Bessarion).

The full interview with Fr. Bessarion can be found here.

Update: I just found a couple of English translations of the interview posted here.

Pictured is St. Alypius' Church, which is still undergoing renovations.

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