Is There One True Church? ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* An Interview with Peter Jackson, a former Protestant missionary


Is There One True Church?


An Interview with Peter Jackson,

a former Protestant missionary



Peter Jackson—a former Protestant missionary and the translator of several books of Holy Scripture into the language of the Kogi people of Colombia, presently a student at Holy Trinity Spiritual Seminary—tells of his road to Orthodoxy. This is an Interview conducted with him on the pages of Pravoslavnaya Rus’ [Orthodox Rus’] by R. Sholkov.

* * *

RS: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

PJ: I was an Evangelical Protestant from birth. My family attended Baptist and Presbyterian churches, and my parents were firm believers in [the concept of] the “invisible Church,” i.e., [the belief] that there has never been a single church on earth which could call herself the one True Church; i.e., [a church] possessing the fullness of the Truth. All that was necessary was “to believe in Christ” and to attend that church which was “convenient.” But I could never understand why there were so many different so-called churches, all of which considered themselves to be Bible-based?

When I was 12 years old, our community was visited by some preachers who were doing missionary work in Colombia and translating the Bible for the Indians. Because I had always been interested in languages, I was attracted to this work. I was astonished [to learn] that there are thousands of languages in the world into which the Bible has not yet been translated.

I began to study Greek and Hebrew, in order to prepare myself for working in translating the Bible into such languages; and, at the university, I studied linguistics. Later, I joined the Protestant Mission of Bible translators (Wycliffe Bible Translators), in order to obtain a more detailed education.

When I was in training at Wycliffe, I became acquainted with my future wife, Styliana; now we have two sons, Nicholas and Benjamin. Styliana’s parents were missionaries in Colombia, when she was yet 5 years old. They preached among the semi-savage Kogi tribe. Her parents were very happy to receive our Continue reading “Is There One True Church? ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* An Interview with Peter Jackson, a former Protestant missionary”

Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy


Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

Aviv Saliu-Diallo, Pierre Haab

Fr. Pierre Haab, a Swiss former Roman Catholic who was disappointed with his religion and was carried away by Buddhism, Hinduism and other screamingly “fashionable” Eastern teachings and who is now a subdeacon of the Orthodox Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross in Geneva, speaks about his conversion to Orthodoxy.

* * *

—Can you tell us a few words about your family, education and the story of your conversion to the Orthodox faith?

I was born in an under-developed, impoverished, hungry country where the sky is permanently overcast with dark clouds—of course, in the spiritual sense. I am speaking of Switzerland, and especially of the city of Geneva—the center of world freemasonry and finances, the stronghold of obscurantist heresy, and a materialistic megalopolis that is enjoying the lulling, stable comfort that easily protects it from the numerous everyday tragedies of humanity.

My parents raised me in the Roman Catholic faith that they had inherited from their ancestors, for which I am extremely grateful to them; they implanted the fundamentals of Christian Revelation in me from childhood—namely faith in God, the doctrine and the necessity of prayer.

We were a practicing Catholic family. We attended Mass on Sundays and major Church feasts, and prayer was a part of our daily life (at least it was so for the first ten years of my childhood). My father, a journalist, devoted his professional life to the protection of the oppressed and justice. As far as my parents are concerned, they did their best to provide the continuity of religious education in our family.

As for the Church, though in my case the more precise name was “Papism”, the situation was different. As a child (in the 1950s) I felt comfortable in that religious environment; for example, I had no problem with prayers in Latin. Although for me faith was “the faith in obedience,” I used to ask many questions, and the adults—my parents and priests—were unable to answer them. And if they did answer me, they did it with a smile and condescendingly, thinking that I was trying to get to the core of the matter too seriously. They gave me to understand that performing the morally required duties was enough for me. And I decided that I would get the answers to my questions later through my independent, in-depth research and analysis of the primary sources, where the morals come from. Judging by my childhood memories, I always had a thirst for truth.

