Dr. Porumb’s article is the second in our Academic Papers series. It first appeared in 2017 in Forerunner, the journal of The Orthodox Fellowship of St John the Baptist. 
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Dr. Razvan Porumb

In the year 1960, 48 year-old Jewish erudite intellectual Nicu Steinhardt is imprisoned and joins the vast contingent of political prisoners in communist Romania (where approximately 17,600 people were detained at the time by the oppressive government). A refined scholar – among many other scholars, scientists, priests, writers – is thrown in a cruel grimy cell in the prison of Jilava. Political prisoners throughout Romania at the time – as well as in other parts of the communist world – were subjected to a life of continuous pain and humiliation, they were kept in unsanitary conditions (with no medical care) in dirt and cold and constant hunger, they were subjected to regular torture and beatings, and suffered indignities and insults on a daily basis. It was, in a sense, a slow process of extermination and thousands of political prisoners died in excruciating anguish. Steinhardt the intellectual finds himself first in cell 34 in the Jilava prison, which is, in his own words, ‘a sort of long dark tunnel, with plentiful and potent elements of nightmare. It is a strip, a canal, a subterranean intestine, cold and profoundly hostile, a barren mine, a crater of an extinct volcano, a rather accomplished image of some discoloured hell.’ And yet, he continues, ‘in this almost surreally sinister place I was to know the happiest days of my entire life. How utterly happy I was in room 34! Neither in Brasov with my mother as a child, nor on the endless streets of mysterious London, nor on the beauteous hills of Muscel, nor in the blue postcard scenery of Lucerne – nor indeed anywhere else in the world.’ Read More


While Orthodoxy in Dialogue has had its disagreements with Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, we are profoundly grateful to His Eminence for marching today in the footsteps of his predecessor in Selma, Alabama, Archbishop Iakovos of thrice-blessed memory. Many Years, O Master! Εἰς πολλὰ ἔτη, Δέσποτα!
Marjorie Kunch of Pascha Press, for her part, published the following statement earlier today on its Facebook page.

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Doesn’t look six feet apart to me, nor a grouping of 10 persons or less.

I guess COVID is only a concern for Pascha, hence all the church closures on the holiest day of the year. Protests, though, totally fine. No risk there! Read More


The following appeared earlier today on the Facebook page of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
So far as we know, His Eminence is the first Orthodox hierarch to follow in the footsteps of Archbishop Iakovos of thrice-blessed memory in Selma, Alabama.

Many Years, O Master! Εἰς πολλὰ ἔτη, Δέσποτα!

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I came here to Brooklyn today in order to stand in solidarity with my fellow sisters and brothers whose rights have been sorely abused. This was a peaceful protest, one without violence of any kind, and I thank all of those involved, because violence begets only more violence. We must speak and speak loudly against the injustice in our country. It is our moral duty and obligation to uphold the sanctity of every human being. We have faced a pandemic of grave physical illness, but the spiritual illness in our land runs even deeper and must be healed by actions as well as words. And so, I will continue to stand in the breach together with all those who are committed to preserving peace, justice, and equality for every citizen of goodwill, regardless of their race, religion, gender or ethnic origin. Read More

THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD AND ITS AFTERMATH by Metropolitan Nathanael (Symeonides) of Chicago

To date the following is the most direct, incisive, and powerful statement that we have seen from an Orthodox hierarch in response to events unfolding in the US since the murder of George Floyd. It was brought to Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s attention by a Metropolitan of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago

Like so many of you, it was with heartache, confusion and outrage that I watched the images of a white police officer, whose duty is to “serve and protect,” kneeling on the neck of a black man, George Floyd, who lay subdued and prostrated on the street, as his dignity, rights and life were slowly extinguished. It was shocking and devastating to witness a fellow human being begging for breath in the face of callous disregard for human life. This heart-wrenching injustice has now set our communities on fire, and alongside peaceful protests calling for much needed change, we have seen violent confrontation, looting and property destruction. Read More


George Floyd protests spread far and wide; at least 25 US cities ...

Note: Names and places are purposefully vague for the safety of those involved.

Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind—even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants. (Maggie Kuhn)

I have severe anxiety. When I started treatment, I found the above quote, and the italicized portion has become a sort of guiding principle in my life. Speak your mind—even if your voice shakes. Read More