中華基督正教會在大陸走向自治 – The Eastern Orthodox Church of China is moving towards autonomy on the mainland ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Chinese







The Eastern Orthodox Church of China is moving

towards autonomy on the mainland



一九四六年十月二十二日,神聖主教議會決定任命北京總主教維克多·斯維亞金為俄羅斯中國傳道團的首腦,並飭令在教區事務上,他應當歸屬於督主教區聖統管轄,在傳教事務上則應服從督主 Continue reading “中華基督正教會在大陸走向自治 – The Eastern Orthodox Church of China is moving towards autonomy on the mainland ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Chinese”


Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith



Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith

This week’s spiritual lesson: We concluded last week our long series of excerpts from the Diocesan conference by Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) at Effingham, England, in May, 1983. It occurs to me it might be useful to continue the Metropolitan’s account of his conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith:

…Then my leader explained to me that everyone who belonged to my group had reacted in exactly the same way, and if no one came we would all be put to shame because the priest had come and we would be disgraced if no one attended his talk. My leader was a wise man. He did not try to convince me that I should listen attentively to his words so that I might perhaps find truth in them: ‘Don’t listen,’ he said. ‘I don’t care, but sit and be a physical presence’. That much loyalty I was prepared to give to my youth organization and that much indifference I was prepared to offer to God and to his minister. So I sat through the lecture, but it was with increasing indignation and distaste. The man who spoke to us, as I discovered later, was a great man, but I was then not capable of perceiving his greatness. I saw only a vision of Christ and of Christianity that was profoundly repulsive to me. When the lecture was over I hurried home in order to check the truth of what he had been saying. I asked my mother whether she had a book of the Gospel, because I wanted to know Continue reading “Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith”

100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy



100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy

Continue reading “100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy”


“I was amazed by the holiness of Christians” – Interview with Anton Gotman, former Buddhist, Russia



“I was amazed by the holiness of Christians”

Interview with Anton Gotman, former Buddhist

Priest George Maximov, Anton Gotman





We continue to publish the texts of Spas TV program My Path to God, where Priest George Maximov interviews people who converted to Orthodoxy. The guest of today’s program is Anton Gotman, who had been practicing Buddhism for a long time. In this interview, he will tell us what he was looking for but couldn’t find in Buddhism and how Christ touched his heart. We will also discuss the personal and impersonal aspects of faith as well as the artificiality of “Russian Buddhism”.

* * *

Priest George Maximov: Hello, you are watching My Path To God. The guest of today’s program is Anton Gotman, a man who has a firsthand knowledge of the Buddhist tradition. Anton Sergeyevich, here’s my first question: What did you think of God before you became a Buddhist?

Anton Gotman: I didn’t have a true faith in God. I was baptized when I was eight. Occasionally, I would go to church with my parents. Basically, they were believers, but I didn’t see any purpose behind their faith. Every now and then I’d come across some books but that was it… I didn’t have an in-depth understanding of the Christian tradition. Once in a while I’d go to church and meet the priest. I really liked him as a person, but I didn’t appreciate Christianity. Later, I got interested in rock music and martial arts and started to distance myself from religion, so that at some point I even began to think that Christianity was an utter nonsense. After a while, when I got into college, I got interested in the Orient. I tried to study the Roerichs’1 teachings, but they didn’t impress me at all and neither did other theosophical ideas. Then a difficult period of my life followed, and I was very depressed. By chance, I came across a Soviet book on religious studies that described Buddhism, and it became an eye opener for me. I learned about “the four noble truths”2 and became interested, so I started studying Buddhism with some people who practiced it. After a while, I decided that I wanted to be taught by a teacher of the true Buddhist tradition.

Father George: What did you find attractive in Buddhism?

Anton Gotman: I did not believe in God, and for people who do not believe in God but wish to live righteous lives or have something spiritual in their lives, Buddhism can show a certain way. In fact, Buddha taught many things that were right. For example, just like Christianity, Buddhism teaches that we must not kill. On the one hand, it is the same, but there is a significant difference. We can’t say that Buddhists follow God’s commandment, “Thou shall not kill”, because it is not God’s commandment for them. You can say that people follow God’s commandments only when they believe in God.

Father George: Yes, motivation is important.

—I saw Buddhism as an opportunity for developing certain qualities. My interest in martial arts was an influence too.—(Anton Gotman)

Anton Gotman: Even though there is no faith in God in Buddhism, it offers a certain spiritual way and a system of meditation that at some point attracts people and allows them to relax and experience certain positive feelings. In Tibetan Buddhism, where I was a member of the community of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, everything was much more interesting, with more mystic experiences and opportunities to do yoga, etc… I’ll try not to overuse the Continue reading ““I was amazed by the holiness of Christians” – Interview with Anton Gotman, former Buddhist, Russia”


James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy



James Evans, England:

His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy






Interview with James Evans, an Orthodox Briton

Priest George Maximov, James Evans

We continue to publish the materials of Spas TV program “My Path To God”, where Priest George Maximov interviews people who converted to Orthodoxy. The guest of today’s program is James Evans, an Orthodox Englishman. He will tell us why he prefers to live in Russia rather than in England, what he gets from singing in the Orthodox church and how his journey to Orthodoxy began.

* * *

Priest George Maximov: Hello. You’re watching My Path To God. Today we have a guest from England. James, please tell us about yourself.

James Evans: I was born in a Catholic family in London. Later we moved to Salisbury, 3 hours away from London. I went to an Anglican school, because education there was better than in Catholic schools. The Anglican service doesn’t differ much from the Catholic service. It was quite beautiful and I sang in the school choir during the services. However, I went to a Catholic church for communion.