So I was waiting for some changes, when, at the very dawn of my youth, a crucial event happened in the West—a real revolution in Papism (which is still going on today). I mean the Second Vatican Council of 1962. Over a short span of several months (or, in some cases, two to three years) a whole set of rules which had been shaped in the living daily reality of Western Christianity for Continue reading “Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy”

Μάρτιος 2017: Η μεταστροφή του νεοφώτιστου Φινλανδού Ραφαήλ (πρώην Ιούστος) από τον Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία


Μάρτιος 2017: Η μεταστροφή του νεοφώτιστου Φινλανδού Ραφαήλ (πρώην Ιούστος) από τον Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία

Ένας εικοσαετής νέος από την Φιλανδία επισκέφθηκε τελευταίως –κατά την περιόδον του Πεντηκοσταρίου– το Άγιον Όρος, ο οποίος μας διηγήθηκε την ζωή του και πως ο Θεός τον οδήγησε να γνωρίσει την Ορθοδοξία.

Η καταγωγή του

Ο Ιούστος (αυτό ήταν το προτεσταντικό όνομά του) γεννήθηκε το έτος 1997 στην πόλη Χαμ Ελνίνα της Φιλανδίας.

Οι γονείς του, πατέρας Σάμι και μητέρα Χέινι, είναι πολύτεκνοι. Εκτός από τον Ιούστο, έχουν ακόμη 7 παιδιά: τον Ιωανάθαν, τον Ιωακείμ (που παντρεύτηκε την Σωσάννα), το Κασμίρ, τον Ιωάννη, τον Έρασμο, την Σάρα-Λίνα και την Βερονίκη – 6 αγόρια και 2 κορίτσια.

Όταν πριν 8 χρόνια, η Προτεσταντική «Εκκλησία» (παρασυναγωγή) της Φιλλανδίας αποδέχτηκε και ανεγνώρισε τα δικαιώματα των ομοφυλοφίλων, να παντρεύονται άνδρες με άνδρες και γυναίκες με γυναίκες, ως και να χειροτονούνται γυναίκες επισκοπίνες και ιέρειες, δεν ξαναπήγε η μητέρα του η Χέινι στις συνάξεις τους. Αλλά προσευχόταν με τον τρόπο της, ότι γνώριζε, στο σπίτι της.

Ο πατέρας του, ο Σάμι, ήταν ιεροκήρυκας (πάστορας) των Προτεσταντών. Επειδή όμως αρνήθηκε τότε, πριν 8 χρόνια, να κηρύττει τα δικαιώματα των ομοφυλοφίλων και την χειροτονία των γυναικών την απέρριψε, απελύθη και εξεδιώχθη από την θέση του ιεροκήρυκος.

Οι πρώτοι σπινθήρες της ευσεβείας

Από τότε έμεναν στο σπίτι τους και προσεύχονταν με τον τρόπο τους στον Χριστό. Κάποια μέρα επισκέφθηκε η μητέρα του μία γνωστή της οικογένεια Ρώσσων Ορθοδόξων Χριστιανών. Φεύγοντας από την επίσκεψη αυτή, η Ρωσσική οικογένεια τους χάρισε μία μικρή εικονίτσα του Αγίου Γεωργίου.

Ο έφηβος τότε Ιούστος έμαθε για το Μαρτύριο και τα θαύματα του Αγίου Γεωργίου. Από τότε είχε για τον Άγιο ευλάβεια και μάλιστα, όπως είπε, του έκανε και τρία θαύματα. Ο Ιούστος δεκαεπταετής ακόμα διψούσε να γνωρίσει και να Continue reading “Μάρτιος 2017: Η μεταστροφή του νεοφώτιστου Φινλανδού Ραφαήλ (πρώην Ιούστος) από τον Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία”

Sister Matthaia Osswald, Germany: My great adventure in search of the Truth – A Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church


My great adventure in search of the Truth

November 2008

Sister Matthaia Osswald , Germany 

A Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church.

Childhood and adolescence.   

I was born in 1961 from Protestant parents, in a town in South Germany. We lived in a suburb which had earlier been a separate village and later was integrated into a municipality. There was only one Roman Catholic family, the rest of the inhabitants being Protestants. The daughter of this family, whom I used to like very much, was in my class at the elementary school. I still remember very well that I was strictly forbidden to visit her, because they told me that it would be embarrassing for our family if anybody learned about such a thing. During the following years there was a growing tolerance on this topic. Even though the majority of the inhabitants were Protestants, with the passage of time the “Catholic” population increased and more Roman Catholic communities were created in the town.

