Orthodox America

  Help Slake the Thirst for Spiritual Literature

      "...Please send a Bible to my home, as it is very difficult to find one here. I also ask that you pray for me." --Antonina K.

      "...Please forgive me for asking for religious books, but we have such a spiritual famine here, we try to get anything we can." --Vladimir T.

      "...For a Soviet person, a simple purchase of a Bible is more difficult than a trip to Mars." -Vladimir B.

      These and many similar appeals from the Soviet Union have inspired the recent formation of "Ochag" (Hearth), an organization of the Western American Diocese (ROCA), whose purpose is to collect and forward to the Soviet Union Bibles and other books of spiritual content. Help is greatly needed with the following:


Financial assistance for the purchase of books, postal and other expenses; Donations of Orthodox books

Referral to people planning to visit the USSR and willing to take in religious literature (now legal by Soviet law);

 Names and addresses of people in the Soviet Union requesting such materials.

      Similar work is being undertaken by the parish of St. John the Baptist in Washington D.C., whose rector, Archpriest Victor Potapov, has received numerous appeals from listeners to his Orthodox programs on Voice of America. A young believer from Ufa writes:

      "Often in your broadcast you talk about the Bible, but many Soviet believers have not even seen it. It's true that in the summer they delivered 35 copies to the cathedral and 20 to the Protection Church and handed them out by means of a lottery for the rather expensive price of 35 rubles. Not long ago there were Orthodox calendars and prayer books, again in a limited quantity. The calendars were distributed by lottery even among the clergy. With great difficulty I managed to get a prayer book...

      'Please, if possible, send me an Orthodox calendar and the book of the Canons. I would very much like to receive a photograph of Metropolitan Vitaly and Vladimir Rusak's book Witness for the Prosecution..."


Another writes:

       "... In your broadcast I like the direct debates between theologians and atheists and their scholarly examples. Our atheists have only propaganda: if you believe in religion, it means you are a fool. But when I read the philosophy of Skovoroda and others, I understand: whoever knows the Gospel and the Old Testament can whip any atheist....I am not at all ashamed of religion; it has won the argument. No one can rip out of my heart that which I have accepted in my soul. It is true, I am ashamed to admit to you that ! have still not read the Bible. It isn't available in the stores.... This is my most sincere request-please send me a Gospel and Old Testament and let me know how I can pay for them."