3rd Meeting of the Inter-Orthodox Network for Initiatives and the Study of Religions and Injurious Cults
Great success was noted at the 3rd Meeting of the Inter-Orthodox Network for Initiatives and the Study of Religions and Injurious Cults, which took place between October 1-3, 2010 at the Holy Monastery of Saint George-Hadjidimovo in Nevrocopi, Bulgaria.
Many research specialists on heresies and injurious cults took part in the conference: from Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Russia, Belarus and Serbia. The network’s third meeting had the following general topic:
“The Neo-Pentecostal Movement. Pastoral and social problems and ways of facing them.” Among other things, opening remarks were given by the Most Reverend Metropolitan of Nevrocopi Nathaniel (Bulgaria), the Most God-loving Bishop of Karpasia Christopher (Cyprus), Cypriot Member of Parliament Tasos Metsopoulos, Russian Professor Alexander Dvorkin, as well as the mayor and police chief of Nevrocopi.
From the submissions that followed, it became obvious that the teachings and proceedings of the Neo-Pentecostals have nothing in common with Orthodoxy, or more generally, with Christianity. Their beliefs are considered obscure (secret) and blasphemous (not only to the Orthodox faith but also to all Christians). Their proceedings are also wily, deceiving and harmful to the person, family, and to society at large.
The distinguished speakers provided many examples on the efforts of Neo-Pentecostals to infil-trate education, the health system, orphanages, old age homes, drug addiction treatment pro-grams and civilian life in general of Orthodox countries. In consideration of the infiltration efforts of the Neo-Pentecostal movement in Orthodox Churches, and generally throughout the world, the members of the network recommend a) alertness, b) exposure of the harmful activities of these groups, c) help from experts on heresies and harmful cults when necessary, d) educating and informing the Orthodox flock on the harmful methods used by these groups (such as the presentation of pertinent films, exposure of their real purpose which is the collection of money and power through deceit), e) that contact be made with the victims and not with the organiza-tions that take advantage of them, always carefully and with love, f) that the government enact new laws for the protection of the individual from brainwashing and from the crafty methods used by such secretive organizations, g) that the local Church place importance on the problem and h) that Orthodox catechism be reinforced as a defense against cultism. The Neo-Pentecostals with their falsehoods overturn the whole evangelical message and nullify salvation in Christ to their victims. The problem the activities of the Neo-Pentecostals create is not only theological and pastoral. It has dimensions and repercussions on all areas of man’s life (personal, family, social, etc.), exacting terrible damage on their victims – such as psychological, neurological and even physical damage, sometimes even leading to death.
At the conference the following pastoral findings and explanations were presented. It is observed that in our days a joint effort is being made by different factors (unfortunately even by members of the Church) to remove the clearly ecclesiological term “heresy” from our vocabulary. They do not acknowledge our pastoral right to stress the difference – through the use of this term – between Orthodox teaching and life and these Neo-Pentecostals and various other groups, even though they are highly harmful to the individuality and life of people.
We, the Orthodox shepherds and Christians, must first understand this ourselves but also make it plainly clear to all ecclesiastical, political and social bodies that our reference to heresies is not grounded in bigotry, nor does it aim at the annihilation or abolition of heretics but at the protection of the faithful members of our Church and of the social system in general.
Note: The complete proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the network will be published soon.
From the Secretariat of the Inter-Orthodox Network for Initiatives and the Study of Religions and Injurous Cults.
Source (Greek):Pan-Cyprian Parents Union