Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Orthodoxy: An Historic Religion for African-Americans

I'm allowing myself one tangential, celebratory post. The Orthodox Church is reaching out to African-Americans...finally.

That's a little unfair: Fr. Moses Berry has actually been at it for years. He's written or contributed to (at least) two books on the topic and travelled around America on the topic, "Rediscovering Our African Christian Heritage." It is a venerable heritage indeed, dating from the "Ethiopian" eunuch in Acts 8. Deo gratias Fr. Moses is correcting the prevalent misconception that Islam is the "indigenous religion of the black man," and Christianity is "the slaveowners' religion." Yes, white Christians bought African slaves (300-400 years ago) -- often from Muslim merchants who had previously invaded, forcibly converted the native black population, and enslaved and sold the intransigents.

I'm proud the Western Rite has at least two "majority-minority" parishes, both in Miami: St. Peter and Our Lady of Regla, also in Miami. Several other parishes have "diverse" congregations, as well.

My only point is Orthodoxy is not a tribal religion, in either its Eastern or Western expressions. Our Church truly is a House of Prayer for all people.

(Hat tip: Fr. John)


Blogger Aristibule said...

I'm a little African (though one can't tell it) - and the Ancient African Christianity conference at St. Mary of Egypt (Serbian) in KCMO was something I quite enjoyed!

Fr. Moses Berry is a wonderful priest as well.

11:15 PM  

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