Orthodox America

  The Cry of the New Martyrs – A Christmas Appeal

“..The situation of the Church in Russia is grievous, and She is only weakened by negativity and criticism. On the other hand, She is strengthened by co-suffering and love…”

 From the Committee for the Defense of Persecuted Orthodox Christians

      "Experience has shown, tragic experience, that for suffering people, among them Christian confessors--what is most difficult is not so much the suffering itself, as cruel as it may be, but to be forgotten as brothers in the Faith. To realize this is very grievous. And, on the contrary, if they are not forgotten but remembered--this is an enormous moral support for them, helping them to bravely endure torture." 

    Thus wrote Fr. Gleb Yakunin before his arrest on Nov. 1, 1979, after which time he was sentenced by a Soviet court to 11 years' deprivation of freedom.

"Glory to God for everything!"--wrote Zoya Krakhmainikova in a note to her husband just before she was Taken to a Moscow prison this past August. She was the compiler of the remarkable anthology of Christian readings, "Nadezhda" ("Hope") and a true Christian struggler of our time. 

It is more blessed to give titan it is to receive 

Until now, Krakhmalnikova, Fr. Gleb Yakun'in ,, Ogorodnikov, - Poresh  Ogurtsov, Shchipkova, and many other"confessors of · Orthodoxy in Russia gave, and we received. Now the time has come that we must give. But what can we give?

    As we prepare to greet the joyous Feast of Christ's Nativity, do we remember those Christian confessors concerning whom Fr. Gleb wrote? Do we remember those orphaned families, having been deprived of their husbands and fathers through Soviet "justice"? Do we show them the support which they await from us?

    Christian life does not mean to transfer one' s responsibilities to God. Let us not forget that we have been called to he fellow laborers with the Lord in deeds, salvation, and the transfiguration of the world. We are called to action, in the words of the Apostle James: Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only. Andwhat does the Word say?

I was hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me (Matt. 25:35-36).

    Compassionate towards all those in need, the Saviour thus calls us from the cruel prison which is known to the civilized world as the Soviet Union. He calls to us in the name of the countless sufferers for His sake, And many of you have responded to His call. May the Lord save you!

    Thanks to your generous help, our Committee has been able in past years:

     In addition, members of our Committee attended the Madrid Conference on evaluating the implementation of the Helsinki Accords on security and mutual aid in Europe; they likewise spoke before the US Congress and also before groups of Americans and Russians, delivering lectures on the plight of Orthodoxy in countries enslaved by communism.

    Presently, our Committee is experiencing a financial crisis. We earnestly desire to continue our work in defense of the persecuted, but we cannot do this without your  share of prayerful and material support.

    Help us to help out' suffering brethren in the Faith. Give to the work of the Committee for the Defense of persecuted Orthodox Christians. Let your donation be your Christmas gift to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Please send contributions to.'
Committee for the Defense of
Persecuted Orthodox Christians
P.O. Box 9669
Washington D.C. 20016

     Let us, Orthodox in America and in other countries of the free world, be united in the work of defending our confessors, suffering not only for themselves, but tot all of us, members of the One Body of Christ, tn the words of the Apostle:

Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it,' or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. (I Cor. 12:26)

With love in Christ, and hope in your generous support,
Fr. Victor Potapov

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