My parents did believe in God but they would not practice their faith, for example they would never go  to church on Sundays, we would not pray, at least not together or before the meals and the topic of “God” was not discussed in our home.
However, in my grand parents’ house lived an elderly Evangelical deaconess, who earlier had been a kindergarten teacher. She was like a light for me. Every time I would visit my grand parents I would use the occasion to “disappear” and visit this nun. She would always talk about Jesus; about His miracles; how repeatedly and in different ways He had helped her; about paradise, heaven and the angels. And she would pray with me. Time with her seemed to flow very fast! I was always sad, every time I would hear a voice telling me: “Where are you again? Come quick”! My grand parents did not take kindly to the fact that I would be so long with the “pious aunt”.

One evening when I was four or five years old, I was lying in my bed thinking how terribly tiring it must be for Father God that He cannot take time off to relax. He must always stay up worrying about the people and be careful that nothing bad happens to them. I made all kinds of suggestions to Him such as for example, if He could alternate with His Son, or with the angels. Finally, I told Him, that I wished so much to help Him and that it would not bother me at all, if every now and then I stayed up all night, but neither would this help the people. On one hand these were very childish, all these thoughts of mine, but on the other hand I meant them and me never forgot, even though in the following years they faded entirely into the background. Afterward my schooling started. I became busy with other things.

Of course I never doubted the existence of God, but His existence had no importance for me and my life. It was as if they were two separate things that had no relationship with each other. All my adolescence was influenced by the fact that I always wished to be like the others (Something that I never succeeded in as I was always marginalized, which possibly was due to my exterior unpleasant appearance.) I tried everything the others did, smoke, go in the evenings to the bars, smoke marijuana, listen to rock music etc. I was then Continue reading “Sister Matthaia Osswald, Germany: My great adventure in search of the Truth – A Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church”

Η μεταστροφή μίας Αγγλίδας Καθηγήτριας Πανεπιστημίου από την γνωριμία της με τον Άγιο Αμφιλόχιο Μακρή της Πάτμου (+1970)


Η μεταστροφή μίας Αγγλίδας

Καθηγήτριας Πανεπιστημίου από την γνωριμία της με τον

Άγιο Αφμφιλόχιο Μακρή της Πάτμου (+1970)

«“Ὅταν τό 1969”, ἀφηγεῖται ἕνα πνευματικό του τέκνο, “εἴχαμε πάει στήν Πάτμο, ἦταν ἐκεῖ μία Ἀγγλίδα Καθηγήτρια Πανεπιστημίου, ἡ ὁποῖα εἶχε γνωρίσει προηγουμένως τόν Γέροντα Ἀμφιλόχιο Μακρῆ τῆς Πάτμου (+1970) καί χάρι σ᾽ αὐτόν ἔγινε εἶχε γίνει Ὀρθόδοξη. Ὅταν τή ρωτήσαμε τί ἦταν αὐτό πού τήν ἔκανε νά μεταστραφῆ στήν Ὀρθοδοξία, μᾶς ἀπάντησε: ‘Δύσκολη ἡ ἐρώτησί σας. Ἄν, ὅμως, ἐπιμένετε νά σᾶς τήν ἀπαντήσω, σᾶς λέω ὅτι γιά μένα Ὀρθοδοξία εἶναι αὐτός ὁ Γέροντας’».



Un neamţ Protestant a cunoscut Ortodoxia printr-un aparat de emisie-recepţie ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Romanian


Un neamţ Protestant a cunoscut Ortodoxia

printr-un aparat de emisie-recepţie

Sâmbătă 8-08-2009, în Sfânta Mănăstire Dohiariu, în Sfântul Munte Athos, într-o atmosferă plină de umilinţă, neamţul Dominik Weiel, geolog în vârstă de 40 de ani, s-a lepădat de protestantism şi a îmbrăţişat Ortodoxia primind la Botez numele de Mihail.

