Thursday, December 02, 2004

Greetings to our English-speaking readers

Dear Fathers, brothers and sisters, and English-version readers of Vertograd Orthodox Journal Online:

As a new phase for Vertograd Orthodox Journal begins with an online English-language version, the editorial board sends its greetings and asks your prayers. We look forward to reporting on events in True Orthodoxy as they occur-- and are grateful for all your support over the years.

As our long-time readers know, Vertograd exists to inform its readers about True Orthodox news and events, as well as to report on ecumenical events and activities of international significance. Distributing this information is of paramount importance for strengthening Church unity between all True Orthodox Christians in the struggle against heresy, as well as informed criticism of-- and resistance to-- contemporary trends in the direction of syncretism, false union and ecumenism.

The Orthodox world is completely different from the one of just 100 years ago. Today interest in Orthodoxy (what was once known as the "Greek" or "Russian" Church) grows in the West, and the Church is built daily by Christians from a variety of ethnic and social backgrounds. This amazing reality, one of new converts outside traditionally "Orthodox countries" joining the Church puts the lie to the foolish and ecumenistic notion that religion is simply a facet of one's ethnic background and that "one should die in the religion he was born into." It's also a mark of the changing structure of the Church which, in the face of new and global challenges, relies upon and develops new solutions while maintaining fidelity to what was handed to Her by Christ through His Apostles.

We cannot stress enough: Orthodoxy is not a "national tradition". Her teaching is a light of revelation for all peoples. The truth has no cultural divisions. In the age of the information superhighway, where the preservation of free access to unfiltered information governs peace, it is absolutely necessary for True Orthodox to explain, defend, and preserve the Faith by any means necessary.

General information about True Orthodoxy is already available on the Internet. It's not the aim of this journal to simply become a database of historical information. At a time of great social upheaval for True Orthodox Christians and society at large, this just isn't enough. News services and online information feeds such as this one are the new chroniclers of how the True Orthodox Christians, both individually and collectively, leave their mark on the modern world and future history-- as it occurs. It is our hope that the English-language version of Vertograd will become a real contributor to this ongoing, and difficult, process.

Again, we ask your prayers as we begin a new phase of the task at hand: reporting on current events in truth while at the same time maintaining fidelity to the one source of all truth. Were we to lose the former, we would have no value as writers; but were we to lose the latter, we would have no value at all.

The Editorial Board
Vertograd Orthodox Journal