In the Orthodox Church, priests give communion and perform ceremonial duties. They are treated equally with laypeople and often work closely with them. The laity are also very active in the church, performing missionary, educational, and philanthropic work. A layperson can also serve as a teacher and take part in church councils.
John of Damascus
In the early seventh century, John of Damascus was one of the most revered and renowned priests of the orthodox church. Born in the Syrian city of Damascus, he was a Christian and the son of a prominent Arab Christian family. His family was known as Mansour, which means “victorious one.” It is said that John was baptised in the monastery of Mar Saba, where his father had been a monk. The monks who taught him also provided him with an education in the classical sciences. His knowledge in geometry and arithmetic rivaled those of Pythagoras, the famous ancient Greek philosopher.
John was known as a prolific writer and was completely devoted to the Eastern church. His writings reflect a wide educational background and encompass a wide range of topics. He wrote several exegetical works on the Old and New Testaments. He also wrote several sermons and epitome works. The best known of his works is the Easter Day canon. This hymn is a hymn of thanksgiving and triumph.
One of the most well-known Orthodox priests in Ukraine is Fr. Anatolii Slynko. He lives in the Rivne region and works to preserve peace in his community. He said the only way to find a solution is through dialogue. He also believes that transferring communities to the OCU will only complicate the situation.
He joined the OCU in late July. The priest was prompted to join by his Christian conscience and was one of the first to stop commemorating Patriarch Kirill of Moscow during liturgies. He has also called for the UOC-MP to split from the Moscow Patriarchate.
Fr. Slynko is the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Union (UOC-MP). He has a large following and has made many important decisions for the Church in Ukraine. He has also helped build the Church in the country.
In Belarus, the Orthodox Church is under severe pressure from state authorities. The government and the Moscow center have interfered in the administration of the church. They have appointed a new Metropolitan of Minsk who is an ordinary Russian hierarch with no Belarusian connections. However, the arrest of a Catholic priest created the conditions for the reformation of relations with the Vatican.
Anatolii Klynko, an Orthodox priest from Ukraine, is a popular figure in the country. He lives in the village of Stara Rafalivka, a town in Rivne, and tries to keep peace in the area. He argues that dialogue is the only way to solve problems, and believes that transferring the communities to the OCU will only complicate the situation.
The Russian Orthodox Church has historically supported the war in Ukraine. This doctrine, called the Russian Doctrine, has been promoted by Patriarch Kirill for years, and it has been actively developed by Russian political scientists since the 1990s. This doctrine aims to preserve the influence of the Russian Federation in the former Soviet Union after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In the Orthodox Church, the clergy can serve in many roles, and are considered equal to the laity. They are active in many philanthropic, missionary, and educational activities. Even if you are not a priest, you can become a teacher, and there are many Orthodox theologians from the laity.