Mihail a cunoscut Athosul şi Ortodoxia, prin contactul pe care l-a întreţinut prin intermediul unui aparat de emisie-recepţie cu un frate de mănăstire radio-amator, părintele Apollo SV2ASP/A, contact început încă din 1991. Neamţul radio-amator, cu foarte multă experienţă, DL5EBE, student pe atunci, când a auzit pentru prima dată de monahul aghiorit lipsit de experienţă care încerca prin semnalul lui slab să facă legătura, s-a grăbit să comunice cu el şi să-l ajute. Acesta a fost primul motiv de a veni în Athos: a-l cunoaşte pe acest monah şi a organiza staţia. Această vizită însă s-a transformat însă şi într-o staţie pentru viaţa lui. L-a cunoscut pe Gheronda (Bătrânul) Grigorie, Egumenul Mănăstirii şi pe fraţi, i-a iubit şi a continuat să viziteze mănăstirea urmând de fiecare dată îndeaproape întregul ei program zilnic.

Când şi-a terminat studiile universitare l-a contactat o societate germană petrolieră cu activităţi în întreaga lume. Vreme de mulţi ani a lucrat la Moscova şi de acolo a avut ocazia să viziteze Athosul mai mulţi ani la rând, dar simultan ţinea legătura prin undele radio. Toată această perioadă s-a luptat înterior pentru schimbarea sa şi hotărându-se şi pentru Botez, a luat drumul Athosului. Zilele acestea s-a întâmplat să avem multe lucrări la care a a participat şi el. Zilele treceau şi se neliniştea în privinţa Botezului. Vineri, Gheronda l-a întrebat din nou: „Vrei să te botezi?”. „Mare mi-ar fi bucuria!”- i-a răspuns şi imediat chipul i s-a luminat. Atunci l-am chemat pe domnul Stavros Pomakis, ofiţer în Armata Aeriană, radio-amator, fiu duhovnicesc al Mănăstirii, care, chiar dacă era departe de casa sa, a primit din tot sufletul să-i devină naş. În foarte puţin timp, toate erau gata, şi astfel, sâmbătă dimineaţă, după Dumnezeiasca Liturghie a primit Sfântul Botez în portul Mănăstirii, înconjurat de întreaga obşte şi de pelerini şi plin de bucurie s-a întors iarăşi la serviciul său.

Să ne rugăm Arhanghelului Mihail, ocrotitorul Mănăstirii noastre, al cărui nume i l-a dat Gheronda, să-l întărească în drumul dificil al vieţii pe care zilnic îl parcurge.



A German Protestant comes to know Orthodoxy through the wireless


A German Protestant comes to know

Orthodoxy through the wireless

On Saturday 8-8-2009, at the Holy Monastery of Dohiariou at the Holy Mountain, in an atmosphere of devotion, the German Dominik Weiel 40 years old Geologist, renounced Protestantism and entered Orthodoxy, receiving the baptismal name Michael.

Michael became acquainted with Athos and Orthodoxy through his communication via the wireless with Radio-amateur brother of the Monastery Fr. Apollo SV2ASP/A, who began in 1991. The experienced German Radio-amateur DL5EBE, then as an undergraduate, when he heard for the first time the inexperienced Agiorite monk with a weak signal calling, he communicated with him and offered to help him. This was the first opportunity for him to come to Athos, meet the monk and set up the station. This visit became a landmark in his life. He met the Elder Gregory, Abbot of the Monastery and the brothers, whom he loved and continued to visit to the Monastery, always following its full daily program.

When he completed his University studies he was employed by a German petroleum products company, active throughout the world. For many years now he works in Moscow and because of this it was many years since he had visited Athos. However, despite of this, he did not cease his communication. All this period he struggled within himself on his conversion and finally decided to be baptized, thus he came to Athos. Those days it happened that we had a lot of work in which he took part. The days would pass and he was anxious to be baptized. Finally on Friday the Elder asked him “do you wish to be baptized?’ “It would be my great pleasure” he replied and immediately his face shined. Then we invited Mr. Stavro Pomaki, Officer in the Army Air Force, radio-amateur and spiritual child of the Monastery, who even though he was far from his home, he eagerly agreed to become his godparent. Very shortly later everything was ready, so the morning of Saturday after the Divine Liturgy, he received the holy baptism at the harbor of our Monastery in the presence of the whole brotherhood and pilgrims and finally very happy he returned to his work.

Let us pray that the Archangel Michael, the protector of our Monastery whose name was given by the Elder, support him on the difficult road of his life he struggles daily.