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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sudden death for Orthodoxy in Southeast Asia

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Two Metropolises of Hong Kong in Far East and Singapore in South Asia are on the verge of a padlock!
One day after the celebration of Assumption throughout the country and wherever the Greek heart beats in churches, as Orthodox churches of Southeast Asia, people of these areas still ask for help.
What's going on?

After about ten years of service and creativity in 23 areas of the world both Metropolises, in Hong Kong and in Singapore, are a crucial step before the padlock, which will ruin the great work of two major pockets of Orthodoxy in this corner of the planet. "Help us to survive" is the first message that reads whoever visits the page of Metropolis of Hong Kong, which belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. With dozens of unpaid clergy, the institutions can't feed the needy of God, as orphans and charitable programs are closed one after the other. The situation is dramatic.

This trend is worrying, if you count the fact that both were established in the place where there were old Greek and other Orthodox communities. Until recently, the donations could sustain 15 schools, 10 hospitals, five orphanages and boarding schools. They distributed food and medicine to needy, trained people on how to cultivate the land and gave scholarships to needy students. These children would have this chance otherwise. And we wonder why nobody supports the important work of this charity? Is it the lack of money due to the economic crisis? Where are Greek shipowners to support this effort? Where is their sensitivity? Or are limited to various "gala" and cosmic events with sushi and champagne?

"The risk for reduction of the Orthodox Church relates to the countries Pakistan, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Philippines. We appeal to all the missionary societies and all Orthodox Cathedrals in Greece, Australia and US to support the two Cathedrals in East Asia" we read in the call of the people of these two cities. We mention that in Pakistan there is a small Orthodox Community in Lahore.

Already for four years, they organize workshops for illiterate women and technical education programs for disadvantaged children. Since 2005 the charity The Orthodox Mission in Pakistan was founded and is officially recognized by the state of Pakistan.

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