All my grandparents are from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and so I am of a Celtic origin.

I grew up in Salisbury and went to Oxford after graduation. When I was still in school in Salisbury, I passed the Latin exam one year earlier and was offered to select an additional subject. I chose Informatics, but they assigned me to a Russian language course instead. I was upset, but started reluctantly studying it. A few months later, I was told that this year they were organizing a student exchange program and I had a chance of going to Russia. I travelled to Russia for my summer vacation in 1989, when I was 16. This changed everything for me and set the course for my future life. When I got back to England, I understood that I couldn’t live without Russia. I talked the principal into giving me an opportunity to study Russian language and literature individually. He made an exception and assigned personal tutors to me. In the University of Oxford, I continued my Russian studies. Not because I wanted to become a linguist, but because I felt that Russia was calling me. I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that there would be no life for me without Russia. That was how it all started.

Father George: So, thanks to the Russian language studies, you learned about the Russian culture. You also visited Russia when it was still a part of the Soviet Union and saw its everyday life and people. Were you particularly impressed by anything?

I wasn’t impressed by the Russian culture as much as I was impressed by a totally different view on life.

James Evans: My first encounter with the Russian culture started with Continue reading “James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy”


Korea: The touching conversion story of an elderly Korean woman from Buddhism to Orthodoxy




Korea: The touching conversion story of

an elderly Korean woman from Buddhism to Orthodoxy

“This grandma case was very touching. She lives in Seoul, close to her other children. One of her sons and his family who live in the village Polang-Ree converted to Orthodoxy a long time ago. He had announced this to his mother, trying to motivate her to convert to Christianity as well. But as she was an elderly woman, she couldn’t understand much of what they were telling her. Until, one day, one of her son’s daughters, who worked in some private business doing very hard work all week, moved to Seoul. Every Saturday she would say:

-Granny, I’m going to Church after work for my singing rehearsal and the Vespers.

And on Sundays, very early in the morning:

-Granny, I have to go. I’m teaching the morning group of Sunday School. Then, there’s Holy Liturgy. Then, our youth congregation. We’re going to have lunch all together. Don’t worry that I’ll be back in the afternoon.

-Don’t you get too tired my child?

-No, granny. This relieves me from all tiredness and troubles of the week. It gives me strength, joy… It revives me. Because I find Christ in Church , granny, the real God. I receive Him in my soul.

And her granddaughter shone all over. She was so much different from all other girls her age grandma knew.

“So these were my sons words I could not understand”, she was thinking…

Months went by. Every Sunday her granddaughter looked just as happy on the outside as well as in her heart each time she returned from the Church. The same thoughts were on granny’s mind.

In the end she made her decision:

-You said that you teach children about Christ. Can you teach me as well , who is He who gives you so much happiness?

The granddaughter jumped for joy! She’d been praying all this time in secret for this blessed moment to come for her beloved granny. Little by little with patience and love she started catechizing her. What helped her most was her own life’s good example.

Granny started coming to Church. Sunday after Sunday , her adaptation to this new experience was remarkable:

-I want to be baptized before I die…

This was her desire.

She even attended some special classes.

-I believe and I love Christ.

And when the preparation for her Holy Baptism started, she timidly asked:

-Can I be given my granddaughter’s name, who led me to this Paradise?

“Come and see” is addressed to the souls of the Korean people who never got to know Christ, our Saviour, in such ways of life testimony. In the tension of their life struggles, material needs or goals of their lives, beaten by insecurities, by despair, the most convincing invitation to His Kingdom is a silent testimony of a genuinely Christian life”.








Vietnam, 2017: The Mother of God appears to Vietnamese woman in coma, who then converts to Orthodoxy








The newly-baptized Anna is seated in the picture


Vietnam, 2017:

The Mother of God appears to Vietnamese woman in coma,

who then converts to Orthodoxy





Fr. George Maximov, a Moscow priest who often serves on missionary trips throughout Asia, has posted on his Facebook page the words of a Vietnamese woman who converted to Orthodoxy after the Mother of God appeared to her.

The woman, Nguyen Thi Mai Anh, a former Buddhist living and working in Vũng Tàu, Vietnam, was baptized into Holy Orthodoxy on Holy Saturday this year [2017].

She writes of “something incredible” happening in her life about a year ago: “I was lying in a coma in the hospital. During this time I saw a radiance, a bright light, and directly in front of me appeared the Virgin Mary Theotokos. She handed me a bottle of water and gave me to drink. As soon as I drank the water, the light and the Theotokos disappeared.”

“In the morning the next day,” she continues, “I suddenly came out of the coma after being unconscious for so long.” Nguyen survived, and she began to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother for a speedy recovery, and decided she would become a Christian when she returned home.

“A few days later, another vision appeared to me in a dream, that there would be a man who would lead me to the Church, and that I would eat Bread there and drink Holy Water together with everyone, and walk around the church,” she continues.

After she was released and returned home, a friend came to her, bearing an icon of the Mother of God with the Savior. “I was incredibly happy, because it was the same image I had seen in my dream. I was very happy, and I told my friend about what I had seen in the dream, and he took me to an Orthodox Church where Russians pray in the 5th district of the city of Vũng Tàu, to meet the Lord and the Theotokos there,” Nguyen recalls.

The woman was later baptized in the same church and “born again under the protection of the Most-Holy Theotokos and by the grace of the Lord.”

“I am infinitely happy!” she exclaims, continuing, “Thanks to Thee, O Lord and to thee, O Theotokos, for my ‘second birth’ and the gift of the Fountain of Life!”

Fr. George notes that she broke her leg just before her Baptism, but this did not deter her. She was baptized with the name of Anna, and now reads prayers in the Vietnamese language during the services.